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  #21  
Old 29-04-2013, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo View Post
Hello All,

I am a new member to the forum,I stumbled across it whilst trying to find out some information regarding the Second World War and R.A.F. Acklington.
As a keen collector/researcher of WW2 aviation I recently purchased a gem of a find,an actual R.A.F. Ensign that once flew at Acklington.It was presented to "The Ploo" (Plough) Pub in 1942,I believe the Pub is no longer trading?.It is a great find,not only regarding local history but also because my Grandfather and Grandmother were R.A.F. groundcrew at Acklington during WW2.
The Ensign came in an R.A.F. "valve" box and has a printed label,see included photo`s.Also included in the box is a section of a German Kriegsflagge,I was told that aircraft from Acklington attacked a German ship and disabled it,allowing the Royal Navy to capture the ship.The section of flag is alledged to have been handed over to Acklington as a trophy.
This is the info that I am looking for,I noticed that "Coquet" has copies of the War Diaries for Acklington so I would be very grateful if during your research you could pass on any details of an incident involving aircraft from Acklington attacking a German ship,or reference made to the trophy flag.
The Ensign is currently being framed so the pictures were taken as a before and,when completed,after.It does not normally hang over the bannister!I hope that you find this of interest,the Ensign was destined to be sold to a buyer "down south" until my intervention.

Kind Regards

Paul.
Hi Paul, welcome to the forum. I've had a look through the pre Christmas 1942 pages of the Acklington record book and not found anything referring to a shipping attack unfortunately, although it's heavy going, I could have missed something.
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  #22  
Old 29-04-2013, 01:46 PM
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Thank you for having a look!

It is possible that the trophy flag was given to "The Ploo" at a later date or post war.I was told the story by the chap who owned it and I do trust him.I understand after seeing your pictures that the "Acklington Scrawl" must be hard to work through!The trophy flag is definitely Kriegsmarine,the "M" printed on it denotes Marine and the fact it is cut up seems to point to there being a story attached to it!

Do you have the original records from Acklington or do you think I could purchase copies from The National Archives at Kew?

Unfortunately my great friend and Aviation tutor,Derek Walton,passed away a few years ago.He had many contacts within the base before it closed and managed to get some nice pieces,unfortunately they went to various restoration projects and were never heard of again,nor did the restorations happen.

Derek was the chap who found the piece of exhaust from the Mosquito that crashed near Seahouses,it was on display at his small aviation museum in Bamburgh Castle but I cannot say for certain if it still is.One of the R.R. Merlins was also recovered by divers but sadly it was left outside the "Diving Lodge" to rot away.Last I heard it had been dumped in the local water filled quarry-sacrilage!

The museum is still running in memory of Derek and is worth a visit to anyone interested in local aviation history,many artifacts are on display from crashed aircraft on the Cheviots,downed Luftwaffe aircraft engines that have come up in fishing nets and quite a substantial amount of wreckage from Spitfire Mk1 L1037 that crashed at Wildhope Hill on Hipsburn Farm in 1940 after a mid air collision.

Paul.
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  #23  
Old 29-04-2013, 06:33 PM
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Re: Acklington Record Book:
The National Archives will copy the book for you but it will cost and arm and a leg! As an example I asked through the NA website for a quote for the WW1 war diary of the 7th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers and was quoted "over £500". (compare with £3.60 once they have digitised it for themselves for public download). I would expect the Acklington station record book to cost about the same. I went down and copied them both myself so have the pages in photographic form. I will transcribe them and put them on-line but it will take 6 months to a year. I have completed the transcription of the 7th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers War Diary, it's just a matter of copying and pasting that one into a web page now.


Bamburgh
I recall the collection of recovered aircraft remains at Bamburgh but it's been a while since I was up there - I'll have to go back for another look!
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  #24  
Old 11-05-2013, 09:50 AM
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Found these hiding at the back of a cupboard! My grandfather and father did a lot of signwriting for the various MOD establishments locally over the years (there is a picture of our lads painting telegraph poles to look like guns in WW11 up at Acklington, wonder if they fooled Jerry?)

- I still have the privilage of signwriting commanding officer boards etc. for Boulmer's various serving units.

