RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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00-00-00

Information

RAF Culmhead

Details

Opened 1941.
Three runways and a perimeter track.
1 x T2 hangar 14bay.
4 x Over Blister hangars.
6 x Extra Over Blisters hangars.
12 x dispersal pens ''B'' FCW4513.
23 x Frying pan aircraft dispersals.
1 x Control Tower (Watch Office) (tb) [12779/41]
1 x Old Watch Office (tb) [No number].
9 x Dispersed sites.
Closed 1946.

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Blister hangar 1251/41.

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12779/41 Watch Office.

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23 Aircraft Dispersals.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

Information

RAF Culmhead

Details

Continue to the small farm track ''Trickey Warren Lane'' and turn down the lane, drive to the end and park safely by large double gates. This is a good and safe place to park and walk from. There is a layout and short history of the airfield on a board there. It is possible to walk most if not all of the perimeter track. There are three large solar farms laid out on the airfield at this time they are half way through building them February 2015.

I have started in the top right hand corner of the airfield.

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P - Parking.
Red arrow - starting point.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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09 August 1943

Information

RAF Culmhead.

Details

A US reconnaissance air photo showing the layout and the dispersed sites.

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Spitfires of
66, 126, 131, 154, 165, 234, 306, 312, 313, 316, 504, 610, 616 squadrons flew from here.

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Hurricanes of
302 and 316 squadron flew from here.

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Wellington of the Research Flight from RAE Farnborough.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

Here were two huts, one a Nissen hut and the other was a wooden hut.
159 Guard House (n)
162 Wing Command Station Intelligence & Briefing Room (t)

Details

[n = Nissen Hut]
[t = timber]

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Plan

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159 Guard House.
162 Wing Command Station Intelligence & Briefing Room (t) and a fighter pen.

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(n) Nissen hut of the type that was here.

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(t) Timber hutting.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

This I think this was an Elsan toilet. This has now been removed.

Details

Elston's were a portable toilet.

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Elsan bucket.

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Here we have a bucket emptying platform. Its a place where an Elsan bucket can be tipped (emptied) and then placed over the right hand side and the flush pulled and the bucket is cleaned out. We found this actually on one of the dispersed sites here this last visit in Feb 2015.

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An earlier photo.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

Electrical cabinet. This is now been removed.

Details

I would think this came from the days when this was a government radio listening station and pat of that period. Composite Signals Organisation Station.
From the 1950s,the site was partially re-used as Composite Signals Organisation Station (CSOS) Culmhead, performing signals research functions, operated under the aegis of Government Communications Headquarters(GCHQ), with a cluster of buildings covering some 4.4 hectares being constructed approximately in the centre of the former airfield. It was closed in this role in 1999. ''http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/RAF_Culmhead''

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Composite Signals Organisation Station (CSOS) Culmhead.

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GCHQ Scarborough, how it may have looked.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

The RAF roadway.

Details

History : -
The farm was requestioned in 1940 when there was a need for fighter airfields in the S/W of England. The S/E had many fighter airfields but the S/W was not thought of as a battle ground until the German army over ran the whole of northern France. With the bombing of the West Country from airfields in Normandy and Brittany, a need was seen that the S/W should have better air cover.

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Plan.

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Air photo.

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Hillman staff car.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

Screw Picket. by the tree stump.

Details

I thought for years this was a screw picket for barbed wire but know I think they were screw tie downs to hold the aircraft down in windy conditions.
History : -
By 1941 a three runways 150ft wide with a perimeter track 50ft wide. Opened on the first of August 1941 probably in a sea of mud.

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How aircraft are tied down.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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00-00-00

Information

Screw Picket.

Details

I think they are aircraft tie down screw picket.
History : -
Fighter airfields of this period had protective pens for their fighters. Here there were twelve in four groups of three and each pen held two fighters of the Hurricane size or two Blenheim fighter bombers.

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Hurricane.

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Bristol Blenheim

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Fighter pen.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

Continuing along the road.

Details

Coming up are two pillboxes and just past them on the right were : -
21 Guard & Fire Party (tb) [12404/41].
15 Fire Tender House (tb) [12410/41].
BS Blast Shelter.

