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Thread: RAF Hertford Bridge

  1. #1
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    Default RAF Hertford Bridge

    Hi,

    Long shot here, during the late summer of 1943 a number of Stirling's from 218 & 623 Squadron flew to Hartford Bridge, stayed a few hours then returned to RAF Downham Market. My question is what was at Hertford Bridge to warrant these visits?

    Any ideas ?

    TIA

    Steve
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 13th October 2014 at 21:01.
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

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    Steve,
    By the late summer of 1943 the Stirling was about to be phased out as a bomber? OVERLORD was less than a year hence (but the crews would not have known this)? Some thoughts must have been given as to what to do with the Stirling airframes. Those airframes ended up as glider-tugs and/or agent/stores droppers? IIRC there were some elements from Farnborough at Hartford Bridge? Just a shot in the dark but there might be a connection?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter,

    Thank you for your post, I did think about the aircraft being sent there for some sort of modification or installation by the "back-room-boys" . The Stirling squadrons of No.3 Group were beginning to be gradually phased out but it would be another 11 months before 218 converted. I think I am right in that Boston's of No.2 Group were stationed there at the time.

    It could be just a coincidence that the airfield was used after all, perhaps some nice pubs in the locality !!

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Default

    What was the pattern of activity ie did they fly over in the morning and back at night or were they detached for some time?

    Was the airfield at Downham Market being upgraded, say with concrete runways. Does the Form 541 give any hint as to the reason for this activity?

    The book Action Stations Vol 1 suggests that gliders were stored at D/M from March 1943. Perhaps some trial conversions were done on the Mk III for subsequent embodiment in the Mk IV. I also looked at H/B but found no real clues.

    Just a thought. If unit A has loads of weapons and these need to be moved to Unit B, perhaps the best way is to fly them from A to B. Could it be that this might have been the case and hence the light bombers weapons were actually being moved by air?

    Colin Cummings

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    Colin (et al),
    Wiki seems to indicate that Downham Market opened with 3 x concrete runways. So that, might, deny your 'upgrading' theory? I like the 'gliders' bit! That seems to me to be the avenue down which something may be found to our advantage.
    The movement of explosive/hazardous materials, in my day, was the province of the famed No 2 MT Sqn? 2 Grp bombers munitions could, more easily - I suspect - be supplied by road?
    BUT - there was, clearly, a reason for this deployment other than the availability of nearby "Good Pubs"? What was it???
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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