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Colerne Airfield

Old 20th Jan 2002, 02:06
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Question Colerne Airfield

Anyone know any more about buried WWII aircraft at Colerne Airfield Wilts? The Signals Regt stationed there gives out a booklet claiming that. I would like to get Channel 4's Time Team along there to dig em up!

Also the booklet claims a Hercules was lost in the woods alongside and that the crater is still visible. I flew over a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't see it - just curious if anyone knows more?
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Old 20th Jan 2002, 03:30
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Well!Well!
That's interesting. I posted a message some weeks ago about this. I had an instructor at the old Bailbrook College, (now closed), who had been an instructor at Colerne in 1945 and he told me he had seen a number of Miles Master aircraft taxied into a pit which had been dug on the airfield and then buried. Sorry! I know no more. Can't even remember the chaps name as it was some time ago! But you may be interested to hear this 'rumour' from another source. I should be very surprised if there's anything left worth digging up after this time and the weight of the soil etc.

Spiney
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Old 20th Jan 2002, 10:26
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Airscream
I think that the C130 crashed just off the eastern end of the runway in to the trees on the other side of the road. It has been many years since I was back there and the roads have changed.
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Old 20th Jan 2002, 17:30
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Talking

Thanks for the replies chaps. Interesting indeed!
from the Azimghur Barracks guide pamphlet:
"lots of aircraft were simply dumped in the ground where the Poplar way perimeter fence now stands"
Could be the Miles aircraft you refer to???

I must go back and have a poke around!!
Anyone have access to geophysics eqpt?

[ 20 January 2002: Message edited by: AirScream ]</p>
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Old 21st Jan 2002, 13:07
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Air Scream,. .Would that cover pick and shovel, or something more teccie,........ like a JCB?
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Old 21st Jan 2002, 16:13
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It was always rumoured the Colerne had something to do with the bunker at Rudloe Manor where the Prime Minister and HMQ would be moved to in the event of war.

Additionally there was something about it being part of the satellite network for the RAF - this bit I can't work out, cos there's no satellites there....

Still, Big Brother's watching you!!
 
Old 25th Jan 2002, 23:37
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Lightbulb

There is a huge Dish in the middle of the airfield and this must have something to do with Colerne being the main communications link to Germany for the MOD (supposed to be???!!!). The buried aircraft rumour could be true as Colerne housed at least 3 MUs at the end of WW2 (32 MU, 49 MU being two of them), there were aircraft dispersal areas in and around the land outside the boundary of the airfield itself countaining dozens of aircraft of various types.. .A C130 did crash, 10.9.73, a 48 SQR C1 crashed 50 yards behind the MQs and the station church in to Hazel copice. It was carrying out co-pilot training details, when it was overshooting from RW 07 with a simulated engine failure when the other engine on that side failed. At that height (400ft) and speed involved, the asymetric forces proved too much for the crew to contol and the Herc dived into the ground. The Captain was S/Ldr Tony Barrett, and all 5 crew sadly died.. .From the ATC tower you can see the difference in size and colour to the surrounding trees to the crash site trees, but the crash site itself I have not ventured as its either on Lucknam Parks land or that newly restored house next to it with a big 'Private property' sign up front.
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Old 26th Jan 2002, 00:58
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Thanks Cap'n ST

That all makes sense. I am back that way soon -will take a look.
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Old 26th Jan 2002, 03:49
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Ah - so my insertion that there were no satellite dishes was, ever so completely, incorrect!

You live and learn.

<img src="tongue.gif" border="0">

This might be of interest to you though:. .<a href="http://www.multimap.com/map/photo.cgi?client=europe&scale=25000&X=381000&Y=171500&width= 700&height=410&gride=0&gridn=0" target="_blank">http://www.multimap.com/map/photo.cgi?client=europe&scale=25000&X=381000&Y=171500&width= 700&height=410&gride=0&gridn=0</a>

[ 25 January 2002: Message edited by: Daifly ]</p>


Edit: Lot of HTML but nothing else - try doing it again because it ain't working!
 
