k John Arthur Yonge
Link Trainer Instructor
  On 3 August 1940 he was posted to an " Air Ministry Unit" (Location not specified) for a Link Trainer Instructor's Course. The link trainer provided a cheaper alternative for training pilots in instrument flying than flying actual aircraft. Fitups Ltd. of Manchester won a contract in 1940 for the manufacture of a synthetic trainer for the RAF. This basically consisted of a circular cubicle in the centre of which was a Link trainer. The cubicle was circular, 20 ft in diameter and 10 ft high, acting as a cyclorama. It was made of curved sections covered with fibreboard on which was painted a landscape with various features as seen from an altitude of about 2,000 ft. The function of the painted landscape was to present, realistically, the various climatic and geographical features which a pilot would encounter. The most common type of link trainer used during the war was the Type D2, which was introduced in 1942; this comprised a fuselage, approximately 7 ft long. Powerful bellows enabled the device to simulate basic flying movements similar to pitching, banking, and turning of a real aircraft. Early machines had wings, tail plane, and fin with corresponding control surfaces. The cockpit closely resembled a typical single-engined aircraft of the period, with the usual six basic instruments plus compass, radio, rudder pedals, and control column. The instruments and the relevant control surfaces indicated any changes in flight attitude. Placing a detachable hood over the cockpit could simulate night flying; stormy conditions could be created by means of a 'rough air device'. Connections led from the trainer to an instructor's desk where a small three-wheeled trolley called a 'tracking crab' (automatic recorder) reacted to time and rate of movement of the fuselage. One of these wheels, known as an idler wheel, acted as a pen recorder and traced an accurate course on to a map of the countryside over which the 'pilot' was supposed to be flying. The instructor's desk had a duplicate set of instruments, which enabled him to asses the pilots flying capabilities.
Having achieved the required standard on 30 August 1940 he was then posted to No.12 Service Flying Training School at Grantham (Spittlegate), a unit within No 21 Group. This was equipped with a mix of Hawker Harts, Fairey Battles and Avro Ansons. Here he had another ground instructional role, as a Link Trainer Instructor (LTI). He remained At Grantham until 19 October 1942, though by 1 Apri1 1942, the unit had been re-designated No.12 (pilots) Advanced Flying Unit.
He was promoted to Flying Officer on 17 March 1941, Acting Flight Lieutenant on 17 June 1941 and Temporary F/Lt on 1 September 1942).
He was then posted to Bournemouth in October of that year, again as a Link Trainer Instructor. There was an airfield 4 miles N.E. of Bournemouth, although its official designation was Hurn, home in October 1942 to Nos. 296 and 297 Sqns which soon left for North Africa to take part in Operation Torch (the Allied landings in N. Africa). At this time Hurn was used as a staging post for aircraft being sent to this theatre. The Squadrons were to return in 1943, equipped with the Albermarle prior to another detachment for glider towing duties in the invasion of Sicily. During the time he was at Bournemoth/Hurn Airfield was also used by the USAAF, fighter squadrons and Army Cooperation planes. Also at the same time, it is believed that the town of Bournemouth itself was a processing centre for Commonwealth aircrew (Australians and possibly New Zealanders -maybe even Canadians? and it is quite possible that there was a Link Trainer set up there. The use of the ambiguous. abbreviation "Stn"

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