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something here

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This is a Guard House & Fire Party and a Fire Tender Shed at RAF Honeybourne.

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Blast Shelter plan [2360-41].

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This could be the sort of fire tender for the airfield buildings rather than for than for aircraft crashes.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

The first two pillboxes and perimeter track on the left.

Details

The pillboxes are an unusual seven sided design. There are two here (a third I believe in the hedge not found) and a three further west. They have small rifle embrasures and a larger machine gun embrasure that some have steel plates and some either have had them removed or were not fitted.

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Plan of the pillboxes here. The top two had splinter walls inside (the red T shape) and the others three further down do not.

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Bren gun in a pill box.

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Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

The first pillbox.

Details

Several screw pickets on the roof.

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The airfield defence was carried out by the Somerset Light Infantry and then later on by the RAF Regiment.

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A good friend of the Somerset reenactors.

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Screw picket.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

The machine gun embrasures covers the airfield.

Details

After the German attacks on Europe many of them were paratroops landing on airfields, so the best defence is to place pillboxes all around the perimeter facing the landing ground.

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The machine guns covering the airfield.

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German paratroops.

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German paratroops.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

One machine gun embrasure and one rifle embrasure.

Details

History : -
Very few of the huts would have been built so a lot of tents would have been used.

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Vickers machine gun.

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Bren gun pillbox.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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02 August 2004

Information

Machine gun embrasure with a double steel flap.

Details

Note the hook to hold open the flaps.

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Rifle trench.

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Airfield defence truck.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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27 December 2004

Information

 

Details

History : -
To the north many dispersed sites living sites and communal sites where officers, sergeants mess's and the mens institute.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

19 Gas Clothing Store (tb) [12409/41].

Details

Gas Clothing Store and in front a latrine (which I cannot find on the plans).

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19 Gas Clothing Store.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

19 Gas Clothing Store (tb) [12409/41].

Details

The tin shed is a farm add on.
History : -
The airfield started out as RAF Church Stanton. The name was changed because other airfields have ''Church'' in their names so it was changed to RAF Culmhead.

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Plan.

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Gas mask.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

19 Gas Clothing Store (tb) [12409/41].

Details

Crittall window.
History : -
A Blister hangar was placed by each three sets of fighter pens (a flight) and a T2 hangar was placed in a small depression on the west side. Blister hangars were used for first line servicing and the T2 hangar for larger repairs and servicing.


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British MKVII Brown Gas Cape.

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Blister hangar with canvas curtains to try and keep out bad weather.


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T2 hangar.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

19 Gas Clothing Store (tb) [12409/41].

Details

The internal fittings are from its days as a farm.

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Plan.

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May have looked like this.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

18 Gas Defence Centre (tb) [12408/41].

Details

If the airfield had been attacked by a gas attack, something the British government thought might happen. Gas Defence Centers and Gas Decontamination centers were sighted on the airfield and on a prominent dispersed site to treat airmen and women for contamination.
History : -
I can try and say which squadrons came and went but all this information is in any book that is written about airfields in Britain. Squadrons often only stayed a few months and were moved on. But for quite a while the Polish Wing arrived with No.316 (Warsaw) and No.302 (Poznan) squadrons. Then the Czechs came with 313 and then 312 both with Spitfires.

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WW1 gas victims.


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No.302 (Polish) Squadron.


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No.316 (Polish) Squadron.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

Latrines Not on the plan.

Details

 

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Plan.


RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

Latrines.

Details

Not on the plan.
History : -
After the Battle of Britain Fighter Command went from defence to attack. That meant that squadrons on the south coast flew offensive strikes across the channel to France. Also they gave give cover to daylight raids by RAF and USAAF bombers. Cherbourg, Brest, St Nazaire and Le Havre were their main target that were in the range of day fighters at the time.

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Original door frame.

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Inside.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

Another set of Latrines.

Details

Not on the plan.

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Latrines 9026/41

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Plan the green squares are Blast Shelters and the blue a. Emergency Water Supply..

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The original door.

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

24 Main Workshop (n) [12774/41].

Details

All that remains is this mound.

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Main workshop in (n) Nissen type hutting.

