RAF Cleave

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RAF Cleave

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RAF Cleave around 400 ft (125 m) above sea level sitting right on the top of a cliff.

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Hawker Henley.

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3.7 inch Vickers AA guns.

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Main gate of the Army camp.

RAF Cleave

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RAF Cleave

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RAF Cleave

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23 March 2004

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RAF Cleave

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Now owned by GCHQ.

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RAF Cleave

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www.cornwall.gov

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RAF Cleave
Army & RAF Camps

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RAF Cleave north of the airfield with two Bellman hangars and four grass runways.
Cleave Anti-Aircraft training camp taking up all the south side.

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RAF Cleave

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Air Ministry 5101/45

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RAF Cleave
RAF Camp Site Plan

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RAF Cleave: -
Opened 1939 and closed 1945.
Control Tower - TB HOL.39/43.
4 x grass runways of all around 1000yds long.
Accommodation - Temporary.
Hangars - two Bellman, one Blister hangar.
Before the RAF camp was built, up to three Bessonneau hangars were used.
RAF -     Officers - 11.
               SNCO's - 28.
               Other ranks - 380.
WAAF - Officers - 2.
               SNCO's - 4.
               Other ranks - 74.

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Bellman hangar.

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Bessonneau hangars.

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WAAF's.

RAF Cleave

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1939

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RAF Cleave
Anti-Aircraft Training Camp

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This is an early picture of the AA camp and the new airfield not yet extended. The white marks are where hedges have been grubbed out to make way for the extended grass runways. The army camp has a lot of tents and showing a very temporary look to it. Later wooden huts replaced the tents.
1939 and two flights of No.1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation moved in with Westland Wallace aircraft.

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Westland Wallace.

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Bessonneau hangar.

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Bessonneau.

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Hawker Henley inside a Bessonneau hangar.


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Wooden army huts.

RAF Cleave

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Later 1940's

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RAF Cleave

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A good air photo of the camp taken in the late 40's when the war had ended and the camp was not needed anymore as an AA camp. Along the western side are the remains of the gun positions for training on 3.7 & 4.5 inch AA guns.

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3.7imch AA guns.

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4.5 inch AA guns.

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3.7imch AA guns.

RAF Cleave

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OS, SS21 & Part of SS11 - C (includes: Morwenstow; Welcombe) Publication date: 1965

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RAF Cleave
Ordnance Survey Map

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A 1965 map of the camps showing most of the buildings plus some more that were built post war on the runway extension in the N/E. I believe the camp became a radio monitoring camp.

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Men of the 84th (LT) AA (Anti-Aircraft) Regiment, TA (Territorial Army) unloading a piece of equipment from the back of a lorry at the regiment's training camp at Bude, Cornwall; the man on the left appears to be at least partly dressed in civilian clothing. A boy in short trousers, extreme foreground left, is watching the operation.

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Could this be the type of control tower that was here, HOL.39/43.

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Part of the camp.

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AA Command.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Possibly a Type24.

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One of the very many pill boxes around the airfield. This pill box was constructed and sighted to cover the airfield. If an enemy was to parachute in or use a glider force. They would have been very vulnerable to being attacked the instant they landed and consolidating. The defenders could pour automatic fire down on an enemy forming up to take the airfield.

Behind post war RAF Ministry housing for the camp.

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Plan.

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Possibly a Type 26.

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RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
96 & 97 Ammo Store.

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There are two ammunition stores which I would think its was small arms ammunition for airfield defence.

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Plan.

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.303 ammunition.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Possibly a Type26.

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Another Type 26 covering the valley to the north west of the airfield. This pill box covers an attack from the beach and up a ravine, which would be an easy way onto the airfield without being seen.

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Plan.

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Possibly a Type26.

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RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Possibly a Type26.

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The entrance.

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Possibly a Type26.

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RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Possibly a Type26.

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Looking inside at the rear door.

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RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Possibly a Type26

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Machine gun emplacement.

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Turnbull machine gun mounting.

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Turnbull mount by Peter Hibbs www.pillbox.org.uk.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Possibly a Type26

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View down the valley.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave

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In the gulley is a concrete tie down, a five gallon drum filled with concrete and a ring set into it to tie to light aircraft down in windy weather.

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Aircraft tie down.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Defence position

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Two concrete drain pipes sunk into the ground and this one looks like they are joined by a trench.

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Machine gun mountings.

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Twin Vickers guns.

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Concrete drains.

RAF Cleave

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23 January 2005

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RAF Cleave
Defence position

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Two more drain pipe defence positions.

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Lewis gun twin mount.

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RAF Cleave

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23 January 2005

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RAF Cleave
Defence position

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These were used a lot in early built airfields.

RAF Cleave

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23 January 2005

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RAF Cleave
You have been Warned

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Typical over stating the obvious. There are two Stanton shelters here with Void signs on them and would you believe it they are totally sealed up anyway!!!!!!!!!!.

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Plan.

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Stanton shelter.

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Assembling a Stanton shelter.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Motor Transport

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9. M.T. Sheds T 7274/39.
(9. = on the plan).
('T'= timber hutting).

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Plan.

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MT plan 9026/40 very like the one above. A double row of wooden sheds some open but several may have had doors on. At least one of the garages would have had an inspection pit.

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Wooden MT shed.

RAF Cleave

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23 January 2005

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RAF Cleave
Motor Transport

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The remains of concrete blocks to stop a driver reversing into the door post. .

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RAF Cleave

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25 January 2005

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RAF Cleave
Officers Mess

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Building foundations. You can just make out the roundabout that was in front of the Mess.

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Plan.

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1 - Officers Mess & Mess Quarters T 7270/39
41 - Officers and Batmans Quarters N 18/542/42.
85 RAF Officers Quarters T 18/1296/42.

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Timber Officers Mess.

RAF Cleave

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23 January 2005

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RAF Cleave
Boundary Stone

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A War Department boundary stone No.11. This must have been part of the army camp as if it was the airfield then it would have been an AM Air Ministry stone. Originally they were made of Bath stone, but this one replaces bath stone with reinforced concrete.

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Boundary stone designs.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave

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Another stone, not exactly what this one was for.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Radar stand

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This is a stand for an anti-aircraft mobile radar.
Radar, Gun Laying, Mark III, or GL Mk. III for short, was a radar system used by the British Army to directly guide, or lay, anti-aircraft artillery (AA). The GL Mk. III was not a single radar, but a family of related designs that saw constant improvement during and after World War II. These were renamed shortly after their introduction in late 1942, becoming the Radar, AA, No.3, and often paired with an early warning radar, the AA No. 4, which was also produced in several models.
Wiki

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Plan.

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Gun Laying, Mk III radar.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Radar stand

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Ramp the radar would have been pushed up.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Radar stand

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Two mounting bolts to hold down the radar.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
AA gun hold fast

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A standard 3.7 inch British anti-aircraft hold fast.

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Plan.

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RAF Cleave

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Internet                                                                                                                      Fairey Battle damaged.

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RAF Cleave
Tywyn Camp

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4.5 inch Vickers gun line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fairy Battle damaged at Cleave.

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Fairy Battle in service with an Anti-Aircraft Co-operation.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
AA gun hold fast

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3.7 inch Vickers.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003                                                                                                               22 November 2008

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RAF Cleave
AA gun hold fast

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Where ever you find AA mountings, these fittings are always the same. In fact the 3.7inch and the 4.5inch but also I am believe the Bloodhound AA guided ground to air missile used the same types of fittings. Need to check that.

 

 

 

 

 

The second picture is more interesting, its a German Atlantikwall casemate at Wn126 "Blankensee", Neville, Cherbourg, France.

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3.7 inch Vickers.

