Synopsis of Chapter Two ~ Later Training
July - November 1940


I was despatched to No 8 Flying Training School at Montrose for a pre-fighter course on Miles Master aircraft. Whilst there I learnt of Scratch's death - the first tragedy of the war to come near me - and I was re-united with Frank Leveridge. Here we were trained in low flying, solo cross-country and night flying to achieve our wings status. We spent our time between Montrose and Edzell where a new airfield was being built. The war was closer here as the airfield, with its Spitfire squadron, was a target for hit and run German bombers. I had a few lucky escapes - once whilst landing during an air raid blackout and on another occasion having bombs falling around my billet. Four out of 45 on the course were killed in night flying accidents.

I received my wings badge and progressed to a second six-week pre-fighter course where we trained in formation flying, diving and shooting at targets with camera guns. I was promoted to officer and moved into the officer's mess however, did not get much time to enjoy this new status as the course was shortened and we had to work hard to get in our flying hours and revision. I passed above average and I was pleased to learn that I was destined for a fighter squadron. I was sent to Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire for conversion training to Hurricanes. There we trained in decrepit Hurricanes, fully armed, as we were nearer the air battle zone and practiced firing at random targets.

Bill Holland
Frank Leveridge
Sutton Bridge
Miles Master aircraft
1934 Austin Seven
Our £6 Austin Seven, Montrose Summer 1940



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