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P Bellamy
31-10-2008, 02:52
USAAF FIDO Photos. (Not dial-up friendly)

From NARA, via Footnote, comes this series of photographs dating from November 1944-early 1945.
They are all of FIDO operations. Most, if not all, appear to have been taken at Woodbridge if I've got the Control Tower to Runway relationship right. I present them in the order they are filed in:

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido1.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido2.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido3.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido4.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido5.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido6.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido7.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido8.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido9.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido10.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido11.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/FIDO/fido12.jpg

Apologies for length........
I'm sure our resident FIDO bods will find some interesting details from amongst the chaff. :wink:

All the best,
PB

PNK
31-10-2008, 13:28
With that runway it can only be one of three. It's not Manston and unlikely to be Carnaby. So it must be Woodbridge.

Nice set though. Presumably the smoke is only at startup otherwise it defeats the object!

Peter

olympusman
31-10-2008, 15:45
PNK

Several of above pictures are taken under Woodbridge as per 'FIDO + Fogbuster of WWII' book !

Richard Drew
01-11-2008, 12:59
Lettice Curtis the famous ATA pilot was a bit lost flying I think a Swordfish? in fog, she arrived over an airfield and they lit up Fido for her. The poor Swordfish had trouble staying down on the runway with all the heat rising. She was told that it was the first chance to use it and they were dead keen to try it out. Her book is worth a read.

Lettice Curtis
Her Autobiography

airfields man
07-05-2009, 21:32
F.I.D.O. As written in one of my books says it's Fog Intense Dispersal Operation. Another says it's Fog Investigation Dispersal Operation. So which is it?? Anyone got the answer? I think it must be the first one...

pimpernel
07-05-2009, 21:57
I have it as Fog Investigation Dispersal Operation.

Some publications have both terms used which does not help matters!

Brian.

PNK
07-05-2009, 22:00
I have also seen Fog Intensive Dispersal Of. I suspect that is an unofficial change to match similarly worded forms, e.g. "for the use of".

EGDGZTCW
07-05-2009, 22:35
Just found this on 'tinterweb' ..........www.flightglobal.com

The letters F.I.D.O., from which the war-time Fido is
derived, originally stood for "Fog Investigation Dispersal
Operations," and it seems that this should be regarded as
the official name. In June, 1945, however, an announcement
was made that the R.A.F. preferred the title "Fog, Intensive
Dispersal Of." This would account for the difference
between the official name and what may be called the popular
conception.

PNK
07-05-2009, 22:47
Logically, once FIDO was operational, the "Investigation" part would have been wrong. Better to keep the same acronym and change the nyms.

I'm sure there will be more to come on this :)

tarkey
08-05-2009, 09:23
This was in the Magazine of the Martlesham Heath Aviation Society, named Runway 22 and not in the Parish magazine as stated in the Google listing. It was in an article by Tony Errington about Lakenheath

September 1943 saw the initial trials of FIDO (Fog Intensive Dispersal
Operation) take place, but this fog dispersal system was not suitable for
continuously operational airfields due to the time that it took in clearing the
smoke. The system was suitable for R.A.F.Woodbridge in its use as an
Emergency Landing Field.

mawganmad
08-05-2009, 09:40
As PNK, Ive only ever seen it as 'Fog Intensive Dispersal Of', 'Investigation' dosen't make any sense, investigate what?
Carnaby will be along in a moment!

PETERTHEEATER
08-05-2009, 10:21
As PNK, Ive only ever seen it as 'Fog Intensive Dispersal Of', 'Investigation' dosen't make any sense, investigate what?
Carnaby will be along in a moment!

I've not seen it at all; too foggy! :lol:

Seriously 'though, all the references that I have seen some use the first term and others the second.

Probably the definitive history of FIDO is 'Flying through fire' by Geoffrey Williams.

