RAF Mount Batten.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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RAF Mount Batten opened in WW1 as a seaplane station and many RFC and later RAF planes flew from here. Then as war loomed for a second time the RAF changed its command structure.
RAF Coastal Command was formed on the 14th July 1936, HQ RAF Northwood, Middlesex when Air Defence of Great Britain was replaced by Fighter, Bomber, Coastal and Training Commands. Coastal Command had six flying boat squadrons. The Commands' duties covering the North Sea, enemy coast, the northern Atlantic convoy routes and English channel defences. In addition to U-Boat and E-Boat hunting, duties included convoy protection duties, emergency evacuation, transport, air-sea rescue of downed aircrew and the crew of sinking ships.

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Supermarine Southampton.

RAF Mount Batten.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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There is plenty of parking and it makes a lovely walk around. You can also cross by water bus to Plymouth.

RAF Mount Batten.

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July 1940

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RAF Mount Batten.

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A 1940 plan.
RAF Mount Batten originally a seaplane station opened in 1917 as a Royal Navy Air Service Station Cattewater it became RAF Cattewater in 1918 and in 1928 was renamed RAF Mount Batten. RAF Mount Batten station motto was In Honour Bound.
The first squadron was No. 203 Squadron RAF with Supermarine Southampton's.
No's. 203 & 24 squadrons RAF were here between 1929 and 1935.
During WW2 No.'s 461 & 10 squadron RAAF were based here.
No.461 sank U-332 (1 May 1943), U-461 (30 July 1943), U-106 (2 August 1943), U-571 (28 January 1944), U-385 (10 August 1944) and U-270 (13 August 1944).
No. 10 Squadron sank a total of six U-boats between February 1940 and May 1945. It also set a Coastal Command record in February 1944 for the most patrol hours flown in a single month: 1143. The unit lost 19 aircraft during the war, most of which, are thought to have been shot down by long range German fighter aircraft.

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Sunderland.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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December 1931

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RAF Mount Batten 1931 plans.

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2 x F sheds 208ft x 103ft.
1 x F shed 185ft x 64ft.
1 x Equipment stores and Workshops in steel frame buildings and hangar annexe.
Riggers shop and Marine Equipment in Nissen hut.
Equipment and Armoury building.
25yd open range.
MT - in hangar, Trailer shed & Ambulance garage.
Workshop in hangar.
Administration facilities - Station HQ, Off. & Ed. block in temporary brick with SECO and timber hutting.
Operations block in permanent construction (protected).
Lecture rooms in hutting, pupil capacity 50.
Quarters - 46 officers, 30 SNCO's, 265 Airmen.
Quarters - 4 Married Officers, 3 Married SNCO's, 80 Married Airmen.
Gymnasium, NAAFI, Churches & Squash Court.
Slipways - No.1 - 50ft. No.2 - 65ft. No.3 50ft (width).
3 x electric winches.
Marine Craft - 7th class - 30. Rubber - 3 Mk.II. Munroe Iron round - 12. Dinghy iron conical - 5.
Secret

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RAF Mount Batten.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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A nice post war photo of Mount Batten with new barrack blocks and four Sunderland's sitting in the Cattewater.

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Sunderland crew.

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Crew inside a Sunderland with their defence machine guns.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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A Sunderland Buoy.

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This may have been a buoy to hold a Sunderland in place in the water. There would have been bulks of wood set between the welded metal pieces sticking out so that if a ship/plane nudged them, the paintwork would not be too damaged.

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Sunderland's at rest in the Cattewater.

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Sunderland on the water.

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A ships buoy of the above type.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Two Admiralty Type F Seaplane Sheds.

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Large side opening sheds designed for seaplanes of WW1 and still being used today for small boats. A row of offices run the full length at the rear.

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RAF Pembrey F sheds.

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Erks working on one of the engines. Parts of the Sunderland's wing folded to make a safe place to stand.

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Refueling on the wing.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Admiralty Type F Seaplane Sheds.

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The doors take up a third of their frontage.

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Early seaplanes, Short 184.

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Camel seaplane.

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Sunderland under repair.

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Seaplane winch shed.

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Seaplane winching equipment..

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Seaplane winch.