Old 26th Jan 2002, 18:12
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Daifly - cracking air photo, also that dish thingy has only been there for a relatively short time.. .Airscream, for the record there has been some other crashes in and around Colerne airfield i.e.. .22.1.42 Mosquito from 264 Sqr crashed 1nm NW of the airfield.. .24.1.45 Meteor ee344 of 74 Sqr crashed in to Black Cross wood, which is just a few hundred yards SE of the airfield across from Hunters Hall, the Squadron were demonstrating to the press low level formation aerobatics, unfortunately the leader did not make enough allowance for the unfortunate F/sgt Rees flying on the edge of the formation!.. .Two Bristol Brigands also crashed one on 23.2.53 2 nm S of the airfield opposite to Cheney Court farm and the other on finals to RW 25, 8.3.56.. .In addition to these I know of 2 Defiants, a Hurricane, a Havoc, a wellington another Mossie and a Hastings accident within a few nm radius of Colerne. Goes to show what a busy and important airfield it was in its hayday!.. .PS any luck with your research send us a message.
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Old 26th Jan 2002, 21:59
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Thanks again Captain,. .Strike a light! Colerne is a black spot - or perhaps all WWII airfields suffer from the same sad history?

Where are you getting all this information? When the rain stops (July?) I might go for a stroll over that way, OS map in hand.

As far as reearching the buried aircraft I am unsure how to proceed practically! I suppose I could round up a few more pieces of anecdotal eveidence but better would be to get hold of some of the geophysics equipment (ground radar - vfrpilotpb!) that they use on the excellent TimeTeam programme - oh yes and the team that operate it! I think that some of the TimeTeam are based in Bristol and that's only 25 mins from Colerne, hmmmmmm..................

[ 26 January 2002: Message edited by: AirScream ]</p>
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Old 27th Jan 2002, 01:08
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A further Brigand crash occurred in May 1952. The aircraft was carrying a French airforce Navigator, pilot and instructor. My father was the instructor. On finals the pilot activated the engine fire extinguishers which were designed to fire automatically in the case of an impact. Both extinguishers fired on activation, both engines stopped and the aircraft fell from about 250 feet. Luckily no one was seriously hurt. I have a couple of pieces of one of the propellor's.

As for the other Brigand crashes the one in '52 resulted in fatalities to all on board whilst the one in '56 killed the pilot and Navigator but 2 Fleet Air Arm student's in the back survived.

. .On a slightly different topic concerning Colerne, when the resident night fighter units withdrew and moved to Leeming some time in the 50's the departing crews spent the last few days visiting various hostelries in the surrounding area and Bath. They told anyone who was interested that they were the new Transport Command crews just arrived. Such was the level of behaviour that when the real Transport Command crews arrived a few days later they, somewhat to their surprise, found themselves barred from most of said establishments.
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Old 27th Jan 2002, 01:28
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To be honest Airscream, I was in the process of writing a book on RAF Colerne (honest!), but my long and thankless pursuit of my ATPL has interrupted my research. Maybe one day I'll finish it (the book and ATPL), the information comes from various sources, a request in Flypast magazine a few years ago gave me stacks of feedback from ex-RAF guys, a few trips to the PRO at Kew London to read the old Station WW2 ORBs. And Colin Cummings series on RAF accident books was a huge source of info etc etc. The funny thing is that I have never had a PROPER visit around the actual base itself! plenty of times passed it, and over it. I did fly in there once in 1993 when I just got my PPL, but I was driven from my C152 to the ATC tower charged a F**** off huge landing fee and driven back to the aircraft! alas no tour. Any one in a position to give any visits send me an Email!!!!!

