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RAF Bovingdon - 1960s

Old 13th Jun 2020, 07:19
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Accident Bovingdon based HP Halifax 5th December 1947

https://dyserth.com/halifax.html



Liverpool Echo Saturday 6th December 1947 (BNA)

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Old 13th Jun 2020, 07:50
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Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops
Very interesting. I am related to the Kerfoot Davies family, Jean was a cousin of the same age. My first school was at Dyserth in 1943 when we lived in Rhyl with my grandfather during the war. In 1946 my mother returned to teaching as my father had been killed in Tunisia in 1943 and we were posted to NW Italy in December 1946. On our return to UK in 1948 I went up the mountain at Dyserth and saw the bits of wreckage of the Halifax that was still left up there. Very sad.
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Old 15th Jun 2020, 11:55
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Location Queries

The First image is titled thus: Television Equipment Bound for Caracas
A ton-and-a-half of Marconi equipment is loaded onto a Flying Dutchman aircraft at Bovingdon Airport from where it will be flown to Caracas for the launch of Buenos Aires' first television station. (Photo by Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)




I've always viewed this image with some suspicion. Said to be dated 13 March 1953. Date seems ok. Marconi shipment is being sent to Televisa which was Venezuela's first Commercial (not State) TV Company. First Televisa Broadcast August 1953. Reference to Buenos Aries does not inspire confidence. Point of manufacture Marconi Factory Chelmsford ? KLM known to have used Bovingdon as a diversion airport during early fifties. Thought unlikely above is a diversion due presence of publicity photographer. Were DC4s used on London - Amsterdam service where presumably this shipment would be transferred onto a KLM Caribbean Service?

I was looking at images of Avro Yorks when I came across this:



LAC/Skyways WW468 (G-AHFG) circa 1952-3. Photo credit Dave Welch.


This image is said to have been taken at Bovingdon but I was suspicious about the building in the background which can be seen under the nose. I am not familiar with such a building at Bovingdon, perhaps some of our old-timers are? Another query on this photograph is what seems to be the tail of a KLM DC4, extreme left. Your opinions appreciated!

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Old 16th Jun 2020, 00:25
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LF 363

A bit of a drift (although I suspect 363 was a regular B visitor) but great to see those images of her when she was the sole Hurricane left in the RAF. Interesting comments re the 'incidents' with the Spitfires but the high profile one was when a MK 16 bellied in on a Bromley sports ground which prompted the cessation of letting the type fly over London.(well covered in a suitable forum thread some years ago)
However what is interesting is how 363 managed to survive long after the type had been withdrawn from normal use.
I did read somewhere that this was because S Vincent had managed to 'arrange' a Hurricane for his use with the help of Hawkers but have never seen an article that expanded on this. SV had flown a Hurricane during the BoB
My own visit to Bovingdon was after hitching a lift there (Devon from Northolt) as a Cadet in the 60's. The icing on the cake was on entering one of the hangars to find a couple of Mosquitoes (633 Squadron) with the cockpit doors down and ladders in situ,.(we never did get our lunch on that trip !!!) .
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 08:23
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POBJOY - This thread survives on drift...........A bit more can be found here - click on LF363.

https://books.google.co.uk/books/abo...AJ&redir_esc=y
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 10:19
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Surely the Mk 16 landing on the cricket ground after engine failure was during the first BoB flypast over London, when an awful lot of Fighter Command was involved. The actual cricket stumps it hit were preserved in Bentley Priory OM when I was there in 1969, together with pictures of the pilot (a Wing Commander?), aircraft and associated other memorabilia of the incident and photographs of the sky apparently full of Spitfires, Hurricanes and others (but no Defiants!)
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 16:20
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Bromey Cricket Pitch (slight thread creep)

