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    Default Bombing Ranges

    By way of an introduction, my name is Peter and I am a member of the Airfield Research Group (ARG). I am currently researching Bombing and Gunnery Ranges in the UK from 1930 to 1960(ish) with a view to publishing a small book on the subject via the ARG.
    I have currently identified over 500 locations, the exact location and layout of many still elude me. Frequent visits to TNA and excellent help from the RAF Museum have given me a lot of information.
    ORB's are the one area that I haven't covered and this is probably a good source of range information but scattered over the hundreds of ORBs of both stations and units and this would obviously take many months (years?) to cover fully. If anyone has any information they have gleaned from ORBs regarding bombing and gunnery ranges I would be very interested, firstly to confirm exisitng information and secondly to supply new information. They key elements are dates used and by whom but target information and even the name used in the ORB could help clear up incorect names.
    I would also try to help with any questions about the subject but as I have only been researching for 18 months I still have a lot to learn.

    Peter

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    Welcome Peter!
    I am glad we have new member with good background /I saw already your answers to my posts/ and interesting theme.
    Unfortunately I will be no able to help you much, I know only not so detailed information about ranges used by 311 Squadron - if I remember well for example Langham, in Solway, Lough Neagh...

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Peter, Hi,
    Are you just concerned with physical bombing ranges - i.e. places where a lump of iron (either filled with concrete or bang-powder) was dropped from an a/c and, hopefully, hit the centre of the target area on the Range?
    Or do you want to include Radar Bombing targets - i.e. precise locations where the V-Force a/c would "press the tit" and a mobile ground radar 'fixed' the a/c in 3 dimensions. From this, and the known physical trajectory of the weapon, it could be determined whether or not the target had received its 'Bucket Of Sunshine'!!
    I remember that the North-West corner of Barnsley railway station came in for fairly regular 'nuking'!! Some might say 'and well deserved'!!!
    PM, or email, me and I might be able to add some NPC* scuttlebutt about targets in the Training Areas (but post-WW2).
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    * = Nefarious Purposes Committee
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    I am mainly looking at physical locations but I am steering towards later developments that caused the physical targets to be reduced in number.

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    Default Luce bay bombing range

    Hi i have details ,of some bombing trials that took place at the luce bay ranges nr Stranrear In scotland , durinmg ww2 , get back to me if interested
    bw phill jones

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    Hi Peter,
    Otterburn Ranges Northumberland opened c First World War: still in use by the World and his wife judging by the traffic. Also Druridge Bay Range, opened I think late 1930s and used by Acklington APC after the war until c 1961. Range was from the middle of Druridge Bay northwards to Hauxley Point. There was a wooden observation tower at its southern end, demolished c 1961. There still is a building in the dunes, not sure what its for, may be nothing to do with the ranges at all. It has no doors, windows or vents and no signs at all: might be a Tardis!

    Best Wishes.
    Robert.

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    Hello,

    from the logbook of several airmen of 1 Group I have some practice bombing on Misson, Hamilton Hill and St Tudwal .
    Is it of interest for you ?

    Alain.

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    Had a closer look at Kinshaldy on Canmore. There is a possibility that there was a range on the sands NE of Leuchars but may have been closed when the runways were extended in 1942. This would be an inland range of the type found at Kingston and Innes Links. Sadly only likely looking buildings could be seen on the 1941 aerial photos
    and no give away target.

    Peter

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    Thanks Tony. I am familiar with both ranges although I haven't got much information on either. Bassingham was requisitioned in 1940 and featured a pre war type circular target at SK 94175 60327 and was controlled by Waddington for at least part of its life. It was still in use in the early fifties but was being cleared by RAF Bomb Disposal teams in 1956. It was a smaller range with a danger radius of 500 yards which expanded to 550 yards by 1945.

    Spaldington was located on the old airship station at Howden and the target was not far from where the southern large shed would have been at SE 74996 32445. The range was in use by 1942 and the target was a wartime triangular type. I have not located the quadrant shelter sites or the direction arrow. The range seemed to have stopped being used during 1945 and was due to be disposed of but it was kept "on the books" for political reasons. It was controlled by HOSM and was finally disposed of in 1951 after flooding delayed bomb clearance earlier in that year.

    I did start recording range related crashes and incidents but it proved difficult to know if the incident was related to the use of the range or merely occurred near the range.

    Some ranges were recognised jettison areas but it seems that in some cases multiple aircraft would dump their loads on these approved ranges e.g. Rushford. This must have been a headache for the controlling station's armaments officer as although they would be dropped "safe" some did explode from shock and this could then cause sympathetic detonations. The range would be closed whilst it was cleared but the next op might cause more to be dumped. I haven't come across a policy on jettisoning overland, including ranges but a lot of records refer to dumping into the sea and in some cases a recognisable target although again I haven't seen any policy on the latter.

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    Hi Peter

    I live about three miles from the range at Cowden, which I used to visit regularly when in use as a member of the local ATC squadron, about six miles away is the WW2 bombing range at North Frodingham and just up the coast is Skipsea which was used by the APC at Catfoss before WW2.

    Malcolm

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