Anyone out there remember them?
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Last edited by hollydog; 11-05-2013 at 09:54 AM.
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  #25  
Old 24-05-2013, 03:48 PM
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Does anyone have photos of the Battle of Britain open days in the 1940s?I went as a schoolboyc 1948 on wards but didnt have a camera then!!

Last Battle of Britain day 1967 i was there
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  #26  
Old 09-06-2013, 06:40 PM
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Sorry, haven't been around for a while due to domestic things getting in the way!

Pilot was Flight Sgt Garth Gibson MILLS (R113366), RCAF - his radio operator was Sgt Mark LUPTON (1456999), RAFVR - and is listed as an "Observer". Possibly the writer was a new posting and was not used to the official terminology of the time, or had his own style of writing: he has written the aircraft's serial down as H.J.919 but it would have been painted as HJ919 on the fuselage and most of officialdom used the latter format in written reports anyway. Lupton was a radar/radio operator first and foremost, as HJ919 was a Mosquito NF.II - the night-fighter version of the Mk.II, fitted with Airborne Intercept radar.

The official investigation into the crash apparently mentions the aircraft stalling in mid-air whilst performing a tight turn during a low flying mission. A small piece of exhaust was found in May 1996 near the Coast Guard Station.

You might be interested in the following regarding the post-crash search:

File: AIR27/1614
"Wreckage located 2 miles south east of Seahouses by ASR Defiant of No.281 Sqdn. Sgt L Fisher (Sgt Scharf, Air Gunner) were called out to search for a Mosquito from No.410 Sqdn Acklington which had crashed into the sea. They located pieces of wreckage 2 miles SE of Seahouses but there were no survivors.

From diary of Brass Hat (harbour clearance) diver Ken Lucas

26th January
Left for Seahouses for Mosquito. Stayed at Alnwick for the night.

27th January
Arrived Seahouses. Dived for plane. Abandoned. Could not be found."

It wasn't a great month for the Canadians at Acklington - 410 ("Cougar") Sqdn lost another Mosquito NF.II three days later when DZ246 overshot on landing, only just missing the control tower but then crashing into a dispersal hut. The aircraft was wrecked but the only injury was cuts and bruises received by a startled occupant of the hut. Don't have the crew's names.

Graeme


Was in Bamburgh Castle today. That aviation museum is getting quite a superb collection of artifacts, most impressed.

This is the only remnant of HJ919 I noticed. About 16 inches of exhaust manifold, found on the rocks.
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  #27  
Old 09-06-2013, 06:50 PM
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There are much bigger lumps of metal in the museum to look at of course:

Junkers Jumo 211f engine. 1350 hp max output. From a Heinkel He 111. Trawled up from the sea in fisherman's nets off Blyth in 1983
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  #28  
Old 09-06-2013, 06:58 PM
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Once you've finished looking at all those aircraft parts, you could have a look at the rest of the castle if you have the time.


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  #29  
Old 09-06-2013, 07:00 PM
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Default Battle of Britain day 1967 Acklington

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Originally Posted by leslie View Post
Last Battle of Britain day 1967 i was there

That's quite a picture. Obviously an important and popular event. I used to go to the open days/shows as a kid but can't remember anything.
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  #30  
Old 09-06-2013, 07:13 PM
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Probably a question for Graeme; 'No 6 Anti Aircraft Practice Camp' [No 6 AAPC] Gets quite a few mentions in the Acklington WW2 Record book.
Would you know where this was located? As it is being established the book states that they requisitioned land at Hauxley for it, so it must have been further south than their existing land at Druridge?
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  #31  
Old 10-06-2013, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Coquet View Post
Probably a question for Graeme; 'No 6 Anti Aircraft Practice Camp' [No 6 AAPC] Gets quite a few mentions in the Acklington WW2 Record book.
Would you know where this was located? As it is being established the book states that they requisitioned land at Hauxley for it, so it must have been further south than their existing land at Druridge?

dad told me that part of his duties was spent at an annex camp at cresswell,
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  #32  
Old 14-06-2013, 06:51 PM
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The "Target Towing Flight" of No.6 AAPC was formed at Acklington on 1st June 1943 under No.72 Group's control. It was re-designated No.1630 Flight 16 days later, and its duties were absorbed by No.289 Sqdn on 1st December 1943. The camp was disbanded on 20th November 1944. One of the Lysander TT Mk.III target tugs used by the unit has been identified as P9111: the unit also used the purpose-built Miles Martinet TT Mk.I.