Originally Posted by Shackman
Surely the Mk 16 landing on the cricket ground after engine failure was during the first BoB flypast over London, when an awful lot of Fighter Command was involved. The actual cricket stumps it hit were preserved in Bentley Priory OM when I was there in 1969, together with pictures of the pilot (a Wing Commander?), aircraft and associated other memorabilia of the incident and photographs of the sky apparently full of Spitfires, Hurricanes and others (but no Defiants!)
The 'arrival of SL 574 (After the London fly past) was due to a fuel tank selection mishap (or to be more correct NOT SELECTED) and it bellied in during the lunch time break hence no players involved. The pilot who was an AVM got out and waved to 363 (they were both en route to Biggin Hill). This prompted no Merlins over London for some time. That machine is now in the USA. One of the issues with the MK 16's was that 'some' had a second tank behind the cockpit. This could cause a couple of problems for pilots not used to them. If the rear tank was full and the front less so it increased the chance of a ground loop. For those used to the standard fuel system there was always the chance of a mis selection causing an engine failure..
We had a 'substantial' thread about this some time ago and it cleared a lot of the myths that had grown up around the incident. AVM Maguire went on to head up 11 Group after having originally participated in the BoB, and fighting the Japs in Singapore. He was only captured because he insisted on giving his seat on the last transport out of Singapore to a wounded pilot.
Gets my vote for leadership. I think the record shows that there was only ever one Hurricane in the annual BoB flypast post war (363) (but several Spitfires)
Would love to hear how SV got his Hurricane (North Weald) apparently there were a couple of 'hulks' around there at the time used as a spares grab.
To get back to BV on my Devon visit the burnt remains (with engines) of a Mossie were still on the grass after 633 filming.
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 17:07
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Thanks for the update PJ. It wsa a long time ago - I wonder what happened to the stumps when BP closed?
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 20:31
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An ex colleague of mine witnessed the Spitfire's arrival on the cricket pitch as a small boy - he was amazed that not only did I know the story but that I'd also seen the Spitfire in San Diego; allegedly it still sports a slight dent in the leading edge where it hit the stumps!
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 21:20
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Originally Posted by treadigraph
An ex colleague of mine witnessed the Spitfire's arrival on the cricket pitch as a small boy - he was amazed that not only did I know the story but that I'd also seen the Spitfire in San Diego; allegedly it still sports a slight dent in the leading edge where it hit the stumps!
The pilot probably didn't have time to bail out.
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 21:47
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Perhaps it was a crease rather than a dent in the wing...
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 23:00
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Not stumped for an answer

The Stumps went to Halton. SL 574 still has the three marks on the wing, Bromley is built up and Maguire was low. His arrival did little damage to the airframe (it was on its wheels the next day) but the prop was shattered.There is a wonderful image of the ongoing cricket match going on after lunch with 574 on its belly near the boundary. Peter Arnold had some great shots. There was quite a debate on whether the stumps could have caused dents in the leading edge of the wing and it got quite heated. Considering they would have been impacted at about 50 mph, and images were produced that showed the repairs in progress the 'non believers' as I described them would not have it, got even more annoyed when I suggested a test with someone hitting them on their head with a suitable stump and then asking them if it hurt (when they woke up that is)
Location is unchanged but now used by Millwall Football club for training (Calmont Road). To end on a BV point I revisited the Airfield decades later when they were building the prison. The Control Tower was looking battered but still there, and I climbed up to the balcony where Harry Andrews made his famous comment (You cant kill a Squadron) 633 that was. When they made the film Jeff Hawkes was one of the Mossie drivers, and apparently as related to me by one of the ground crew always came back late from shoots having used up his fuel beating up various airfields and ships in the North Sea !!!
Just need someone to tell me about SV getting his Hurricane at North Weald !!! Come on chaps someone must know.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 07:15
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Originally Posted by POBJOY
To get back to BV on my Devon visit the burnt remains (with engines) of a Mossie were still on the grass after 633 filming.
You must have visited a few days after me then; that Mossie was parked outside waiting to be 'destroyed' next day when I was there!
And of course the same scene was used in 'Mosquito Squadron' shot at Bovingdon about 5 years later.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 08:02
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Photo credit G Simons Airfield Focus
( Later) Has the subtlety of the above gone wide - or are we all at tea?