He recounts that - (quote) 'Up to this time (early October 1942) the fog dispersal project had no convenient name. A meeting at the Petroleum Warfare Department on 05 October 1942 was to 'consider the the preliminary arrangements in connection with research on the dispersal of fog'. Referred to as 'a fog dispersal provisional investigation plan on 08 October 1942, this did not trip lightly of the tongue, and 'a fog dispersal investigation operation' used on the document the following day was not much better. But then Lyn Urwick, a major on Sir Donald's staff, noticed that if the postions of the two middle words in the phrase were reversed the meaning would not be seriously altered and the the initial letters FIDO would make a useful comanion for PLUTO which already existed. At some time in 1945, Sir Donald says, it was 'readjusted in RAF jargon to ''Fog, Intensive Dispersal Of''. Winston Churchill's minute that 'means to dissapate fog' be pursued, was dated 26 September 1942. Documents referred to FIDO without any full stops between the letters exist from 09 October. A.C. Hartley uses it thus for the first time on 22 October 1942' (unquote)

You pays yer money and you takes yer choice.

mawganmad
08-05-2009, 13:13
I would have to see oficial AM reference to believe that 'Investigation' was the correct part of the acronym.
I can undertsand 'investigation' during the kits gestation and trials period, but not as the systems normal FIDO operations.

tarkey
08-05-2009, 16:34
I asked our Archivist here at Martlesham Control Tower Museum ( Alan Smith) and here is his answer
Tarkey,
There has been a discussion of this on the Air Britain website.

I am in favour of the definition Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation
as given by Geoffrey Williams in his book "Flying Through Fire" which seems to be written with a good deal of research.
I have never seen the word Intense used in its description.

Carnaby
09-05-2009, 00:45
Carnaby will be along in a moment!
Better late than never!
'Fog Intensive Dispersal ORGANISATION' was the expression noted in a number of FIDO related TNA documents inspected a few weeks ago.

And as TNA documents are never wrong . . .

Graham

Richard Flagg
15-05-2009, 20:33
Looking at the photos again, I'd agree that it is at Woodbridge

Carnaby
29-06-2009, 14:36
Probably the definitive history of FIDO is 'Flying through fire' by Geoffrey Williams.

He recounts that - (quote) 'Up to this time (early October 1942) the fog dispersal project had no convenient name. A meeting at the Petroleum Warfare Department on 05 October 1942 was to 'consider the the preliminary arrangements in connection with research on the dispersal of fog'. Referred to as 'a fog dispersal provisional investigation plan on 08 October 1942, this did not trip lightly of the tongue, and 'a fog dispersal investigation operation' used on the document the following day was not much better. But then Lyn Urwick, a major on Sir Donald's staff, noticed that if the postions of the two middle words in the phrase were reversed the meaning would not be seriously altered and the the initial letters FIDO would make a useful comanion for PLUTO which already existed. At some time in 1945, Sir Donald says, it was 'readjusted in RAF jargon to ''Fog, Intensive Dispersal Of''. Winston Churchill's minute that 'means to dissapate fog' be pursued, was dated 26 September 1942. Documents referred to FIDO without any full stops between the letters exist from 09 October. A.C. Hartley uses it thus for the first time on 22 October 1942' (unquote)

Just read The History of RAF Manston, Stockman, 1986, in which there is a subchapter on FIDO. It states that the order was:
1) Fog, Investigation Dispersal Of
2) Fog, Intensive Dispersal Of
3) Fog, Intensive Dispersal Operation
This totally contradicts the Williams Book. However the Manston book also states that FIDO was installed at four airfields - Lakenheath being the first, Manston the last.
As that statement is completely wrong I'll settle for the Williams reference.

Graham

Peter
29-06-2009, 15:19
The movie NIGHT BOMBERS refers to it as Fog Intensive Dispersal Operation....

PNK
29-06-2009, 15:59
Am I right in assuming that "Operation" was the official word (from a point in time) and that "Of" was a an RAF jargon version? This would mean that records would show one name and personal recollection probably the other common usage term. It would explain the confusion as well, as both would have been right in their own context. I doubt wether anyone could prove anything one way or another.

Carnaby
29-06-2009, 18:00
I doubt wether anyone could prove anything one way or another.
That's what I think too.

Note - from WIKI under FIDO
FIDO systems were used at many airbases in England during World War II. Among the RAF fields equipped with FIDO were RAF Carnaby, RAF Manston, and RAF emergency fields at Tilstock and Skipton, and have been used to bring commercial planes into fog-covered airports in the United States.
Hmmm!

A further note relating to the Petroleum Board's need for acronyms - PLUTO, Pipe Line Under The Ocean. OCEAN ! a bit grand for the English Channel :p

Graham

Denis
18-08-2009, 22:45
Found this bit of film on the British Pathe site.
http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=13281

Carnaby
19-08-2009, 11:50
Great find Denis. Wonder what the airfield is at 1'50" ish. Bradwell perhaps ?

Graham

TommyUSA
20-10-2009, 18:33
Found this bit at militarymuseum.org:

Following the war, the area's {California} bad weather served some useful purpose with the establishment of the Landing Aids Experiment Station. This unit was a joint project of the Army, the Navy, and the CAA that experimented with low visibility landings. United Airlines served as the prime contractor of the project.

The most novel method was the "Fog Intensity Dispersal Of' or FIDO that involved the burning of gasoline along the sides of the runway to lift the fog. The British first used FIDO during the war when 157 Lancaster bombers landed at Heathrow during zero/zero weather.

The simplest method consisted of burning the fuel in open trenches alongside the runway. The best results were obtained by burning from pressurized nozzles positioned every 50 ft. down the runway edge.

Unfortunately, it took 20,000 gallons to sufficiently raise the fog for each landing. Gasoline cost alone was $15,000 per landing -- plus an additional $10,000 per landing for the system's maintenance.

Not only was the cost prohibitive, but the system only worked on 150-ft. wide runways. When used on 200-ft. wide runways, the fog merely lifted from the sides and settled onto the center.

Tommy

CDP
20-10-2009, 19:38
Tommy, for a full history of FIDO (well, in Britain anyway!), try and find a copy of Flying Through Fire by Geoffrey Williams. It's a must-have piece of work and very readable too.

Didn't realise it was trialed in the States though.

Chris

John Cooper
20-10-2009, 19:39
F.I.D.O.

In the book Bawdsey by Gordon Kinsey [Terence Dalton ISBN 0 86138 017 7] There is a large section on RAF Sutton Heath/Woodbridge which covers FIDO

Gordon records on page 119 " Fog [B]Investigation and Dispersal Organisation" but on Page 201 [Index] it states FIDO being "Fog Interception Dispersal Organisation" I always knew it as the former.

Mr Kinsey goes on describe the FIDO set up at SH/WB coming into being during June of 1944 but not generally used until the Autumn of 1944. The fuel was transferred from Melton Railway Station by pipeline to RAF Woodbridge noticing that the system could use up to 100000 gallons of fuel per hour

I have only just put two and two together here but there is a massive compound adjacent to Forestry Commission land on Sutton Heath beyond the Picnic Area Car Park opposite the Woodbridge Base Gates now called Rock Barracks. I have walked this area many times, the track that runs adjacent to the FC Woodland is a sandy lane, I always imagined that it was JP4 Fuel Storage but now connect this to FIDO, this compound is huge but is not shown on my Ordnance Survey Map 169 Landranger Ipswich & The Naze

Carnaby
20-10-2009, 20:49
The link to the excellent Williams book is here (http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?t=890)

We seem to have gone full circle on the acronym again :oops:.

EGDGZTCW quoted in post #8 what I believe to be the 'official' version, i.e.

The letters F.I.D.O., from which the war-time Fido is derived, originally stood for "Fog Investigation Dispersal Operation(s)", and it seems that this should be regarded as the official name. In June, 1945, however, an announcement was made that the R.A.F. preferred the title "Fog, Intensive Dispersal Of."

I have seen a significant number of alternatives - variations include 'Organisation' (TNA record),

TommyUSA's above link is http://www.militarymuseum.org/NAASArcata.html

It is interesting - Arcata was / is a fascinating site, but the reference to the Lancs landing at Heathrow is incorrect. The FIDO installation at that site was never completed; construction was abandoned 1 November 1945. I cannot find which base this incident took place at, however 92 B17s and B24s landed at Carnaby on 22.12.1944.

It also reports that FIDO didn't wok with runways wider than 150'. however the three UK ELGs with their 750 foot runways proved to be very successful.

Other than that there is some great stuff on this site.

Graham

PNK
20-10-2009, 23:05
I read that a portable FIDO was taken and used at Epinoy after D-Day. Anyone confirm?

This is from memory so the spelling of the airfield might be wrong but I think I got FIDO right :)

Carnaby
20-10-2009, 23:46
I read that a portable FIDO was taken and used at Epinoy after D-Day.
Yes, Peter. Chapter 19 of the Williams Book is devoted to Epinoy (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=epinoy&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=17.602287,39.506836&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=%C3%89pinoy,+Pas-de-Calais,+Nord-Pas+de+Calais,+France&ll=50.218271,3.160715&spn=0.037126,0.077162&t=h&z=14). The Allies needed a 'front-line guaranteed fog-free' airfield. The portable Haifox was installed, then tested on 14 Feb 45. Three Mossies of 138 Wing needed the device on 5 Mar 45.

