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 Post subject: Airfield visits
PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug 2007 15:28 pm 
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Today I went to visit a few WWII airfields in the south of Northamptonshire 8-) First up was Silverstone :o Since my last visit this has become like Fort Knox :x The gatekeeper was not very helpful and would not allow access :evil: so a disappointing start :cry:
Next stop was RAF Croughton :arrow: I knew the USAF still occupy the site, I last went there about 33 years ago and was met by two well-armed sentries - so did not expect access :( I was greeted by quite a helpful chap who, despite denying access, recommended I visit their website at something Heyford dot org :idea: He also allowed me to take pictures of their gate guardians :arrow:
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Republic Aviation F-105G "Thunderchief" or "Thud" 62-4428 Wild Weasel
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He didn't tell me what this one was, just that it had come from Upper Heyford :wink:
Another guard came out and asked to see the pictures I'd taken (I suppose he was checking that I'd not taken any unsuitable/classified pix :P and commented that he liked my camera :D
From there I went to Hinton-In-The-Hedges. This remains (albeit smaller) a civilian airfield :arrow:
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The last picture is of the Pillbox at the entrance with a pagoda-shaped observation tower atop (in an advanced state of disrepair :cry: ).
My final visit was to Chipping Warden. Although the runways, taxiways and some buildings remain, half of the field has returned to agriculture and the remainder has been industrialised :roll:
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I hope you enjoy my little indulgence, and if anyone can identify those aircraft types that I haven't, I'll post them in the Reference section :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug 2007 16:02 pm 
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Hi Ratch
Some cool pics there. It looks like we were both doing similar things recently (see the 306th BG Thurleigh thread).

Did you know that 'Twinwoods' is at Clapham (between Thurleigh and Bedford). This is the airfield that Glenn Miller dissapeared from in the Norseman that was taking him to France. The control tower has been restored and now houses the Glen Miller museum.
http://www.twinwoodevents.com/

http://www.twinwoodairfield.co.uk/


Also the other week I took my car for it's MOT at Ashwell in Herts. A couple of miles up the road is Steeple Morden which was a 8th Fighter base. There is a memorial at the roadside including a P51 Prop. The base is mainly fields now but there is a map showing where the runways were and one or two buildings that still stand.
http://www.steeplemorden.com/SteepleMordenAirfield.htm

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug 2007 16:06 pm 
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:? The aircraft at Croughton is a F100 Super Sabre "Triple Zilch", not much into 'civie' aircraft though.

Robin.

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug 2007 16:10 pm 
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Hi Brian,
Yes I knew of the Glenn Miller connection, and working from Bedford, I'd been told about the museum (although not its exact location) :wink: One of the guys had been metal-detecting at Thurliegh, and gave me some spent cartridges he thought were from a B-17 :P Sounds like its well worth a visit :D

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug 2007 16:12 pm 
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Robin wrote:
The aircraft at Croughton is a F100 Super Sabre "Triple Zilch"


Cheers Robin 8-)

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PostPosted: Tue 07 Aug 2007 19:13 pm 
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Today I visited
Chelveston
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Grafton Underwood

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Polebrook
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King's Cliffe
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Wittering
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Spanhoe
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and Harrington
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I took many more pix, if you'd like to see more of a specific location, just ask :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue 07 Aug 2007 19:29 pm 
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I remember years ago there used to be a small display of static aircraft on the edge of Cardiff Wales Airport, the now defunct Cardiff Wales Air museum.

The pride of place went to a Vulcan, with 6 or 7 other assorted static displays.

As I recall, there was no entry fee, and often no staff. You just wandered in and looked in awe at the Vulcan!.

I do recall there was a minor scandal when some young lads got in late at night and broke into the Vulcan to play in the cockpit. The subsequent investagation found that the pilot and co pilot ejector seats were still live! Fortuanately none of the young tykes pulled the handles and the airspace of South Wales was free of rapidly ascending and decending schoolboys!.