To my shame, I don't actually know where the ground personnel's camp was, although Hauxley and Cresswell appear to be good candidates for sub-camps as they would have been at each end of the air firing range along Druridge Bay.

Graeme
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  #33  
Old 14-06-2013, 06:54 PM
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Something I wrote years ago about a Meteor mishap at Acklington: I've re-sized the document so it should be a lot easier to read.

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  #34  
Old 14-06-2013, 08:34 PM
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The original target towing range was Warkworth/Alnmouth bay it is on record that a tow plane crashed whilst doing this , this was in late thirties I believe
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  #35  
Old 16-06-2013, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme View Post
The "Target Towing Flight" of No.6 AAPC was formed at Acklington on 1st June 1943 under No.72 Group's control. It was re-designated No.1630 Flight 16 days later, and its duties were absorbed by No.289 Sqdn on 1st December 1943. The camp was disbanded on 20th November 1944. One of the Lysander TT Mk.III target tugs used by the unit has been identified as P9111: the unit also used the purpose-built Miles Martinet TT Mk.I.

To my shame, I don't actually know where the ground personnel's camp was, although Hauxley and Cresswell appear to be good candidates for sub-camps as they would have been at each end of the air firing range along Druridge Bay.

Graeme
A target towing Lysander ended up upside down on the aerodrome on the 23rd July 1943:

"A Flying accident occurred at 1500 hours on the aerodrome involving Lysander No T1747 (Pilot P/O Finbow, with drogue operator). The aircraft turned over on its back on landing and sustained considerable damage but the occupants were uninjured.
It appeared that the trailing drogue cable caught in the corner of a blister hanger at low altitude causing momentary loss of control."



A dangerous occupation I think. The full report states P/O Finbow only had 5.5 hours experience with this type of aircraft. It doesn't mention the flight purpose in detail, just 'target towing' so not sure if it's anti aircraft practice or something else.
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  #36  
Old 16-06-2013, 07:34 PM
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I wonder how long the cable was on these target towing aircraft?
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  #37  
Old 18-06-2013, 12:14 PM
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I wonder how long the cable was on these target towing aircraft?
Finally, googling about, found a cable length regarding WW2 target towing, which is 1200 feet. That info came from a article on the BBC's WW2 memories project from a few years back. The author states the hazards risked by these flyers were not really appreciated.

I can't imagine the thought of towing a target behind an aircraft, to be shot at by a load of rookie anti-aircraft gunners, instilling much confidence in the pilot. They should have had a special medal!
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  #38  
Old 24-06-2013, 11:51 PM
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Default Broomhill Police and the burning Beaufighter: 4th August 1943

I wondered when reading this one if any gallantry awards were made to the PC and Special Constable involved:

"At 1300 the air echelon of 416 (USAAC) Squadron led by their O/C Major Banks and consisting of eleven aircraft, took off in sections to fly to Portreath, led by four Beaufighters of Coastal Command as arranged.
Beaufighter KV904 (Pilot F/O Brewer Rad/Obs F/O Lawniski) of 416 (USAAC) Squadron was forced down at RAF Eshott by reason of fire occurring in one of the engines. The pilot made a crash landing near the aerodrome and the aircraft was burnt out. The crew were extricated by the prompt action of P.C. Laudie, Special Constable Hall of Broomhill Police, Northumberland County Constabulary, and were later admitted to Ashington Hospital suffering from burns, lacerations, and shock."
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  #39  
Old 26-07-2013, 07:41 PM
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This is how the Acklington record book is shaping up.


http://www.fusilier.co.uk/acklington...1939_1945.html


This is going to be measured in hundreds of hours work so it will take a while.

I'll do up to the end of 1943 on that page, then 1944 - end of 1945 on a second page. [ I've noticed there's a chunk missing - the end of the war: mar. apr. may. 1945 - most unfortunate, but it's just not in the binding.]

Last edited by Coquet; 26-07-2013 at 09:45 PM. Reason: clarify
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  #40  
Old 26-07-2013, 07:43 PM
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Do any of our aviation researchers know what the fatality reference on the 14th November 1942 is about? road accident?
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