This chapter mentions that 50 sets of portable burners were made available to the US 2nd Air Division on 14 Mar 1945. It is not known where they went.

(Note Epinoy does not appear in Bing Maps)

Graham

Carnaby
26-10-2009, 22:36
The Arcata FIDO installation is also documented in post #10 of http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?t=2548

WiganMick59
28-10-2009, 00:39
Hiya,

Me the wife and daughter went to Metheringham in late July. During a visit to the museum the attendant told me that the pump house for the FIDO installation was still in existence in the staion yard. We found the only major building in the station yard, however I'm not convinced it's airfield related. I spoke to local as well and he didn't know if it was either.

Could you shed some light on this please!

thanks,

Mick

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Metheringham094.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Metheringham095.jpg

Carnaby
28-10-2009, 12:16
There is a photo and plan in Geoffrey William's excellent 'Flying Through Fire'. The 1944 Site plan, 4422/44 from 'After the Battle' doesn't show the FIDO installation, though the airfield boundary is clearly extended at the point where it existed.

The installation was located just off the southern end of the main runway (to the east). It is HERE (http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=53.12476516254698&lon=-0.34455879302755&gz=17&oz=7&gt=1), and consisted of three tanks and the pumphouse, situated in the two fields just north of the B1191, and to the right of the track which runs up to the peri-track. The top field held the three tanks, and the bottom one the pump house.

In the field to the left of this track there is a zig-zag line, which with a bit of artistic licence might just be the route taken by the pipework to feed the approach box burners for the system. The SBA beacons (on the site plan) reveal that the normal direction of landing at this airfield was from the south.

It is a long way from the railway line, and Metheringham Station (3 miles ?)

Graham

WiganMick59
28-10-2009, 13:49
Thanks for the info Graham ..I thought it was too far away my self. I'll be passing Metheringham on the way to East Kirby this Saturday, I'll stop and have a look at the area.

Thats a fantasic tool by the way, google maps with OS overlay, is it downloadable?

I'll order that book from Amazon.

many thanks,

Mick

Carnaby
28-10-2009, 14:37
1) I thought it was too far away my self.

2) Thats a fantasic tool by the way, google maps with OS overlay

3) I'll order that book from Amazon.

1) The building does have a bit of a military look about it though. Might be worth asking more questions, Mick
2) http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm
3) Link to review (http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?t=890). Some good s/h bargains on Amazon.

Regarding my comment to the pipework feeding the approach box, a closer inspection shows that it fits the site plan boundary and the aerial photo exactly.

Graham

NJR
01-11-2009, 16:50
Mick

I've remembered what the building in Metheringham station yard is... it is one of:

"hardened emergency control centres built by the LNER during WW2"

NJR

CDP
01-11-2009, 16:59
Talking of railways, FIDO and Methringham, it would appear that the FIDO storage tanks/installation at Metheringham were supplied by a two and half mile underground pipe line from a siding on the old Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway line near Blankney and Metheringham station. Any ideas as to where this is?

Info from "Flying Through Fire".

Chris

CDP
01-11-2009, 17:27
Definitely FIDO!

Towards the norther end of r/w 12/30 (ne/sw), Metheringham, is this relic of the FIDO installation. It's one of - or part of - the IRBs (Intermediate Runway Burners); four such units were installed at Metheringham. This is at the intersection of the ne/sw runway with the main 01/19 (n/s-ish) main runway. The main strip was fitted with Mk. IV FIDO (again, details from "Flying Through Fire"). A corresponding metal channel, although not quite so well defined and more covered with asphalt, is extant on the far (western) side of the runway intersection.

Flah Earth location of the following photos here (http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=53.137636&lon=-0.34529&z=14.5&r=0&src=msl). The pale crop-mark running away north follows the line of the FIDO.

The IRB, looking south-west along runway 12/30 (31/10/09)
http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm29/222sqn/DSC_7197-1.jpg

Closer view of the IRB (31/10/09)
http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm29/222sqn/DSC_7200.jpg

Chris

Carnaby
01-11-2009, 18:31
Fascinating find Chris. If its a lump of metal in a runway I'm interested!

Had a quick look for a siding - nothing definite.

