Tag Archives: 51 OTU

The Broodbank Collection – Catalogue now available!

At long last, I have catalogued the various items in my grandfather’s collection. You can see a complete list of all archive material by following this link.

This is still a bit of a work in progress, as there are currently no links to images etc, but in time this page should allow researchers to view the material in my collection.

As ever, if you want to get in contact about this or any other page on the site, please use the Contact page.


No 24 Course – Group Photo

Post updated with the names of the airmen in the photo transcribed to make research easier.

Broody's war

Here is a photo of the members of No 24 Course, 51 OTU. Broody is 4th row, 4th from the right. He is incorrectly named as Sgt. A J Broadbent!

24_51OTU_smaller No.21 Course, 51 OTU. RAF Cranfield
August 1943

Back Row: Sgt.J.V.Burleton, Sgt.E.A.Johnson, Sgt.D.Maddock, Sgt.J.D.Walker, Sgt.L.E.Cable, Sgt.W.T.Cox, Sgt.F.E.Treble, Sgt.B.W.S.Graham, Sgt.J.L.Coster, Sgt.J,B.Dunford, Sgt.C.J.S.Mumford.

4th Row: Sgt.R.P.Belsey, Sgt.J.K.Goslin, Sgt.J.R.Rae, Sgt.A.F.Beckett, Sgt.L.C.A.Wall, Sgt.W.E.Tofts, Sgt.W.J.Hutchins, Sgt.W.E.Seckington, Sgt.A.J.Broodbank, Sgt.D.G.Thomas, Sgt.R.O.Symon.

3rd Row: Sgt.R.Caistor, Sgt.P.D.Ratcliffe, Sgt.J.G.D.Hislop, Sgt.G.H.Vaux, Sgt.R.E.Evans, Sgt.A.C.Odd, Sgt.H.W.Hoskins, Sgt.R.A.Pargeter, Sgt.A.Lothian, Sgt.A.Halliday, Sgt.C.F.Adams, Sgt.J.Gordon.

2nd Row: Sgt.D.J.Carter, Sgt.K.Dutton, Sgt.R.G.Hill, Sgt.W.S.H.Cole, Sgt.M.A.Clough, Sgt.H.Jones, Sgt.R.G.B.Pickles, Sgt.L.G.Mayhew, Sgt.D.B.Smith, Sgt.P.J.O’Malley, Sgt.R.O.Jones, Sgt.A.M.Webster

Front Row: Sgt.D.E.Whitehead, F/Sgt.W.Alderton, P/O.J.C.Horlock, P/O.A.G.Kirk, P/O.K.H.Bernau, P/O.V.H.C.Hannawin, F/Lt.E.C.Cox, F/O.E.W.Parry, P/O.W.R.Coggins, W/O.S.E.Lucas, P/O.O.S Dawes, Sgt.W.Bone, Sgt.H.G.Baits

I would love to hear from anyone who spots an ancestor in this photo.

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09/iv/44 – Last flight in THE MIGHTY “E” The First

9th April 14:20
DH Mosquito XII HK227 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
A/I Completely U/S

DH Mosquito XIII HK532 ME-U [?] (A/I Mk.VIII)
NFT & Exercise IV
Head-on interception with mild evasive

After just over 6 months of faithful service, today saw Broody’s last flight in THE MIGHTY “E” The First, his regular Mk.XII Mosquito. From 488(NZ) Squadron, HK227 went on to 51 OTU (where Broody came from prior to his posting at 488).

Sadly, less than a year later on 09/iii/45, HK227 crashed on landing after a training exercise at RAF Cranfield with the loss of 2 Czechoslovakian airmen, Pilot W/O František RAŠKA, and his Navigator, Sgt. Karel HÁJEK (MM).

By this time, Broody was stationed at RAF Cranfield, and may well have witnessed the final demise of his first regular Operational aircraft.

Operational Training comes to an end

On 30th August 1943, Broody passed the Observer (Radio) Training Course. The Instructor’s sign-off records the assessment as “Average“, and comments:

“Short conversion course – Needs practice

otu sign off

So with all training complete, Broody’s next posting (after a short period of leave) is to 488(NZ) Squadron RAF at Bradwell Bay.


24th August 09:15
Bristol Beaufighter I V8353
Pilot: W/Cdr Hamley AFC
Navigator: Self
Ciné-Gun Exercise X
Cannon Exercise VIA
Practice attacks on Martinet & drogue – shooting
Gunsight U/S – no hits


23rd August 11:35
Bristol Beaufighter I T4625
Pilot: W/Cdr Hamley AFC
Navigator: Self
Ciné-Gun Exercises XII
Excellent trip! – bomber affiliation with violently-evading Wellington. 75ft of film taken


22nd August 10:35
Bristol Beaufighter I R2149
Pilot: W/Cdr Hamley AFC
Navigator: Self
Ciné-Gun Exercise V
Drogue Shooting


51 OTU – RAF Twinwood Farm – No.2 Squadron – B Flight

20th August 14:25
Bristol Beaufighter I X7683
Pilot: W/Cdr Hamley AFC
Navigator: Self
Ciné-Gun Exercises II & III
Simple deflection for 180mph & 300mph target
Very sick!


13th August 01:35
Bristol Beaufighter VI EL164 (A/I Mk.VII)
Pilot: W/Cdr Hamley AFC
Navigator (R): Self
5 Contacts – 5 Visuals – 5 Murders.
2 Whitleys: 1 Wellington: 1 Beaufighter: 1 Fortress

Move to RAF Twinwood Farm – No 3 Squadron, 51 OTU

Training has now moved to RAF Twinwood Farm with No.3 Squadron. This element of training covered exercises for both Air Interception (A/I) and Gunnery – Broody was, of course, preparing to go to war and defend Britain from attacks from the Luftwaffe. In the flight logs, these exercises are simply listed as a number.

In the journal, Broody has recorded what specific evolution each exercise covered.

AI exercises gunnery exercises