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Cold War RAFG - Clutch Radar

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Cold War RAFG - Clutch Radar

Old 19th Mar 2019, 12:47
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Cold War RAFG - Clutch Radar

Hi all, I hope someone on here can help.
Today I was asked about Clutch Stations and Clutch Radar in Germany.
We know Clutch Radar was based near Dusseldorf and looked after inbound/outbound movements to Laarbruch, Wildenrath, Geilenkirchen and Bruggen (Clutch Stations) but does anyone know the origin of the word "Clutch" in this context please?

Is it just a codename, or something to do with the name of a local place, or just Mil humour as in "clutching at straws if it all kicks off"?
Thoughts and insight much appreciated.

Old 19th Mar 2019, 12:50
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Always assumed it was "Clutch" as in "A group of eggs/chicks..." - or in this case, a group of military air stations.

Will be interested to hear the real answer!
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Old 19th Mar 2019, 13:49
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Some info here

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Old 19th Mar 2019, 13:54
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You may well be right, the stations known as the "Clutch" all sat close by one another along the Dutch Border. They were all built from the Kartoffel Feldt up and were probably Historic as being the last original airfields built for the RAF from non-existence. All the commandeered airfields, bar one Guterlsloh, were handed back over to the new Bundes Luftwaffe during the late 1950s and early 1960s; Wahn, Fassberg, Wunstorf, Jever, Sylt etc. They all housed Tactical Strike Squadrons at one stage or another as well.

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Old 19th Mar 2019, 17:27
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As a controller at Clutch Radar in the early seventies I always understood that the name related to the “clutch” of RAF stations along the Dutch German border (Laarbruch, Bruggen and Wildenrath). In addition, we also provided a service to GAF Norvenich.
Just for information, we were co-located with the German civil controllers in the Düsseldorf Airport control tower.
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Old 19th Mar 2019, 17:28
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Close to the Dutch border?
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Old 19th Mar 2019, 20:57
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FB, RAF Gatow was also retained until relatively recently.

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Old 21st Mar 2019, 09:42
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I can recall the legendary Clutch Beer Calls.......
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Old 21st Mar 2019, 10:01
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Wot gayford said.
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Old 21st Mar 2019, 12:50
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Clutch handover

The Clutch handover party was truly memorable, if I could only rem.........
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Old 21st Mar 2019, 16:03
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Thanks all. So a clutch of stations it is then .

Thankful that it wasn't a cluster. ;=)
Old 22nd Mar 2019, 00:16
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Polly Elyard. Whatever happened to her?
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Old 22nd Mar 2019, 23:38
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The end of the Wildenrath MDA status celebration was memorable. I have a massive commemorative stein ............... I can scarcely afford to fill it, and I would pass out if I drank the contents.

On the subject of steins, like many of us I have a rich collection from Mess Oktoberfests and various other events. They get used at large BBQs but otherwise collect dust and dead spiders. I am not a fan of lidded ones, having a large and vulnerable nose.
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