Graham

CDP
01-11-2009, 22:15
I think the siding is going to be very hard to find Graham but thanks for having a look. Might be worth a good scour of maps of the period though to try and find a candidate. That'll keep someone busy! Where are our railway experts when you need 'em......

All we all going to start hoofing it around FIDO-equipped airfields for evidence of other IRBs now! :)

Might be worth pointing out NJR and self found this after a tip-off from a contact of Noel's, so a big thank-you to him really.

Chris

PETERTHEEATER
02-11-2009, 08:30
Talking of railways, FIDO and Methringham, it would appear that the FIDO storage tanks/installation at Metheringham were supplied by a two and half mile underground pipe line from a siding on the old Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway line near Blankney and Metheringham station. Any ideas as to where this is?

Info from "Flying Through Fire".

Chris
Given the location of the airfield storage and pumphouse, the siding out to have been directly to the west of Westmoor Farm between the two railway cuttings. It would not have been a spur, just a parallel siding alongside the main line with a simple pumphouse to drain fuel from rail tankers and pump it through an underground line to the airfield site.

OLD MAPS 1950 doesn't show anything - but then it doesn't show the airfield!

WiganMick59
03-11-2009, 01:42
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/scan0002.jpg


I've added the sketch map of Metheringham courtesy of the Visitor centre.

WiganMick59
12-09-2010, 21:26
Mick

I've remembered what the building in Metheringham station yard is... it is one of:

"hardened emergency control centres built by the LNER during WW2"

NJR

After todays visit Noel. I can confirm that this was a hardened emergency signal control centre.......Sorry it's taken me a year to reply to this 12/09/2010!

Mick

canberra
03-10-2010, 13:00
My uncle was on tankers during wwii, and was almost torpedoed 3 times. If the U-Boat crews ever found out about how much fuel we were able to use on FIDO they must have realised that they had lost the war.

ianbache
26-11-2010, 18:30
Here is a good depiction of FIDO courtesy of britishpathe

www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=54089

Carnaby
26-11-2010, 20:19
Here is a good depiction of FIDO Certainly is ! Wish you could save these clips for future reference (and to save bandwidth etc.)
Wonder how many airfields were featured? Bradwell I'm sure, plus one of the ELGs. Metheringham's 21st December burn is covered in Geoffrey William's book.

A good find

Graham

hornet
03-12-2010, 14:00
Hi, Guys, found this on the `www` hope it is of interest to you,
cheers, Hornet
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=w9gDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=intermediate+runway+burners&source=bl&ots=p2-1MqmLsv&sig=JbG2yg5p4Foe6r4ow-jzED_laYA&hl=en&ei=5xb4TI-NAYewhAfy773HDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=intermediate%20runway%20burners&f=false

Carnaby
03-12-2010, 14:18
I believe I'd posted that link before Hornet, perhaps on another thread - but I can't find it anywhere.

It is a great link to Bartow as well, so thanks.

Graham

Carnaby
26-12-2010, 15:06
Just discovered an article by Flt Lt JK Gilchrist in Air Clues. April 1957.

The Manston FIDO was still operational (24/7) at this time, being the only one in the UK. Evidently just one landing had been made since WWII - a part-burn to assist an Anson with failed R/T in low cloud conditions.

The normal running cost with 'contaminated' petrol at 3s. 6.75d was estimated at 44,500 per hour, but experiments were taking place at Marham using paraffin which should substantially reduce the running cost. Electric ignition was used in this device.

FIDO landing is documented in AP129 (title anyone?) evidently essential reading since, unlike GCA and BABS, FIDO cannot be practiced - at least economically.

I believe the Manston operation closed the following year.

Graham

PETERTHEEATER
27-12-2010, 09:20
The normal running cost with 'contaminated' petrol at 3s. 6.75d was estimated at 44,500 per hour

If it were not for the aircrew it would have been cheaper to let the Anson crash!

canberra
27-12-2010, 10:59
Apparently the running costs of a Typhoon are 90,000 per flying hour!!!!!!

Does anyone know how they work out such things?

PNK
27-12-2010, 14:33
I was just going to question your numbers canberra when I remembered we have a modern jet aeroplane called the Typhoon. Parrafin is a bit expensive these days and I noticed the dispensers have now gone from garage forecourts.

PETERTHEEATER
28-12-2010, 09:03
Apparently the running costs of a Typhoon are 90,000 per flying hour!!!!!!

Does anyone know how they work out such things?

