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RAF Bovingdon - 1960s

Old 9th Jul 2022, 09:46
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Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops View Post
I've long searched for a decent photograph of The French Air Attache's Fouga Magister at Bovingdon or indeed anywhere. I've come across this image taken at Glasgow in 1975 of The Air Attache's runabout (rumoured to be on a golfing mission)
Now why go to Glasgow for golf? Surely Prestwick or Leuchars would provide better courses.
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Old 9th Jul 2022, 10:39
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Now why go to Glasgow for golf? Surely Prestwick or Leuchars would provide better courses.
From Fighter Control Website:





Glasgow 1975. Photo Credit Lewis Grant with thanks.

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Old 10th Jul 2022, 11:57
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Not being a golfing person, my sole experience at Glasgow during my 9 month stay in 1972 was the 9 hole municipal course in Bellahouston Park.
I can see something in the back seat of the Magister but my little 11" screen doesn't show it clearly - looks more like a person.
By the way, when Bovingdon closed to powered traffic at the end of '68, did the Magister move to Northolt?

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Old 10th Jul 2022, 12:36
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I Googled 'French Air Attache Golfer' and this came up - I'm not sure that he is our man ! ( But he was French and a Military Attache ). Incidentally in 1974 I believe the French Air Attache was a Colonel Perrotte and that he was a regular visitor in his Fouga Magister to Baldonnel in the period 74-76. Later, on reflection, perhaps his visits to Ireland were related to the purchase and introduction of the Fouga Magisters which entered service with the Irish Air Corps in 1975 ?


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Old 14th Jul 2022, 12:25
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SPARE TIME.

I've lots of time thinking of my youth in the 1950s now that I'm stuck in a care home bed.I often went to Bovingdon both as a CCF cadet and a spotter.I flew in Ansons and also a Devon.I've a vague memory of being on standby to fly in a Meteor T7 if the weather cleared.I flew in an Anson right hand cockpit seat and can rememember priming the engines.I also flew in a couple of Chipmunks although not from Bovingdon.
From a spotting point of view there were always the C47s and occasional Packets.A Coastal Command Neptune was a visitor along with Shackletons,Coastal Command was based at Northwood.Unfortunately I do not have any pictures.

Colin
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Old 14th Jul 2022, 12:44
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Originally Posted by KING6024 View Post
I've lots of time thinking of my youth in the 1950s now that I'm stuck in a care home bed.I often went to Bovingdon both as a CCF cadet and a spotter.I flew in Ansons and also a Devon.I've a vague memory of being on standby to fly in a Meteor T7 if the weather cleared.I flew in an Anson right hand cockpit seat and can rememember priming the engines.I also flew in a couple of Chipmunks although not from Bovingdon.
From a spotting point of view there were always the C47s and occasional Packets.A Coastal Command Neptune was a visitor along with Shackletons,Coastal Command was based at Northwood.Unfortunately I do not have any pictures.

Colin
White Waltham was the closest AEF although there were one or two Chipmunks based at Halton for flying the brats and for glider towing..
'KING6024'? Would that be 'King' as in GWR?
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Old 14th Jul 2022, 13:12
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Hi Chevvron, yes I'm a member of the 6024 Preservation Society,I was on the main line Support Crew until 2012.If you are interested 6024.com is worth a look.
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Old 14th Jul 2022, 14:40
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I once had the pleasure of doing a 'driving course' in a GWR pannier tank on the Swindon and Cricklade railway.
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Old 14th Jul 2022, 22:43
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An airworthy Fouga Magister used to live at North Weald in the 80's.
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Old 15th Jul 2022, 07:58
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Drifting with Disney


Orfordness Photo Derelict Places






I found this on the internet while digging for Disney but have no idea of the origin of the document which presumably at one stage was quite sensitive.........





The Disney Rocket Assisted Bunker Busting Bomb - conceived and designed by Commander (later Captain) Edward Terrell RNVR in 1943 as a counter to Nazi U Boat and E Boat Operations from the European Atlantic Seaboard. An Admiralty Project which initially suffered obfuscation from The Air Ministry amongst others, the bomb was first used operationally by the 92nd Bomb Group of the USAAF in early 1945. At that time The Royal Air Force was not equipped with suitable aircraft capable of carrying Disneys externally so the Americans who had always shown an interest in the Project adopted the weapon for use by the Boeing B17 Flying Fortress. The Initial trials at Orfordness which were to test the stability of the bomb whilst in its supersonic trajectory were flown from Bovingdon in the spring and early summer of 1944. The Bomb had a Length of 16'6" - Diameter of 17" at tail - 15" at body. Weight 4500lbs. To be dropped from 20,00 feet with the 19 (3inch diameter) Rocket Motors activating at 5000 feet. It was calculated that using the Norden sight somewhere between five and seven hits on a shelter/bunker could be achieved out of every hundred bombs released.

Unfortunately no location is given for this photograph but it could well be Bovingdon. On the left is Lieutenant-Commander J.B. Murray a pilot of the Fleet Air Arm and assistant to Terrell who is centre with an RAF Armaments Officer (un-named ) to the right. I can only speculate that this individual might be Flight Lieutenant F.C.Cowdrey who was at Bovingdon and whose medals were sold a few years ago.





Bovingdon 1944. Cass Hough, Admiral Sir Charles Kennedy-Purvis (A strong Proponent for Disney), Edward Terrell, Col Al Key Trials Pilot, Col Ben Kelsey Test Pilot and Chief of the Operating Engineering Section of 8th AF HQ Bovingdon.





Algene Key was one of the Key Barnstorming brothers. A short film here of their 27 Day flight endurance record in 1935 at Meridian, Miss in a Curtiss Robin J-1 Deluxe:


Ben Kelsey learnt to fly when he was 14 at Roosevelt Field, Long Island.


I noticed that Woodbridge was mentioned somewhere as being involved in the initial bombing trials. However I can find no evidence that the airfield was used apart from a mention by Terrell that he was on board a laden B17 with Al Key taking off from an airfield near Woodbridge when due to a malfunction a violent swing occurred and the takeoff was abandoned. What does transpire is that Terrell based himself and his team in the town of Woodbridge for the duration of the tests at nearby Orfordness.



Woodbridge Emergency Strip






However the Bomb and Ballistics Unit of The Ministry of Aircraft Production arrived at Woodbridge Aerodrome in May 1944 with a couple of Lancasters and a Halifax for testing Bunker Busting Bombs at Orfordness. Initially all accommodation and admin was under canvas at the side of the vast landing strip. The strip first used in July 1943 achieved 4,120 landings by June 1945. Some interesting footage on link below.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ect/1060021135




Ballistics Observation Tower Orfordness





The first Disney trial did not go well. The aiming point was in the sea just off King's Marsh on the Orfordness Range however the first Bomb detached itself from the B17 and rocketed to earth narrowly avoiding two farm workers and their Fordson Tractor whilst the second Disney went off course and plunged too far out to sea. Fortunately the weapons were being tested without warheads.
Trials were much delayed by weather, a minimum clear ceiling of 20,00 feet being required. The B17 was escorted by two armed fighters. Disney was declared stable in its supersonic state and produced a most horrible howl which would put the wind up anyone. This stage of the trials was concluded satisfactorily by June 1944. A very good static detonation was achieved on the range at Shoeburyness and development continued until the end of 1944. The only live demonstration was given to Officials and sceptical RAF Brass by Ben Kelsey who flew from Bovingdon to Ashley Walk Range in The New Forest where the crew achieved an almost pin-point targeted explosion which caused the earth to shake.

Video follows of 92nd Bomb Group Podington , Bedfordshire.