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Workshops repair.

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Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

31 Technical Latrines (WAAF) (tb) [9026/41].

Details

This set of latrines was probably for the WAAF's that worked in the Parachute Store behind it.

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WAAF.

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Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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08 November 2009

Information

31 Technical Latrines (WAAF) (tb) [9026/41].

Details

A nice wash stand inside. Latrines were often left as the rest of an airfield disintegrated so the farm laborers could use them.

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Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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26 May 2008

Information

Sewage Site in the valley to the north of the airfield. The gates have now been removed 2015 but the posts remain.

Details

One thing these modern airfields had was a full sewage system, here there are two Sludge Drying Beds [2432/40?] and the rotating Percolating Filters [3349/36?] and 161 a Tool Shed (tb).
The gates were a standard ministry design and a smaller side gate for the maintenance man to get through.

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The sewage site in the valley.

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Tool Shed at RAF Grove.

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Sludge Drying Beds at RAF Grove.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

30 Parachute Store (tb) [11137/41].

Details

This is where parachutes would be checked, repaired, aired, packed, stored and issued to flight crews.

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A 10825/42 a slightly different type parachute store.

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WAAF parachute packers.

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How it may have looked inside.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

30 Parachute Store (tb) [11137/41].

Details

This is the front view, ignore the structure added to the left side this was added by the farmer.

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Parachute packing WAAF's.

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Packing.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

30 Parachute Store (tb) [11137/41].

Details

Entrances porch.

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Parachute store light fitting.

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11137/41 entrance porch.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

30 Parachute Store (tb) [11137/41].

Details

The view inside the parachute store.

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Internal view.

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Inside a 11137/41 parachute store..

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A 'Simplex' electrical fuse box.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

30 Parachute Store (tb) [11137/41].

Details

Note the windows can be pivoted open to allow a air to circulate through the parachutes to air and dry them.

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Electrical boxes.

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X Type 1 parachute.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

30 Parachute Store (tb) [11137/41].

Details

 

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Putting the cords through elastic bands.

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Nicely folded.

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Parachute storage.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

30 Parachute Store (tb) [11137/41].

Details

The roofing sheets fallen down are added post war by the farmer.

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X type 1 parachute.

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KT RAF pilot parachute pack.

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11137/41 1945.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

MT Yard.

Details

25 M.T. Bays (4 Bay - 2 lock up, 2 repair) (tb) [12774/41]
26 M.T. Office (n)

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MT yard with: -
Left - 26 M.T. Office a Nissen hut.
Right - 25 M.T. four bay garage & workshop.
Also an M.T. repair ramp.

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How the M.T. office may have looked.

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12774/41 four bay M.T. garage this one is steel frame covered in asbestos sheeting.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

25 M.T. Bays (4 Bay - 2 lock up, 2 repair) (tb) [12774/41]

Details

View from behind.
History : -
When the Polish left they were replaced in the summer of 1942 with a Czech 313 Squadron and later to make up the Czech Wing 312 Squadron.

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Staff car.

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312 Czech Squadron.

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Tractor to tow planes and bombs. 

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Pick up for crew..

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

25 M.T. Bays (4 Bay - 2 lock up, 2 repair) (tb) [12774/41]

Details

The two lock up bays.

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AEC.

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Bedford.

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K48001 Austin ambulance.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

25 M.T. Bays (4 Bay - 2 lock up, 2 repair) (tb) [12774/41]

Details

The two repair bays.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

25 M.T. Bays (4 Bay - 2 lock up, 2 repair) (tb) [12774/41]

Details

Repair bay with vehicle inspection pit.

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Bedford QL.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

25 M.T. Bays (4 Bay - 2 lock up, 2 repair) (tb) [12774/41]

Details

Left hand end door stop and a middle one.

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Wooden doors on a three bay MT garage.

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A side view.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Vehicle inspection ramp. This is getting very damaged now.

Details

The tank on the right may have been the vehicle petrol tank and the water tank on the left may also have been used here on the camp.

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Water tank in an ablutions at RAF Membury.

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Vehicle petrol pump would have looked.

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Petrol tank.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Either side if this tree line were huts.

