A Pilots Notes

RAF Poetry
ISBN 1-84683-118-0
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by Ian Rae
Poems of a World War 2 Royal Air Force Flying Instructor.

The title, A Pilot’s Notes is borrowed from the series of handbooks produced by the Air Ministry during World War II and afterwards, which contained detailed information about and diagrams of the equipment, systems, controls, cockpit layout and handling requirements of every aircraft in use by the RAF. It was required reading for pilots prior to flying an unfamiliar aircraft type, whose characteristics and controls might vary substantially from those of the pilot’s previous experience.

In this enjoyable collection of poetry, Ian Rae reflects on his experiences as a Royal Air Force flying instructor during World War Two.

His witty and clever poems recapture the drama, boredom, tragedy and humour he encountered in the course of his military service in the UK and Canada.

Ian Rae joined the RAF in 1942, straight from school. After the usual processing through Aircrew Reception Centre at St John’s Wood, a Holding Camp under canvas at Ludlow, Shropshire, Initial Training Wing at Torquay, Grading School at Fairoaks, yet another Holding unit at Heaton Park, Manchester, he finally found his name on the right list and shortly afterwards was on the SS Queen Elizabeth, bound for Canada.

On arrival at Bowden, Alberta, which housed 32 Elementary Flying Training School, he began flying training in earnest on April 6th 1943, moving on to 37 Service Flying Training School at Calgary in June.

Ian Rae received his wings on the 17th September and was posted back to England with a temporary attachment to 15 E.F.T.S, Kingston, Carlisle before joining 10 Flying Instructor School at Woodley near Reading, where he graduated as a Qualified Flying Instructor in April 1944. He was then posted back to 15 E.F.T.S. where he was stationed until June 1945, when he was posted to a new unit at Cranwell – 19 F.T.S – on Harvards.

Demobilised in August 1946, Ian Rae did not fly again until he joined the R.A.F.V.R. in August 1952, flying from 11 R.F.S., Perth until the V.R. was disbanded and he was placed on the Non-Flying List.

details: softback | 140 x 205 mm | 180 pages
genre: poetry
themes: RAF in World War II
readership: military historians / aviation enthusiasts / general readers