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Thread: Thorney Island, Manston 1942

  1. #1

    Default Thorney Island, Manston 1942

    Can anyone point me in the right direction for information about Thorney island and Manston airbases during the summer and autumn of 1942: first-hand accounts, memoires, layout, comings and goings of any kind?

    I have the available ORBs of the flying units based there at the time and I would like to think that these two lively places featured in somebody's wartime reminisces.

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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Guernsey, Channel Islands
    Posts
    132

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    Hi Bruce

    IWM Collections is worth a quick look if you narrow down the search terms as they seem to have a lot of their audio now online, so hopefully some covers the timespan you're looking at.

    Search link below is one I did for Thorney Island -
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/s...ld%20War%5D=on

    Cheers
    Pierre

  3. #3

    Default

    Hello Pierre,
    Thanks, I believe that like you I was expecting IWM to have some personal stories. I have been through the online content and was surprised at how little was present for the 1942 period. Seems like I must arrange a day at Lambeth to see the rest of the manuscripts/texts, plus I believe there are three audio files that are not summarised on the website.
    I must add that a visit to IWM is always enjoyable and, on occasion, surprising. Going through some interviews there I once found a key witness account that changed the picture of an event entirely: it revealed that damage sustained by an Allied destroyer during a night encounter with the enemy was in fact 'friendly fire' and the captains of the two ships involved blamed German shore batteries in France. They had the good manners to compliment the Germans for their marksmanship.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    North Tynedale, Northumberland
    Posts
    411

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    Hi Bruce,

    Not sure if you have it but there is a station ORB for Manston. I have some sections covering the period 607 Squadron were there, but next time I am at TNA I intend to copy the period covering early to mid 1940 as it seems to have been a transit station for replacement aircraft during the Battle of France.

    Jim
    Jim Corbett

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks Jim, I have the Manston station ORB for the period. It was a busy place at the time, first UK landfall for damaged returning bombers and home to FAA anti-shipping squadron.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    130

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    Bruce,

    I am unsure as to whether you are aware of "The History of RAF Manston 1916 - 1986" by Rocky Stockman in conjunction with the IWM published in 1986. There were earlier editions published in 1969 and 1971. This is a better than average station production and 1942 - which you appear to have an interest in - has a good coverage of carnage on the perimeter with 56 emergency landings in one night!

    Jim

  7. #7

    Default

    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for the lead, I am waiting to get access to that book. I read it in part a few years back and recall that it is richer in detail than any of the ORBs of the units based there, I now hope that the copy I am going to see is the 1986 edition.

    The 841 Squadron FAA War Diary gives a colourful account of that extraordinary night with the 56 emergency landings. They were flying Albacores out of Manston at the time and one of the landing heavies (a Halifax?) taxiied straight through their parked aircraft: no surprise that the Albacores came off worse.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,437

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    Bruce,

    No.218 squadron pranged a Stirling at Manston in 1942, and wrote off an Albacore, I have a few photo's if interested.

    Regards

    Steve

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks Steve, that would be appreciated especially if you have any first hand accounts that were not in the ORBs. There are some photos of the wrecked Albacores in the 841 Sq diary, if they are different from yours I will send them for your collection.

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

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