Details

A pill box in the distance.
History : -
RAF code words for fighter strikes.
Circus - bomber attacks with fighter escorts in the day time.
Ramrod - short range bomber attacks to destroy ground targets.
Ranger - freelance flights over enemy territory by units of any size.
Rhubarb - operations when sections of fighters or fighter-bombers, taking full advantage of low cloud and poor visibility.
Rodeo - fighter sweeps over enemy territory.
Rover - armed reconnaissance flights with attacks on opportunity targets.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1a Battery Charging Building (Old Watch Office) (tb) [17658/40].

Details

On early fighter stations with one or two squadron of fighters (average of 12 planes) a small Watch Office was enough to cope with their comings and goings. Later larger towers were built to control so much more lying.

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Hurricane with its battery starter trailer.

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Spitfire.

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Spitfire.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1a Battery Charging Building (old Watch Office) (tb) [17658/40].

Details

Side view with the rear entrance and urinal (no WAAF's working here then).
This Watch Office when superseded the building had a change of use to a battery charging building.

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Two RAF Orificers.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1a Battery Charging Building (old Watch Office) (tb) [17658/40].

Details

 

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Plan.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1a Battery Charging Building (old Watch Office) (tb) [17658/40].

Details

Rear entrance, armoured door and urinal.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1a Battery Charging Building (old Watch Office) (tb) [17658/40].

Details

Inside showing a bench to charge up aircraft batteries.

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RAF Bicester battery room today.

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Hurricane

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1a Battery Charging Building (old Watch Office) (tb) [17658/40].

Details

Rear entrance with the armoured door to the pyrotechnic store.

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Rear door handle.

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Rear door securing handle.

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Salt glaze waste pipes used to carry telephone and teleprinter cables.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1a Battery Charging Building (old Watch Office) (tb) [17658/40].

Details

pyrotechnic store.

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1941 British No3 Mk1 Very pistol.

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Very pistols were used to fire flairs of different colours, green OK to land/take off. Red not to land /take off, etc.

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Flair cartridges.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1a Battery Charging Building (old Watch Office) (tb) [17658/40].

Details

The small window is the pyro store window. If fire and an explosion inside the store the steel door should hold it and the window could then break and dissipate the explosion.

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something here

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Battle of Britain condensation trails in the sky from high flying fighters.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1 Control Tower (Watch Office) (tb) [12779/41]

Details

The control tower placed slightly forward of the old Watch Office and from the top floor you can see the whole of the airfield.

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Plan.

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s

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1 Control Tower (Watch Office) (tb) [12779/41]

Details

something here

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Plan of first floor.

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Ground floor.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1 Control Tower (Watch Office) (tb) [12779/41]

Details

something here

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1 Control Tower (Watch Office) (tb) [12779/41]

Details

something here

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Refueling.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1 Control Tower (Watch Office) (tb) [12779/41]

Details

The control room.

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Plan.

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Inside one of he rooms

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Stairs.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

1 Control Tower (Watch Office) (tb) [12779/41]

Details

Out on the balcony.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

29 N.F.E. (Night Flying Equipment Store)(tb) [12411/41]

Details

The dark patch in the grass may be the Signal Square.

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Flair path.

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RAF Old Sarum's signal square.

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Signal square.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

29 N.F.E. (Night Flying Equipment Store)(tb) [12411/41]

Details

Most airfields at this time did not have electric landing lights so a couple of Erk's (lowest airmen life on an aerodrome) would have to go out with possibly a tractor & trailer with enough Goose Neck flairs and paraffin for the night. The flairs would be placed equidistant down both sides of the runway, filled with paraffin and the taper wick lit. When flying ended they would have to go back out and put out the flair by placing the cap over the wick putting out the flair. Then load up the trailer and come back. The Erks that did this would smell of paraffin as it would get into their clothing. Pooo.

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Goose neck flairs would have been stored here with the fuel and wicks. Paraffin with a wick in the spout and lit would run for quite a while.

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Now with the cap removed and you can see the wick.

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Goose Neck flair blowing in the wind..

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

29 N.F.E. (Night Flying Equipment Store)(tb) [12411/41]

Details

something here

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Flair path.

