Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Beachy Head, 1939-1945

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dijon, France
    Posts
    459
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Beachy Head, 1939-1945

    Hi,

    According to wikipedia " During World War II, the RAF established a forward relay station at Beachy Head "

    Does anybody know the Commands/units posted at this promontoire ?

    TIA

    Bertrand

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,662
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 17 Times in 17 Posts

    Default

    Bertrand, Hi,
    It is probable that there was, between 1939-1945, a large number of representatives of various Units at RAF Beachy Head.
    There was a Chain Home Low radar station there. It was in Fighter Command 11 Group's 'patch'. It would probably have come under 60 (Signals) Group, specifically 75 (Signals) Wing in that Group. There would - most likely - have been some sort of local defence (Army or the nearest RAF Regiment Sqn?). There would, most likely, have been all sorts of "Cooks & Bottle-Washers" who could have come from almost any Unit nearby.
    When the Forward Relay Station was established and what its purpose was I do not know. When I was involved with Tac Comms a FRS (or REBRO station) was usually established to aid Ground/Air comms when the a/c were operating at a long distance from the main transmitter, or to aid Ground/Ground comms in mountainous country. Ian Brown (Radar Expert on this forum) will know, but whether he's listening on the circuit at this moment I know not!!
    Best I can do!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 9th December 2012 at 13:41. Reason: Spelling!!!
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dijon, France
    Posts
    459
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Peter for this detailed reply. With what you write I found some references at Kew for RAF regiment or Air Ministry Experimental Station (AMES).

    Bertrand

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Peebles, Scotland
    Posts
    91
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Bertrand,

    I can't answer your question specifically, but can tell you what I know. I have researched radar history, and inevitably some associated signals, but know very little about the radio communications network and the infrastructure that must have existed to support it.

    What I do know is that, like Beachy Head, Cockburnspath was a CHL station (on the coast of SE Scotland). It became operational on 26 January 1940. However, before the station was built there was a Forward Relay Station which was used to provide an R/T link between Turnhouse Sector Station and its squadrons. This was certainly at Cockburnspath in December 1939, but I believe it may have been removed when the CHL station was built.

    I assume the role of the station was to extend the effective range of the R/T equipment, although at that time the RAF was not using VHF, but rather HF, which I don't think has significant range limitations. It may simply be that airborne sets were not very powerful and if operating well off-shore perhaps need a relay station to pick up and amplify the signals. I've not looked at RAF communication equipment enough to say if this is correct but whatever it was, it seems have a similar history to Beachy Head.

    I hope this is helpful. Others may well be able to say more about HF vs VHF equipment in RAF aircraft at the start of the war.
    Last edited by Ian Brown; 10th December 2012 at 21:03.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,011
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    There are several files at TNA Kew that may help you. Perhaps you have already searched their site, but these files seemed the most likely to be get you 'inside' the Beachy Head establishment.

    ADM 179/486, 16 Groups Operation "number 9/1944": wireless telegraphy organisation for Avenger aircraft protecting convoys between the Nore, and Beachy Head, 1944

    ADM 217/90, 11th escort group ships: report on attacks and destruction of U-678 off Beachy Head from 6 to 8 July
    1944

    AIR 29/74, 2711 Squadron, RAF Regiment, Croydon (UK); detachment at Eastbourne from 6 March 1943; moved to Beachy Head 9 May 1943; detachments at Fairlight, Pevensey, Wartling, Poling, Durrington; moved to High Street 18 October 1943; detachments at Dunwich, Greyfriars, Bawdsey, Trimley Heath, Thorpeness; moved to Stoke Holy Cross 24 December 1943; moved to Filey 1 January 1944; moved to Locking 10 January 1944; moved to Great Bromley 26 January 1944; includes detachments at Canewdon, Walton, Bengie; disbanded 14 July 1944.

    AIR 29/80, 2732 Squadron RAF Regiment. Formed at Bassingbourn 1 February 1942 with detachment at Steeple Morden; moved to Redhill 28 April 1942; moved to Kenley 31 January 1943; moved to Redhill 25 February 1943 with detachment at Eastbourne; moved to Truleigh Hill 17 April 1943 with detachment at Gibbet Hill; moved to Rye 21 August 1943 with detachments at Fairlight, Hythe, Dymchurch; moved to Truleigh Hill 18 October 1943 with detachments at Beachy Head, Durrington; moved to West Prawle 19 August 1944 with detachments at Branscombe, Kingswear, Bolt Tail, Start Point; moved to Ringstead 18 September 1944; moved to Brandy bay 20 October 1944; moved to Llanbedr 31 December 1944; disbanded 15 April 1945.

    AIR 29/168, Air Ministry Experimental Station (AMES) Type 9000, Beachy Head UK (includes Convoy 9411 and 9421).
    1944 Apr.-Sept.

    AVIA 7/453, R.D.F. chain Beachy Head: operational reports. 1940-1941

    AVIA 7/2187, AMES type 16, Beachy Head. 1943-1945



    There are others, hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Tregaron
    Posts
    263
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    The remains are still there buried under a large earth mound by Eastbourne Council or the National Trust.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dijon, France
    Posts
    459
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Many thanks Ian for new info, Bruce for the reference at Kew and Pete for the sad end of the bunkers !

    Bertrand

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    238
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi,

    Beachy Head seems to have had a fighter control (GCI) function, too.

    I recall reading recently where one of the Spit. Mk XII Squadrons in '43 or '44, patrolling over the North Sea, received vectors from a ground station called ' Beachy Control ' to investigate radar plots that were suspected LW fighters flying along the Netherlands coast.

    a15.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Peebles, Scotland
    Posts
    91
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    This would be carried out by the Type 16 (Fighter Direction Station) at Beachy Head which performed a GCI type a role, directing aircraft into hostile aircraft across the Channel.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Tregaron
    Posts
    263
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    A little on it's wartime use and more, inc photos, on it's subsequent rotor role
    http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/sites/b/beachy_head/

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •