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Thread: RAF bombing range for live bombs in March 1952

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    Default RAF bombing range for live bombs in March 1952

    Hi all,

    it is known that Heligoland island was used as the bombing range for live bombing by the RAF and USAF after WWII. But it was returned to Germany in 1952:

    The German government cooperated with the RAF and found another site for bombing practice. On 1 March 1952, Heligoland was returned to the German government.
    http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/con...d-kingdom-1951

    Does anybody know where was the new bombing range since March 1952? Particularly I am interested in the range used for Bullsey exercise on 22. 3. 1952.

    TIA

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

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    Pavel, Hi,
    The Bombing Ranges most often used by a/c from the 3 Group Stations I was at in the early 1950’s were Wainfleet, Otmoor, Berner’s Heath, and Nordhoorn. I am afraid I cannot remember which were used for ‘live’ bombing, and which for ‘inerts’. The only(?) ‘live’ (big!) bombing range in UK at the moment is – I think – Garvie Island off the N coast of Scotland, but when that came into use I do not know! But it must be quite a long time! Tain Range was also used for 1000lb live bombs for some time!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 29th June 2014 at 12:45. Reason: Tain info
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    It depends what you mean by 'live'

    Practice bombs were dropped at Cowden, a couple of miles down the coast from my house, and although it closed quite a while ago, I still regularly hear loud explosions as they dispose of the unexploded bombs and ammunition which are washed ashore or fall out of the cliffs on a daily basis

    Malcolm

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    Well I suppose there was another range instead of Heligoland where the bombers could dropp 500lb or even 1000lb.
    In my case I have an example from 1.6.50 when I expect Lincoln bombed Heligoland and the flight took about 5hrs. On 22.3.52 the same flight took to Washington from Coningsby nearly 10hrs...

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

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    Pavel, Hi,
    The Lincolns (and the Canberras) did not just take-off and fly to the Bombing Range, bomb, and then fly back to base. The bombing bit often came at the end of a long NAVEX (which would account for your time variations?!).
    I think either Berner's Heath, or Otmoor, was closed (so the story goes!) after a Canberra came in too low, and too fast, and released a 500lb inert practice bomb. In stead of hitting the target it bounced, and skipped, off the Range. It is supposed to have hit a farm-house on the edge of the Range. It is supposed to have entered via the farm-house back door, passed through the kitchen (where the farmer + wife and children were eating) and exited via the kitchen window without injuring any of the occupants!!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 29th June 2014 at 13:58.
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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