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Chance light shining down the runway. Another way of showing up which runway is in use.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Perimeter track 50ft running right around the airfield.

Details

Perimeter tracks connected up all the runways to allow aircraft to go to the correct take off point allowing runways to stay clear for other aircraft to land or take off.

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Yellow - Perimeter track.
Red - the arrow showing where we are.

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Hurricane on a perimeter track at night.

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Perimeter track.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

The tree line as a hedgerow grubbed out to allow huts to be placed under several of the large Beech trees.

Details

The hut base with rubble on it was 167 Barrack Block: Sergeants & other ranks (Defence unit) (l).
[(l) = Laing Hut].

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Laing Hut.

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Laing hut made of wooden frame covered plaster board and tar paper.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Base for a Laing Hut..

Details

Somerset Light Infantry were the defence unit in the early years..

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Tie down screw picket and stove base.

Details

 

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Stove base and coal fire..

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The screw pickets (red on plan) screwed into the ground to hold the aircraft in windy conditions.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Three defence pillboxes.

Details

Three more pillboxes covering the North/Western side.

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Plan.

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The area of the pillboxes.
Yellow - Pillboxes.
Red - Huts.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Inside.

Details

No anti shrapnel wall inside these.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Machine gun embrasure covering the airfield.

Details

The steel embrasure has two openings, one a rifle slot and the other which hooks up on the hook on the roof the machine gun embrasure.

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Bren gunner.

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Crew inside a pillbox.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

View to the next pillbox.

Details

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

The third Pillbox.

Details

A bit damaged but it is protected.

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Spitfire being prepared.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Looking back, notice the control tower can still see right down here.

Details

You are being watched.

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Red square the we are now in.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Area defence brick lined trench.

Details

There may have been more around here covering the dead ground.

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Defence troop.

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A concrete cover with TOP scratched into the concrete.

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Found in the woods in November 2009.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

A Motly Stalk.

Details

Motley made a range of defence weapons mountings and this is one type.

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A Motley Stalk AA machine gun mount.

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Motley AA .303 MG blue print.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

13 Site of the T2 hangar Hangar [3669/42].

Details

I have superimposed a T2 hangar onto the barn that is there now.

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Plan.

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Drain covers that ran across the front of the hangar in front of the door rails are still there.

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Drain covers that ran across the front of the hangar in front of the door rails are still there.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

The track to the hangar base on the right and the perimeter track leading on.

Details

The next set of photos are taken along the hedgerow.

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Plan
535 M&E Plinth.
520 Pillbox damaged.
521 Pillbox

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Polish fighter pilots.

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Czech Spitfire under repair in a Blister hangar.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

539 M&E Plinth (tb).

Details

Thats camouflage that is.

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Plan
535 M&E Plinth.
520 Pillbox damaged.
521 Pillbox

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Glass set onto the top of the wall to stop anybody getting in.

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2015.

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January 2000 and a tree has grown through the wooden and barbed wire gate. 2015 and its still there but breaking up.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

205 Latrines (tb).
206/7/8 Barrack Huts (n).

Details

Two rows of Nissen hut barracks and a Latrine block.

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How they may have looked inside.

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Dispersed Nissen huts (East Anglia)

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A set of Latrines that was here.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Defence position.

Details

Set into the hedge made up as a defended slit trench.

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Defence positions.

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Defence position a sort of slit trench with bricks and block walls.

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Set into the bank.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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09 January 2009

Information

520 Pillbox.

Details

I am not too sure if its damaged or actually never built purely as a pillbox??
It would fire straight down the runway.

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07 February 2015.

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Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

A very Grey day in February. Its still watching you.

Details

The bottom of the airfield on the west side with the defences along the left hand edge and the Control Tower is on the horizon in the middle of the picture.

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I have zoomed in on the Control Tower, if we can see it, they can see us.

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The direction of view.

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Engine change.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

522 Pillbox.

Details

On one side this is a Pillbox yet on the other side it was a Quadrant post for the bombing range in the fields beyond.

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Hurry bomber bombing up.

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Practice Bombing Range.