Schnellbootbunker 2 Ijmuiden Photo LandmarkScout





92nd BG attack Ijmuiden Schnellbootbunker 2 on March 14 1945. Nine Aircraft bomb in elements of three. Four rocket plumes seen indicate that two rockets have failed to fire. At the end of the inlet bottom left you can see Schnellbootbunker 1 which was abandoned after heavy bombing at the end of 1944 (617 squadron paid a visit on December 12th 1944) and both facilities suffered very heavy bombing. Schnellbootbunker 2 was first bombed with Disneys by nine B17s of 92 BG on February 10th 1945. 'Photo reconnaissance later showed that only one bomb had hit but the damage seemed encouraging' (Freeman 'The Mighty Eighth'). However Terrell's account of this raid reads: 'The first element consisting of three aircraft, recorded hits from 20,000 feet. An area of concrete of about 8550 feet and over twelve feet deep was completely destroyed and vanished. The bombardiers reported flames coming out of the entrance to the shelters, indicating that the bombs had penetrated and exploded inside.' Of the results of the bombing on March 14th Terrell writes in his book that of 18 bombs dropped, 'six struck the target' of which one partly penetrated 'Eighteen and a half feet of concrete but failed to explode , remaining embedded in the cement flooring.' After Liberation this Disney which was still 'live' was detonated in situ by Terrell's party with Scientists present to record the effects of Blast and Fragmentation within walls of concrete. One really cannot be sure how many Disneys hit the main bunker perhaps at best two and more likely only one.
Further Reading: Admiralty Brief by Edward Terrell O.B.E. Q.C. Published by Harrap 1958.



The Schnellbootbunker2 Ijmuiden date unknown but probably at the closing stages of the war.









Edward Terrell at the V2 Structure at Watten, Pas De Calais in 1945. This facility used for Disney target practice by the 92BG after the allied invasion and prior to the attacks at Ijmuiden Netherlands. Penetrated here to a depth of 21 Feet.

Last edited by OUAQUKGF Ops; 21st Jul 2022 at 07:44. Reason: Correction bombing results.
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Old 16th Jul 2022, 12:41
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If you are not bored by Bunkers you might find this of interest....

..
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 13:31
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Plucked From The Ether


Whirlwind HAR2 XJ727 March 1956. A visitor from 22 Squadron Detachment Martlesham. Photo Late Arthur Pearcy.


In February 1956 XJ727 had been busy......



Excerpt from 'Life-Boat' 1956 Journal RNLI

More Here:Aircrew Remembered: Aviation Obituaries

XJ727 was eventually upgraded to HAR 10 specification and served with 2 FTS and The Central Flying School (Helicopters).



At Shawbury during the 1970s. Incidentally XJ727 was one of the helicopters used at Wittering in 1974 to train Harrier Pilots in hovering techniques. Photo L.A. Rodger.



XJ727 at Halton with No 1 School of Technical Training in 1989. Photo Neil Brant.



On the Dump at Dishforth June 1994. Photo the Late Sid Nanson, with thanks.



For spares RAF Manston History Museum 1998. Photo eLaReF.



Paintball site at the disused Richborough Power Station in 2007. Photo oblivion State.



Recorded as XJ727 (perhaps in part !) Photo Matthew Last.

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Old 7th Aug 2022, 16:50
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Squadron Leader 'Bill' Paston-Williams.

An interesting tribute here by his son. Paston-Williams was stationed at Bovingdon with Fighter Command (Communications) Squadron in the Nineteen-Fifties.

http://www.lancaster-lm658.co.uk/lan...illiams-a-f-c/
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Old 7th Aug 2022, 17:05
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A Few More Gleanings


Damping Down The Tudor October 26th 1951.



Avro Lincoln.



At long last an image of what I take to be The French Air Attache's Fouga Magister. Serial Number 78. Date 1962




RAF Issue November 1944.



RAF issue November 1944. Note Aprons yet to be completed and splendid Tower Call Sign: 'EarlsCourt'



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Old 8th Aug 2022, 07:59
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The Fouga! That brings back memories! I was on Coastal Com when the photo was taken, and I am sure the building (shed) on the right was our CCCF. HQ.

Last edited by brakedwell; 8th Aug 2022 at 10:08.
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Old 8th Aug 2022, 09:54
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That looks like the first hangar coming from the guardroom whereas when I saw it in '65/6/7 it was parked outside the second hangar and we parked our gliders in the first one along with a lone Mosquito which had been left behind after '663' and the 'snow blower'..
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Old 4th Oct 2022, 13:03
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A Few Meagre Pickings.