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4.5 inch Vickers.

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Bristol Bloodhound.

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Wn126 "Blankensee".

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A British 3.7 inch captured gun being used inside a German casemate. Probably captured at Dunkirk.

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Very captured at Dunkirk.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Defended bank

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No real idea what this was, it could be for ready ammunition or a position for a command post.

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Plan.

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RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Pill box

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A rather smashed up pill box.

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Type 26.

RAF Cleave

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23 January 2005                                                                                                     Possibly 1936 Watchet, Somerset trials

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RAF Cleave
Queen Bee

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de Havilland DH-82B Queen Bee was certainly the first truly successful pilotless aircraft with nearly 400 being manufactured over several years. The Queen Bee’s ability to fly without a pilot was indeed high technology at the time and it was demonstrated for dignitaries on many occasions. ©1936.
The basic idea was to be able to shoot at a plane and not killing the pilot, but I am not sure if the idea was to shoot it down or just near miss. More research needed. The Queen Bee was very successful for the period of pre computerisation.  Many of the Queen Bees were flown more than just the single time, some operating for months. Bad shots.

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Plan.

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The port of Watchet a Queen Bee's recovered from the sea on board the SS Radstock.

RAF Cleave

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23 January 2005

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RAF Cleave
Queen Bee

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The base of the steam catapult like the type that was used on capital ships of the Royal Navy.
Most AA gun practice was to fire at a drogue, a tube of cloth towed behind a usually out of front line service aeroplane.

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A Queen Bee at RAF Cleave ready to take off.

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A Henley towing a drogue at an AA training camp.

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Hawker Henley trainer.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Queen Bee

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"it was only an aeroplane used for towing air-borne targets. they were flown for the anti-aircraft training base. So that was everlasting flying up parallel to the beach, two or three miles out, maybe a bit more. And that was being everlasting shot at, you know. So there we are, that used to go up and down. It was just there, you know, eventually it was just part of the scenery again". From 'An aeroplane on the beach! Ynyslas, June 1940'.
He is talking about the AA camp at Tywyn, in Wales. But very relevant to here.

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A Hawker Henley crashed on Maer Beach near Bude and P/O Matherson and LAC Robinson drowned in heavy seas on the 1st April 1940. They were flying from RAF Cleave.

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Another picture of P/O Matherson & LAC Robertson's plane.

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Shrapnel damage to a No.2 A.A.C.U. 'C' Flight Battle in early '41 Bill Coombes points out the damage at RAF Cleave.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave

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RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Army Camp

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Site of several huts.

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Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) girls operate a kinetheodolite (used to record on film the accuracy of anti-aircraft shells) at the Royal Artillery anti-aircraft training school at Manobier in South Wales, 29 October 1940.

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Anti-Aircraft site.

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Large wooden hut.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Army Camp

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Bases of more huts.

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Wooden hutting would have been between here and the road.

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The Army camp.

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RAF Cleave

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23 January 2005

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RAF Cleave
Army Camp

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Large wooden hut base.

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Wooden hut.

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RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave

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Remains lying around in a hollow.

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Pill Box

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Pill box facing out to sea.

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Type 24?

RAF Cleave

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10 May 2003

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RAF Cleave
Pill Box

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Another covering the valley.

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Another type 24?.

RAF Cleave

Google

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RAF Cleave

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RAF Cleave

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23 March 2004

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RAF Cleave
Coombe Valley

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RAF Cleave

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28 April 2012

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RAF Cleave
Coombe Valley

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Anti-tank obstacles 'Dragons Teeth' in the river bed.

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Dragons teeth.

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Dragons teeth.

RAF Cleave

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28 April 2012

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RAF Cleave
Coombe Valley

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Anti-tank obstacles in the river bed. I am not sure that tanks would ever have landed here.

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German tanks assembling in France.

RAF Cleave

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23 January 2005

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RAF Cleave

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