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PostPosted: Wed 08 Aug 2007 13:33 pm 
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I was at Polebrook may years ago,and it definately has an atmosphere about the place,not unpleasant but you do tend to stop and bow your head out of respect.I have some old photos somewhere ,you have made me want to go and dig out the old albums :)

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PostPosted: Wed 08 Aug 2007 14:18 pm 
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These places have a certain aura about them :nod:
As you might have guessed, this has been research into my Northamptonshire Project :wink: I have still to visit Deenethorpe, Desborough and Husbands Bosworth. I have a rough idea where Peterborough Airfield was situated :scratch: Collyweston has merged with Wittering (so no access there) :( I don't think there is anything left at Denton :shrug: (this was a grass, Relief Landing Ground for Sywell), and although I've been to Sywell several times recently, I will have to go back and take some pictures 8-)

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PostPosted: Mon 27 Aug 2007 18:38 pm 
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Today I found Husband's Bosworth, 14 OTU were stationed there with Wellingtons

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The active part of the airfield is actually in Leicestershire, (the part in Northamptonshire was returned to farming) and is the home of the Coventry Gliding Club.
I then went to Desborough, wartime home of 84 OTU

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Again, mainly Wellingtons flew from here. I was surprised at how much had survived considering it has returned to agriculture :o Most of the perimeter taxiway remains and sections of the three Class A runways are easily discernable 8-)
From there I went to Deenethorpe

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The 401st BG were based here and have erected a suitable memorial. In the third picture we are looking down runway 05 (the longest one) which is still used by visitors to the Corus Steel Works at Corby. Runway 10 goes off to the right (unfortunately it's been lifted) to form a V. The third part of the A formation has also gone :(
My last stop was at Sywell, where No. 7 EFTS were stationed

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The Aerodrome has been in continual use since 1927, and the original tower remains in use. I also popped into the Museum :arrow:

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The last picture is of a 1:72 C-47 Skytrain in the markings of the 309th Troop Carrier Squadron, 315th Troop Carrier Group based at Spanhoe - I'm after these decals :twisted:

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PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug 2011 21:19 pm 
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Super thread this Ratch,certainly opens your eyes a bit to what's out there. I'd love to do a tour of all the bases in the UK,be some ride but well worth the effort. We have a few here in Lincolnshire,i will have to have a look around. Thanks for showing us these few.

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 Post subject: Re: Airfield visits
PostPosted: Fri 22 May 2015 15:05 pm 
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Today I went back to Grafton Underwood to see a fly-past by Sally B
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This was something to do with the 384th Bomb Group Memorial.
The road that intersects the end of the runway was blocked off - the white bus in the distance is parked about where the Memorial is situated. Sally B did half a dozen or more circuits :Pilot:

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri 22 May 2015 16:03 pm 
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buzz973 wrote:
We have a few here in Lincolnshire,i will have to have a look around

I know of 3 ex-airfields in the Lincolnshire area and have visited them. The main one being Hibaldstow (still used for parachute jumps). The second being close by at Kirton-in-Lindsey (Kirton Lindsey) and was still in use last time I was over that way (about 8 years ago) but not for aircraft. The other is at Skellingthorpe (Birchwood), although nothing remains there as it is now a housing estate and leisure complex.

I've also been to the Sherburn-in-Elmet airfield, which housed a production facility for Fairey aircraft. The site is used today by the Sherburn aeroclub. I've also visited the Elvington airfield and once delivered to one of the old radar/tower sites that had been converted into a house.

I'll have to look into old airfield sites in Yorkshire and possibly visit some some once I get transport and a decent camera.

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 Post subject: Re: Airfield visits
PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar 2016 21:35 pm 
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Can I resurrect this thread :D
This was a favourite hobby of mine a few years back. I bought a book titled Airfields of the 8th Then and Now by Roger Freeman. It is well out of date now as originally published in the 1970s so a lot of what was there is no longer there.
I still travel up the A140 to Norwich passing my all time favourite, RAF Eye or USAAF Station 134.
Here in the early 1990s the main runway was still full length and in good(ish) condition. I would sit my son on my lap and let him take control of his 'B17' and floor it up to around 50mph.
Now the airfield is mostly industrial buildings and only a little accessible runway remains, but now badly pockmarked though the hard standing on the other side of the road is still there.
Lavenham no longer exists as an airfield, I spoke to the owner in the 1990s who told me the council would take the land if he did not return it to agriculture, though he has dedicated the control tower to the memory of those who flew from there.
One of the saddest things of all was at RAF Mendlesham or USAAF Station 156 not far from Eye. The bronze memorial plaque in memory of those who gave their lives was stolen around 2010. The memorial was set back from the road and quite secluded to passers by in vehicles but I noticed this and reported it, but the police said it had probably gone for scrap. At the hight of these thefts people were digging out the lead lettering from memorials and grave stones just for a bit of cash.
Now it looks like Mildenhall may be on the cards for closure with Lakenheath just up the road, do we need two front line bases these days?
Great thread, enjoyed looking at the pics. Thanks, John.

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