Dated 1957

Quite a good read here about service with The USAF 7531st Air Base Squadron. Once you have got into the link you need time before accessing pages 103-126 as they don't all come up at once: https://www.google.co.uk/books/editi...sec=frontcover


Another Tit-Bit here pages 121-123:www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Fleet_Air_Arm_Boys/ZzhIEAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=bovingdon&pg=PA122&printsec=fro ntcover
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Old 5th Oct 2022, 17:29
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Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops View Post

Dated 1957

Quite a good read here about service with The USAF 7531st Air Base Squadron. Once you have got into the link you need time before accessing pages 103-126 as they don't all come up at once: https://www.google.co.uk/books/editi...sec=frontcover


Another Tit-Bit here pages 121-123:www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Fleet_Air_Arm_Boys/ZzhIEAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=bovingdon&pg=PA122&printsec=fro ntcover
He's got the tail up very early; only just passing the the PAR touchdown marker at right foreground.
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 08:56
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An Old Record


Photo: British Newspaper Archive. Illustrated London News August 7th 1954

Lieut-Cmdr J.R.S. (Jack) Overbury of The Naval Test Squadron on his return to Bovingdon 29 July 1954 having set a point to point Class C1 London (Bovingdon) - Amsterdam (Schipol) Record 224 miles in 23 minutes, 39.7 secs at 571.5 mph in his Sea Hawk.




Photo: British Newspaper Archive Illustrated London News August 7th 1954


Jack Overbury 1925-1960 served in The Royal Navy from 1943. He graduated from 12th Course ETPS Farnborough in 1953. From 1954 until 1956 he was on the strength of The Naval Test Squadron at Boscombe Down. During this time he set another record on 2nd July 1955 flying a Sea Venom from Rome to Malta at 538 mph.




Prototype de Havilland Sea Venom 21 XA539. Overbury was one of several pilots who carried out Deck Trials on HMS Albion with this particular aircraft at the end of August 1954.

Jack Overbury left the Navy and joined Saunders Roe in 1957 as the Assistant Chief Test Pilot. Here he flew early development flights on the SR53 Prototype XD145 and the ill-fated XD151.




It was during this period that Jack met with a mishap displaying a Turbulent at Sandown on the Isle of Wight and ended up in hospital.



And here we see Elizabeth





In 1959 Jack Overbury was employed as a Test Pilot by Huntings at Luton. I think the couple moved to Studham near Whipsnade. Unfortunately Jack was killed in 1960 when Jet Provost G-AOUS suffered a sequence of events that resulted in a structural failure.

Photo: BAE Systems Heritage - Percival Hunting Collection. G-AOUS at Luton. Date Unknown.






Photo: Langford History Society. Wreckage at Langford Common Bedfordshire 16th November 1960.



Photo Langford History Society





At sometime around 1964 Elizabeth who had been instructing at Luton Flying Club joined Autair International as a First Officer at Luton Airport. Initially she mainly flew Ambassador aircraft graduating to the 748 (In those days you could fly both types concurrently). In 1968 she was among the first Autair Pilots to be sent for Ground School and Flying Training on the BAC111 with British United Airways at Gatwick before returning to Luton for further training and line flying on Autair's newly introduced BAC111s.



2021 Correction published by The Guardian.



Photo: Elizabeth Overbury/Graham Simons. Senior First Officer Palma Majorca 1969

With the collapse of Court Line in 1974 Elizabeth found employment with Dan Air as a Captain on their HS748 Fleet.



Photo: Dan Air Remembered.

I'm afraid that Elizabeth died some years ago now. I have been unable to track down her obituary. She re-married in 1977. I have found an interesting snippet on the following link - for the second part of the video click on 'read the full conversation'. It shows Elizabeth as sparky as ever. Just as I remember her from all those years ago at Autair. It was tough for her being a young widow and being mucked around by an inexperienced tea boy come Crewing Officer (Me). I remember she had a very smart White Volvo Sports Car in those days.

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Old 7th Oct 2022, 09:53
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Photo of the Autair Ambassador isn't Luton, I think it's Liverpool.
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