[ 26 January 2002: Message edited by: Capt Squat-thrust ]

[ 26 January 2002: Message edited by: Capt Squat-thrust ]</p>
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Old 27th Jan 2002, 16:46
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Cap'n - email me - [email protected]. .you have no email in your profile
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Old 8th May 2006, 14:21
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C130 crash Colerne 1973

I lived in Colerne in 1973 & witnessed the C130 that crashed at the end of the runway - I remember it well. It was doing bump & restarts between Colerne, Brize & Lyneham when it dropped off a couple of Air dispachers before doing a circuit & then comming to grief in the woods by Lucknham park. Made a hell of a bang! The crew had no chance. My Father (who was in the RAF at the time) was one of the first on the scene. He was shocked for a long time afterwards.
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Old 8th May 2006, 14:30
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Colerne

I lived in Colerne between 1970 & 1974 & again when I served there in the Army between 1988 & 1991. I don't recall any stories about buried aircraft & I knew the place very well. I'm not saying they don't exsist but they must be well hidden!! There was an old Hastings at the top end of the airfield that the fire crash teams used to practice on. In 1988 the place was nearly wrecked by the terrible storms that swept across the SW. Lovely place to live & grow up but it is looking a tad worn out now.
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Old 8th May 2006, 17:16
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Capt Squat-thrust:

Can you tell me if F/O Plumtree was one of the co-pilots killed on the C-130 (XV198) disaster? I knew his father and I'm not sure if he was on that one or the C-130 (XV180) that went in in similar circumstances at Fairford in 1969.
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Old 11th Jun 2006, 18:39
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colerne airfield meteor ee344

Hello people-
I was tralling the web trying to find out information on the above and i saw your thread.
My beloved father was the investigating officer for Meteor EE344-a week before he died he told me the story of flight lieutenant banjee in his meteor-
I am trying to find out the station commanders name and the squadron leader of 74(if thats correct-and I havent given myself a bum steer)squadron-
I discovered a draft report for banjee in my fathers pilots' log-he was a mosquito intruder pilot
Any names, places, extra information would be really welcome

My aim is to tell my fathers story for his great grandchildren, eventually-none of us children knew him until after his flying days-to let them know something of the measure of the man they missed
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Old 11th Jun 2006, 20:20
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I was at RAF Colerne in the mid-sixties and started the Museum there that was broken up when the Station closed. I heard many stories about aircraft that had been based on the Station,especially the brand new Avro Lincolns that were delivered from the factory, air tested and then taken to the North end of the short runway to be broken up for scrap.

I spent hours talking to the locals and never heard one word about any aircraft that were buried there. Had I done so I would have been the first to borrow a JCB and start looking. Just remember, in the sixties we still had a lot of locals working on the base who could remember the war and would have known about such a thing.

I heard rumours of Sptifires still being in the hangars at Charmy Down (not true) and another that there was a Hurricane and a Mosquito in one of the hangars at Hullavington (absolutely true).

But that is another story!
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Old 11th Jun 2006, 20:51
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I did a lot of voluntary work at the museum between 72 - 75, including the major refurbishment of the Spit V and Heinkel 162. Anyone remember Cpl Bertie Coombes, Chief Tech Jeff Richardson and Sgt Wally Hooper?

Regarding buried bits, I was employed as an MoD guard for a while in 1977 while contractors were carrying out conversion work prior to the Army taking over. Opposite the NAAFI shop and just to the right of the Post Office, there was a fairly large grass area buffering the AMQ (I forget the name but Poplar Way does ring a bell as being adjacent). A JCB was digging a trench and unearthed a corroded main landing gear which looked to belong to a Curtiss P40, judging by the bevel gear at the top of the leg. There was no evidence of crash damage as the assembly had clearly been unbolted from the wing structure. So, there might well be more parts buried in that area.

I don't recall a Hastings being on the fire dump but there was the forward fuselage of a Shack. I witnessed the tragic XV198 accident in '73 and still have the Air Clues magazine relating to it.
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