 

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Admiralty Type F Seaplane Sheds.

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Inside now with boats not seaplanes.

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Roof at RAF Pembrey.

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Side elevation.

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Front face.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Concrete hard stand.

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Sunderland on its wheels. Sunderland's were pure seaplanes and could not land on land and had to have the wheels bolted to their fitting in the water and then pushed, pulled up a ramp onto land.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Landing stage.

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This is where aircraft could be rolled down into the water.

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Beached Whale.

RAF Mount Batten.

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Sunderland.

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A bevy of Erks pulling a Sunderland out of the water. They did have the odd tractor but most times it was man power. The planes would be towed by a boat or under their own power to the ramp. Then a set of wheels would be bolted on both sides and a dolly truck set under the rear of the hull and then the plane could be towed out of the water.

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Dolley truck to move a Sunderland on land.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Slipway.

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Work on the tail section.

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Nose turret.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Mooring ring.

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These may have been for the many boats used to refuel, repair, move crew and check that the runway area of water is safe from obstacles that could damage their hull on take off and landing.

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RAF seaplane tender.

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1931 general service tender.

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RAF 60ft service pinnace.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Large concrete aircraft tie downs now protecting the banks.

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These are a design that I have seen at areas where Mulberry harbour parts were made at Langstone Harbour.

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Langstone Harbour Mulberry harbour tie downs.

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How an engine was changed.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Large concrete aircraft tie downs now protecting the banks.

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John Hamilton Marine Artist. A wonderful artist.

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Sunderland factory.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Command cables.

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These cables could have brought orders to and from RAF Coastal Command HQ at RAF Northwood, Middlesex.

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RAF Coastal Command crest.

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Coastal Commands operations room Northwood.

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RAF Northwood Guard Room.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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This is the trot and anchorage area.

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Sunderland's at anchor.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Winch cable and the iron bar running through rock.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Mount Batten Castle Tower.

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This odd, squat little tower stands on the opposite side of Plymouth Sound to the City of Plymouth itself and was little more than a gun post. It's history is uncertain, although it may date to Tudor times.

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Mount Batten Castle Tower.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Memorial.

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Sunderland and an RAF tender.

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High speed tender.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Plymouth Sound.

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The home of the Royal Navy.

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HMS Newfoundland in Plymouth Sound.

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Battleship.

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Prewar days.

RAF Mount Batten.

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Sunderland's at bay.

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Southampton the hull is made of wood and was varnished.

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Sunderland flying around the Eddystone light house.

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Ju88 attacking a Sunderland.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Memorial to the Sunderland and her crews.

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Internal view.

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Flight deck.

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Searching.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Building No. 7.

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Crews receiving instructions.

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Bombs or depth charges were carried on two racks that were drawn inside the plane. When an attack was imminent, the bomb rack was drawn out to allow the bombs to be used..

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Attacking a U-boat.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Loading depth charges.

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The front turret could slide back opening up a hatch.

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Working on the tail.

RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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The Crescent is located on the site of the former RAF Officers Mess at Mount Batten.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Castle tower with hut bases.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Garden.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Hut bases.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Heavy artillery.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Memorials to the few.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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Offices behind the hangars.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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20 September 2014

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SECO prefab office.

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These huts were designed in war and used for many uses and then as the war ended another use was to turn them into housing for families bombed out of their homes. Large estates sprang up all over the country.

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Inside a SECO prefabricated hut used as accommodation.

RAF Mount Batten.

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Sunderland crew returning.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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Hangars, offices, storage and accommodation.

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RAF Mount Batten.

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T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, John Hume Ross & T.E. Shaw.
My hero.

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Another intriguing part of its history is that Lawrence of Arabia was stationed here (and Calshot) as an aircraftsmen. He became a member of the Marine Branch of the R.A.F. where he was instrumental in developing the R.A.F’s fast rescue boats, which in the end saved some 13000 lives. You can find details here.
Another thing that happened here was a plane was trying to land and the senior officer on board, ordered the pilot to land in an incorrect way. The plane hit the water, crashed and I believe some of the crew/passengers were killed. Lawrence was the instigator via Winston Churchill to change the air law so that a PILOT was the captain of a plane and in total charge which overrides rank. This law is now world wide.