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Thread: RP targets on sea at Fowey

  1. #1
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    Default RP targets on sea at Fowey

    Hi all,
    I would like to ask if anybody has any details about range near Fowey used by Coastal Command Liberators for practice with live RPs in early 1944.
    They were firing into the sea and on moving target.

    So far I was not able to google-out anything useful.

    TIA

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

  2. #2
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    Default Re: RP targets on sea at Fowey

    The wartime range at Fowey was a moving target range used by Coastal Command. It was originally administered by St Eval, through whom all booking for the range would have gone. However control was passed to the Marine Craft Section at Fowey on 16th October 1944 but later it moved back to St Eval again, date unknown. I believe the range was shared with RAF Mountbatten for a while.

    Facilities at Fowey were towed targets, armoured target boats, submersible periscope targets. I suspect the armoured boats were only used early in the war as a lack of spares slowly made them all unserviceable. The towed targets for RP practice would have been what they referred to as "skids" towed a long way behind an RAF pinnace. I have yet to confirm what the skid was but I believe it looked like a Larne target which was like a snow sled but without any top boarding. The splash was created by metal scoops which forced water into the air when at speed. Larne targets were still in use into the sixties and were used by ships at sea as well. The periscope targets would not have been used for RP practice as they were only just strong enough to take a breakup bomb.

    Fowey also had a radar buoy for ASV practice and bombing and the area was an important range for decades after the war.

    Another contender is St Austell Bay which had a bombing target (SX 04325 49930) and an air to sea target (SX 05152 51042). These were both fixed targets and could be scored by quadrants on the shore. The air to sea target was also cleared for RP use and I can only guess that the targets were a set of whaleback buoys which were 6ft long cork sea chest shaped buoys.

    My suspicion is that St Austell was used for non-moving target practice and Fowey for moving target practice.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: RP targets on sea at Fowey

    Thank you for detailed analyze! I was sure you are the one who can help me:)

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

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