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Thread: RAF shooting range Paston(?)

  1. #1
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    Default RAF shooting range Paston(?)

    Hi all, I am trying to identify a RAF shooting range used by fighter squadron from RAF Coltishall, Norfolk, for ground straffing practice in October 1944. According to the ORB it looks like "Paston".
    I have found a village Parton in Norfolk but no info if there ws a shooting range or not.

    TIA

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

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    Default Re: RAF shooting range Paston(?)

    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: RAF shooting range Paston(?)

    Pavel, Hi,
    The Paston Letters are very famous in English medieval history. They are a priceless very detailed insight into the behaviour of a well-to-do family living in an agricultural county. They also fell foul of politics - so nothing's new!!!!

    See:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paston_Letters.
    “The family of Paston takes its name from a Norfolk village about twenty miles (32 km) north of Norwich.”

    The village of Paston is at GE 52.820439 1.386961.

    HTH
    Peter Davies

    PS The A/G range is at 52.865267N 1.460545E (might not be exactly same as GE but close enough for a 20mm cannon shell?)
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 13th November 2021 at 17:48.
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: RAF shooting range Paston(?)

    Simon & Peter, thank you both for your replies. It seems to me there must be so kind of error beween my chair and my keyboard - otherwise I cannot explain why I was not able to find what you have.

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

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    Default Re: RAF shooting range Paston(?)

    I don't have an exact start date for Paston but it was in use in late 1943 and was used as an air to ground firing range. By 1948 the targets were moved off the cliff to the sea and were a series of buoys, possibly whaleback type painted yellow. There was strong local opposition to the range post war and it seems likely a practice bombing target was added post war, although this may have been for rocket practice. Plans were afoot to move the range to North Wootton in the east Wash but the North Wotton ranges were closed down. New plans evolved, this time closing Paston if Titchwell could be opened. This plan did go ahead and Paston was closed down in November 1953. Final clearance was given in 1955.

    Being an air to ground/sea range there is almost nothing visible in contemporary aerial photos but there was possibly a markers shelter at TG 33100 35037 and wartime targets possibly at around TG 32964 35208. Admiralty charts show a target at TG 32906 36679 but this may be unconnected. The range at Paston was originally and Army firing range of some sort but this was closed in June 1943. The direction of fire on the Army range was perpendicular to the coast but the RAF range was aimed North. The area is now covered by a gas pipeline terminal so little chance of anything surviving.

    That area of the coast was littered with RAF ranges, with "Kenton" bombing range at TG 27955 39373 and Happisburgh air to sea range at TG 38845 30971 plus the many off shore air to air ranges. As per normal these ranges are rarely mentioned by name in records but Paston must have been very busy for almost 10 years.

    I really must update the list that Simon posted a link to as it is missing many ranges I have come across since I posted it and also some of those listed were not air related or just proposals.
    Last edited by PNK; 14th November 2021 at 10:47.

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    CZ_RAF (14th November 2021)

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    Default Re: RAF shooting range Paston(?)

    I have found references Paston in a couple of post-war ORBs: 74 Sqn Meteors from Horsham St Faith used the range in July 1948 and October 1948. 141 Sqn Mosquitoes from Coltishall used the range in November 1947. I suspect other entries referred to Paston but I have only recorded those that specifically mentioned the range used.

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