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Old 17th Jun 2020, 08:35
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CHEV During school hols (I was a Cadet at Kenley) I used to get a lift or hitch hike to various airfields one of which was Northolt (quite a hike).because a comms flight was based there (may have been 32 Sdn). Anyway a quick visit to 'ops' would reveal what was going where and did they have a spare seat. One of the odd things was you had to go and actually get a seat from a store as the machines Devons / Pembrokes also carried freight if req. Having arranged your flight you then presented yourself at the flight line and fitted the seat. I recall that training flights were our usual rides, and sometimes you were dropped off in the middle of an airfield somewhere whilst the crew did practice single engine work. Anyway on this day there was a choice of Bovingdon or Jurby in the IOM. AS I was not geared up for an 'away day' I opted for Bov which was only just up the road, and as alluded prooved to be a great trip. I think 633 had just finished filming but the buildings were still covered in cammo nets and the burnt wreck and the two flyers were still there. I dimly recall both 'flyers' had painted over Perspex noses so would have been the ex Exeter CAAU machines. Both Kenley and Biggin had finished as RAF flying base's by then so I could never get a lift back home, but being in Cadet uniform always managed to hitch hike back.
On another epic we went to ETPS Farnborough and scrounged a ride in their Viscount where we deposited on the ground at Boscombe whist the drivers did EFTO runs. On the way back having made coffee in the galley I then got to sit in the right hand seat and 'poled' it for ten minutes which was fun. On another Farnborough jaunt I went on the 'Bedford Ferry' which was an evening trip to collect boffins, and my first experience of night flight. These were great days to be a Cadet and everyone was so helpful to get you up in the air. The icing on the cake was the purchase of a meal ticket for a shilling (20p) which enabled you to use the Airmans mess and eat like a lord. for the day !!!. In my case I was also a staff Cadet at 615 GS Kenley so w-ends were wall to wall activity. Having been part of the Cadet system when it was lead by capable and enthusiastic staff with the 'AIR' element paramount, you can imagine my horror to see how they destroyed the Gliding system and ended up being led by completely clueless people who had no idea what they had lost. One hopes the new Cmt can pull things together and get back on track.
Northolt eventually got a Hurricane gate guard which was a reminder of the fantastic Poles who flew from there.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:54
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a shilling (20p)
A somewhat inflated translation. 1s = 12d = 5p
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 16:10
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363

Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops
POBJOY - This thread survives on drift...........A bit more can be found here - click on LF363.

https://books.google.co.uk/books/abo...AJ&redir_esc=y
O-OPS All has been revealed (thanks) and not only did the book confirm that Hawkers did indeed give the machine a good sort out for SV but also that 363 had visited BV more than once.
excellent result and in fact the true story of how 363 'survived' is well worth reading.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 21:40
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OXO cricket ground, Beckenham

Originally Posted by treadigraph
An ex colleague of mine witnessed the Spitfire's arrival on the cricket pitch as a small boy - he was amazed that not only did I know the story but that I'd also seen the Spitfire in San Diego; allegedly it still sports a slight dent in the leading edge where it hit the stumps!
I was a small boy in Beckenham in 1959 (I did not witness the landing) and grew up there. The Spitfire landing on the cricket pitch was part of local folk lore and my Dad knew about, it having been with 1 AEF at Biggin Hill around that time.

I've tried posting a link to a facebook page about it with pictures but it disappears when posted. If you google - Spitfire that crash landed on the Oxo Cricket Ground you should find it.

Last edited by WB627; 17th Jun 2020 at 21:48. Reason: problem posting link
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 08:19
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 10:31
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Very British just add a teapot and some cucumber sandwiches. Looks like the local PFA strut are deciding what instruments to acquire.
Maguire was a tad unlucky, another 5 mins he would have made Biggin.
I remember the 'event' on the national news, it was 1959 and the Sunday after the Biggin 'At Home' day. 363 was not so lucky decades later when it suffered camshaft failure en route Jersey and pancaked at Wittering where it was consumed by fire. It had been the last flying Hurricane held on RAF charge since the war until joined by PZ 865 (last Hurricane built) when donated by Hawkers. I was at the Biggin At Home the day before (age 12) memorable for me by being allowed to fire a Bren gun at the butts for a contribution into the RAFA box. (imagine that happening now). Bovingdon still available for landing PPR as part of one runway owned by local farm.
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