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Bombing up a Hurricane.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

This is the road to 8a Petrol Installation Aviation (48,000 Gals) [9565/41].

Details

Pillbox to the right and a defence position with a Motly Stalk mounting.

image

Plan of the pillbox.

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Plan of the defence position.

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Petrol Installation Aviation from an air photo.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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30 November 2014

Information

Pillbox.

Details

Pillbox and a quadrant post for the bombing range.

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Pillbox door.

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Machine gun embrasure this one was not fitted with a steel shutter.

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The internal splinter wall.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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09 November 2009

Information

Gun Pit Machine gun position

Details

Motley were an innovative manufacturer of machine gun mountings.

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A Motley Stalk machine gun mounting the type that may have been used here.

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The centre mounting.

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Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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30 November 2014

Information

8a Petrol Installation Aviation (48,000 Gals) [9565/41].

Details

 

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Petrol Installation Aviation from the air.

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Bedford QL Bowser filling up a fighter.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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09 November 2009

Information

231 Aircraft Pen [FCW 4513].

Details

This is the right rear defence of the pen. An angled defending wall. You have to enter from the front left and a row of about nine rifle embrasures with shelfs.

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This aircraft pen and the petrol instillation from the air.

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Plan of this aircraft fighter pen FCW 4513.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
07 February 2015

Information

The defence position on a very cold February day with two very intrepid airfield hunters.

Details

The view down to the left side.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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00-00-00

Information

View through the embrasure showing the rifle positions with shelves for spare ammunition.

Details

something here

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Lee Enfield 303 rifle.

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Rifle trench.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Right side of the fighter pen.

Details

 

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This is the area covered in the main picture.

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Spitfire.

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Spitfires snaking along a perimeter track.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

'U' shaped loopholed wall.

Details

A lot of bricks have been knocked off.

image
image

This is the left hand side.

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The area covered in the main picture.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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20 September 2014 Harrowbeer

Information

Aircraft fighter pen at RAF Harrowbeer very nicely cleaned up.

Details

RAF Harrowbeer was built around the same time to the same sort of specification.
A link to RAF Harrowbeer.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Track to 216 Blister Hanger [12512/41].

Details

The track was wide enough for the wheels of the undercarriage and the hedge cut back to allow the wings to pass.

image

Plan.

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Early Spitfire around the Battle of Britain time with a yellow diamond. If the diamond comes into contact with poisonous gas it changes colour.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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07 February 2015

Information

Site of the Blister hanger.

Details

 

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Plan of the concrete base of a Blister hanger. Its is how you may find the remains of a base on an airfield.

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Over Blister at RAF Overton, now removed.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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27 December 2004

Information

The white concrete was the threshold of the Blister hangar [1251/41].

Details

I have added some black lines to show how it may have looked.

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A Crittall makers plate.
AM contract No A338059/41/08 ***
Contractor
Crittall Mf***
Braintree Essex
Date 1942

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Red is the Blister hanger,

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A fitting for the base of the Blister hanger, two large steel pegs set into a concrete base.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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27 December 2004

Information

Passing through here and just around the bend an Air-raid shelter.

Details

I believe an earlier type of air-raid shelter.

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Yellow is the site of the air-raid shelter.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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27 December 2004

Information

Air-raid shelter.

Details

Inside with strait sides and flat roof.

image

 

image

 

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
07 February 2015

Information

The marker board.

Details

This is situated on the farm track.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
07 February 2015

Information

Flight offices and a small lay-by.

Details

This could be for flight vehicles to keep them off the perimeter track.

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Plan.

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I would like to know what these are for??

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A pick up, standard RAF utility.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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Information

Plan of this area.

Details

Busy area here it had three fighter pens, flight huts, petrol storage and another suet to the south.

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The historic area.

image

 

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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30 November 2014

Information

201 Flight latrines [9026/41].

Details

History : -
616sqn arrived with Spitfire VII and re-equipped with a brand new revolutionary aeroplane, the Gloucester Meteor twin jet.

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Flight hut and latrines.

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Gloucester Meteor.

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Derwent jet engine.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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30 November 2014

Information

201 Flight latrines [9026/41].

Details

Just what a fighter pilot needs after flying.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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00-00-00

Information

Flight area.

