Cecil "Kip" Combes trained on Course 23 at Falcon Field starting on 5 September 1944 and graduating on 1 April 1945.
Kip volunteered for the RAF in 1941. After basic training in England he should have travelled from Liverpool to South Africa for his air training. When he was about to board the ship to South Africa he was redirected to board the Queen Elizabeth which was sailing to Monckton in Canada. From there he travelled on to Falcon Field in Arizona. The ship that sailed from Liverpool to South Africa was torpedoed.
Once in Arizona he was found to be a Scarlet Fever carrier and had to be isolated from his course and wait for the next one. He then missed a second course due to a leg haemorrhage. Kip was sent to recuperate in Hollywood where the community was well known for opening their homes to service people. He stayed with Richard Day who at the time was MGM's leading art director and lived next to Barbara Stanwyck and Ronald Coleman. He was with them for some time enjoying Beverly Hills and the Coconut Grove.
Finally, he went back to complete his training on Course 23 at Falcon Field. During his time there he flew 150 hours over the Grand Canyon.
Units served with
The 'Arnold Scheme' (1941-43) and the British Flying Training Schools (1941-45), with the co-operation of Squadron Leader Mills DFC and President Roosevelt, enabled the setting up of flight training in the USA for RAF pilots to train alongside American...