PT15 VT-104 MATCHED PAIR IN RAF TRANSIT CASE EX RAF MANBY
Well, here is something I have never seen before. Its a metal transit case for two valves. Nestling inside are two PT15 triodes - the well known output valves for the T1154. Curiously, the internals are yellow felt-baize as seen on many Army, ZA valve transit cases but this one, sized for fitment of a pair of PT15 is definately RAF as evidenced by the stencilled script.
Whether or not this is an official RAF sanctioned piece of kit or a pride of ownership item by a W/T operator, I couldn't say but I'll bet this interesting item could tell a tale or two. Again, we wonder did it fly or was it a ground based item - possibly the latter judging by its weight!!! The stencilled writing on the top cover is suitably crude - just like RAF labelling and it is covered in some sort of dark varnish/Cosmoline in a rather rough manner which smacks of wartime labours being functional rather than aesthetic.
Interestingly we had never heard of Manby but a quick internet search reveals that Manby airfield in Lincolnshire, officially opened in August 1938 ashome to No.1 Air Armament School, (AAS) training Armament Officers, Air Gunners and Air bombers.
By 1941, Manby had it’s first officially known defence squadron, No. 2782, with it’s personnel manning various machine guns, 20mm cannons and Bofors. On the 21st December 1940 the defence squadron at Manby were credited with shooting down a Ju88, which shortly after crashed at South Cockerington. Unbeknown to the personnel on the ground, the Bristol Beaufighter about to intercept the Ju88 was being piloted by Flt Lt Guy Gibson.
In July 1944 Manby became the Empire Central Armament School (ECAS) responsible for training Bombing Leaders, Bombing Instructors and Armament Instructors. Due to the expansion in role new aircraft in the form of Avro Lancasters, Bristol Blenheims and Vickers Wellingtons arrived.
Today the former RAF Manby is a thriving Industrial Estate and many of the old buildings including the control tower are still visible today. Most of the C-type hangars, administration buildings, messes and barracks also still survive to this day.
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