Details

T section flight office.

image

Plan.

image

 

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Pilots.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

T section flight office.

Details

 

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How it may have looked inside.

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How it may have looked inside.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
30 November 2014

Information

How it does look inside now.

Details

History : -
D-Day and Culmhead became its busiest time. Spitfires and Seafires were constantly shuttling to and fro probably some were Fleet Air Arm Seafires. These spotted for the battle ships shooting inland.

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Ansell's-sur-Mer.

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HMS Roberts monitor firing on D-day..

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Seafire.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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30 November 2014

Information

1941 - 2015

Details

 

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HMS Rodney firing on Caen.

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D-Day Spitfire.

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D-Day the beaches.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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30 November 2014

Information

Site of the second fighter pen 230 Type ''B'' [FCW 4513]

Details

Type ''B'' is the larger type for a fighter bomber a Bristol Blenheim.

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Plan.

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Bristol Blenheim.

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Type ''B'' is the larger type for a fighter bomber a Bristol Blenheim.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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30 November 2014

Information

229 the third Fighter Pen in the group.

Details

When I first saw this pen it was in pretty good condition but that was back in 2000.

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something here

image

 

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

229 the third Pen in the group.

Details

The rifle defence of the front of the fighter pen.

image

Plan.

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Defence troops.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

229 the third Pen in the group.

Details

The rifle positions but the top bricks have been removed.

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How it may have looked.

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
18 January 2000

Information

229 the third Pen in the group.

Details

Rear angled defence wall and exit from a Stanton air-raid shelter.

image

Stanton shelter in the middle.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
18 January 2000

Information

2a Squadron office hut in Nissen.

Details

Built in tin a 24ft Nissen hut. Now removed.
This was a two squadron station and the other Sqn office was a temporary brick [13875/41]

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Plan

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RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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09 November 2009

Information

We now start on the S/W side.

Details

This area has three fighter pens for a flight of six aircraft, a flight office, latrine and a Blister hangar.

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Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

228 Fighter pen,

Details

Not very good condition.

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Fighter pen.

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S/W corner.

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

199 Flight office in Temporary Brick.

Details

There was also a static water tank here somewhere.

image

 

image

 

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

199 Flight office in Temporary Brick.

Details

Replace the roof and the windows and this building could last a long time. ''IF''.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

199 Flight office in Temporary Brick.

Details

something here

image

 

image

 

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

199 Flight office in Temporary Brick.

Details

F

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How it may have looked.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

199 Flight office in Temporary Brick.

Details

something here

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Light switch.

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Some old and some quite new electrics.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

199 Flight office in Temporary Brick.

Details

 

image

Planning.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
00-00-00

Information

198 Latrines (tb) [9026/41].

Details

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
00-00-00

Information

198 Latrines (tb) [9026/41].

Details

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
30 November 2014

Information

198 Latrines (tb) [9026/41].

Details

 

image

Rear wall.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

198 Latrines (tb) [9026/41].

Details

something here

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On the end of the latrine hut with the words ''CONSERVE DOPE''.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

The second fighter pen and the rear.
228 Type B FCW4513 fighter pen.

Details

 

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S/W quarter plan.

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Type B FCW4513 fighter pen.

image

Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Perimeter track.

Details

 

image

Plan.

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Start up.

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Ready to go.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

226 the last fighter pen in this group.

Details

This one is in a very good condition.

image

Plan.

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Re arming a Hurricane.

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Re arming a Hurricane.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Concrete base for a corner fitting stove base and behind is the rifle trench...

Details

These fighter pen defences could also be used by the RAF ground staff who would have kept their rifles probably inside the air-raid shelter and be able to use them at a moments notice.

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Concrete base under an iron stove.

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Rifle trench at the front of the pen.

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

The fighter pens entrance to the air-raid shelter.

Details

Each side of a pen had access to the shelter.

image

Fighter pen.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Fighter pen.

Details

Drainage for the pen.

image

 

image

 

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Stairs into the shelter.

Details

 

image

Plan.

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Me109 the enemy.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Stanton air raid shelter inside the pen.

