WW2 Service Record of RAF Pilot Allan Gent (1079136)


BASIC FLIGHT TRAINING

On the 29th September 1941, Allan boarded a Greyhound coach and left Camden to move to Cochran Field, Macon, Georgia, to do his Basic Flight Training. He arrived there at 6pm on the 30th September.

Here is Cochran Field (photo borrowed from internet). It had 2 intersecting runways but no perimeter road, which caused issues with aircraft needing to use the runways to taxi:

Click the image below to view PDF copies of a Booklet called "Cochran Control".  The first one was published in October 1941 for the UK Cadets of Class 42A (yes 42A, the class before Allan's.).  The one Class 42A cadet I do know something about is Reginald Levy.  He had a very distinguished and varied career in flying.  Google him, and you will see what I mean.   The second one was published in December 1941 for the UK cadets of Class 42B.  My father is in B Squadron.  This version of the magazine has far fewer pictures and is rather boring compared to 42A !!

Below are the "Five Musketeers" (as Allan called them) standing in front of one of the Vultee BT-13 'Vibrator' Valiant aircraft they used.
The Boys are: (Rear L-R) Dave Horsley, Pete Nash, Ron Pearson, (Front L-R) Allan and George Lock:

Below is (L-R) Peter, Allan (back to camera again!), Ron and David at Cochran Field:

Below is Dave reading a letter from home whilst Ron looks on. The building behind is one of the many barrack buildings at Cochran Field:

Dave, Allan and Ron having a 'parle' before lights out:

Allan writing a letter home:

Below are some of the Vultee BT-13 Valiant trainers used at Cochran Field.
I don't understand why there are 4 ladies (not in uniform) standing near one of the aircraft:

Below are the instruments of the Vultee BT-13 (sorry, a bit blurred):

Below is somebody (anybody know who?) getting an award at Cochran Field:

Below is Cochran Field showing the many barrack buildings (photo borrowed from internet).
The Control Towers in the previous photograph can just be seen in the middle of this photograph:

Allan graduated, along with 165 fellow cadets, on the 13th December, 1941 (just a few days after Pearl Harbour).

On 15th December 1941, Allan traveled by bus to Craig Field, Selma, Alabama, for his Advanced Flight Training.

Next Page -> Advanced Flight Training

Home Page