As our Dad Natapu Mara 30.766 noted in his “04 Flying Log Book” that he had spent time in the “Harwell box training 16 hours” something I hardly noticed until I realised what it was, please read on.
The Harwell Box was exactly that, it was used as an on ground training for Wireless Operators. It was designed at RAF Harwell in 1940 hence the name.
It was built to duplicate actually being in the aircraft, a confined area, with all the necessary radio equipment to simulate actual reception conditions including a system of beacons to get their bearings.
The instructor could during a drill also use a loudspeaker to replicate engine noises even machine gun fire, to distract them, all this to give the trainee a taste of what it would be like in reality, at times they would also wear an oxygen mask!
I have read comments online that it was called the “torture Chamber”
I can only imagine what Dad endured as we have to remember his first languages were Tahitian and French! Yes they had five months learning English before commencing training. Still an excellent achievement!
© Paul L T Mara 2020