Details

Stanton was a standard air-raid shelter used by the RAF on nearly all RAF stations.

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something here

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Parts of a Stanton shelter.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Exit to the rear.

Details

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
30 November 2014

Information

Looking down on the exit from the pen to the rear.

Details

something here

image

Light switch in the entrance.

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Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
26 May 2003

Information

Rear defence of the fighter pen.

Details

A very large rifle brick trench.

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Plan showing the brick rifle trench.

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Actually this is a German brick rifle trench but it looks very much like the RAF design.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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26 May 2003

Information

Looking into the rifle trench.

Details

something here

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British soldiers in a double sided rifle trench.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
26 May 2003

Information

Rifle port.

Details

something here

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Lee Enfield rifle.

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
29 May 2003

Information

Fighter pen to perimeter track.

Details

This is where many a fighter started, warmed up and pulled out onto the perimeter track.

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Re arming a Hurricane.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
30 November 2014

Information

Blister hanger.

Details

something here

image

Plan.

image

Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Blister hanger.

Details

Over Blister Hangar.

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Being constructed.

image

something here

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Engine change.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

The aluminum fittings of the curtain rails

Details

Heavy canvas curtains were used instead of doors to close off the the front and rear, also camouflage nets were used to cover the shadows made by the entrances, as they can be seen easily from the air.

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Blister with curtains each end.

image

 

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Behind and in the hedge is this gun pit.

Details

 

image

Plan.

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Plan of the gun pit.

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Pillbox and gun pit.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Base to place a gun on.

Details

 

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Ammunition space.

image

Could have been a Vickers machine gun.

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Blacker Bombarder spigot mortar another weapon that may have been used here.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Another pillbox

Details

Helped by the open emplacement to its left and with another pillbox (now destroyed), these defences covered this quarter of the airfield.

image

Plan of the pillboxes here.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Machine gun embrasure covering the airfield against paratroops.

Details

 

image

Gun pit & Pillbox

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

The entrance.

Details

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Inside

Details

The machine gun embrasure

image

Bren gun.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Two rifle slits.

Details

Two rifle slits covering the outside of the airfield.

image

something here

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Lea Enfield Rifle.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
18 January 2000

Information

One complete flight area less one Blister hangar, should be a living museum.

Details

 

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This corner 1943 air photo.

image

Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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18 January 2000

Information

Perimeter track extension going up towards the cannon butts..

Details

 

image

Plan.

image

Plan

image

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
Plan

Information

18 Machine gun test butts [16461/41].
27 Machine gun range [1471/41].
All now totally removed.
Four fighter frying pan style dispersals.

Details

Here was a cannon test butts for fighter aircraft to align their cannons/machine guns to converge at a set range. Then behind is a standard RAF rifle/machine gun butts.

image

Testing he guns.

image

Hurricane at work

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How it looked from the air.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
18 January 2000

Information

18 Aircraft Machine Gun Test Butts [16461/41].

Details

I took this picture a long time ago.

image

Butts at RAF Charmy Down giving an idea of what they may have looked like.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

27 Machine gun range [1471/41].
The two huts were the armourer hut and the target store.

Details

This is where airmen could shoot their .303 Lee Enfield rifles and armourers could test aircraft defensive machine guns as in a Lysanders rear gun, or a Blenheim's defence guns.

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Machine gun testing.

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25yd range from above.

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Two huts each side connected by a rear wall and an overhanging roof to shoot from.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

27 Machine gun range [1471/41].
The two huts were the armourers hut and the paper target store.

Details

something here

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Shooting in the Butts.

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Butts.

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Plan of an RAF rifle range.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

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09 November 2009

Information

Perimeter track.

Details

Heading north.

image

something here

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Continuing Along the perimeter track going north..

Details

The old GCHQ buildings.

image

Plan.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Latrines (tb) [9026/41].

Details

The only remaining building on the north east side.

image

Plan.

image

Plan of this area.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image
09 November 2009

Information

Latrines.

Details

 

image

Pilot.

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image 0
09 August 1943

Information

USAAF 1943 photo.

Details

 

RAF Culmhead, Somerset.

image

Information

What was a high bank removed to make way for an airfield.

Details