Unlike yesteryear, If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. I am sure that the RAF project team responsible for Typhoon have a database into which various factors are input including parts for repair, manhours, fuel, etc etc. To justify budget demands they would need to be able to show the 'bean counters' details on demand.

canberra
28-12-2010, 10:49
Thanks for that Peter. Always remember that at RCC Edinburgh we had the costs for Wessex and Seakings per hour, slightly cheaper than a Typhoon. 1200 per hour for a Wessex and 1500 for a Seaking.

mawganmad
21-01-2011, 12:54
A good link to the highly readable 'Popular Science' Aug 1945 article on FIDO here http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=GSEDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA64&lpg=PA64&dq=first+airfield+with+fido&source=bl&ots=CEifgci5O2&sig=w9Zbixkx2T5TNRBii1Dd1rjeQQI&hl=en#v=onepage&q=first%20airfield%20with%20fido&f=false
Also a bit on PLUTO in same link.

I'm trying to establish where FIDO was first used operationaly, I can ascertain that it was in November 1943, and that it was for the recovery of four Halifax's, but where?

Also can someone post up a list here of all airfields equiped with FIDO?
Wiki gives a list (below) but I'm not sure how thorough it is.

RAF Blackbushe/ Hartford Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=RAF_Blackbushe/_Hartford_Bridge&action=edit&redlink=1)
RAF Bradwell Bay (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=RAF_Bradwell_Bay&action=edit&redlink=1)
RAF Carnaby (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Carnaby)
RAF Downham Market (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Downham_Market)
RAF Fiskerton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Fiskerton)
RAF Foulsham (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Foulsham)
RAF Graveley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Graveley)
RAF Ludford Magna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Ludford_Magna)
RAF Manston (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Manston)
RAF Melbourne (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Melbourne)
RAF Metheringham (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Metheringham)
RAF St Eval (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_St_Eval)
RAF Sturgate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Sturgate)
RAF Tuddenham (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Tuddenham)
RAF Woodbridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Woodbridge)

Forestfan2
21-01-2011, 13:46
I've often wondered why the FIDO airfields were, by and large, on the temporary (wartime-built) airfields, rather than the permanent (pre-war built) bases that were more likely to be kept on when hostilities ceased. Could it be that FIDO ops were that risky, or maybe expensive, that peacetime use would never have been sanctioned?

Carnaby
21-01-2011, 14:25
I've often wondered why the FIDO airfields were, by and large, on the temporary (wartime-built) airfields...
That's a very interesting question, and I can find no answer in Williams'. The first system was to be Wyton, but it was found to be unsuitable and Graveley was then selected. Lindholme was also a first choice, then dropped (Sturgate was the nearest replacement). The only permanent station was St Eval, which replaced Ballykelly (Coastal Command).

Graham

mawganmad
21-01-2011, 16:57
It might be in that link FF, but somewhere today I have read accounts by a pilot testing the system that says he wouldn't reccommend the use of FIDO in normal peacetime operations, it just suited the war time situation.

Although St Eval was expansion scheme I'm not sure that it was permanant in the proper sense.

So was Graveley the site of first operational use of FIDO?

canberra
21-01-2011, 19:25
Why is there no Scottish airfield on the list I wonder???

Carnaby
21-01-2011, 19:39
Why is there no Scottish airfield on the list I wonder???I guess it was that in the main FIDO was for Bomber Command whose targets were mainly in Germany and France. An installation in Scotland would be under-used. The Coastal Command facility at St Eval was required to allow 24/7 patrols of the Bay of Biscay and Western Approaches.

Graham

canberra
21-01-2011, 19:59
Im guessing the same, but the Haar (aka north sea fret) can sit on the east coast for days.

Carnaby
09-02-2011, 13:53
A discussion on a proposed FIDO system at Marham can be found here - post 67 on (http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?1858-Marham/page7)

Richard Flagg
13-04-2011, 00:53
You can make out where the FIDO crossed the runway at Sturgate from this aerial I took in February. A ground visit may be in order to see if there is actually anything there.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/LINCOLNSHIRE/Sturgate/20110212Sturgate16-1.jpg

CDP
13-04-2011, 06:54
Ah, so that's what you were talking about then. I didn't get that shot I don't think. Be interesting to see it from ground level now.

Chris

barryjameson
20-05-2011, 19:11
HI.
New member barry jameson from lindholme doncaster , my dad was in B,Command in ww11, he told me abt this when I was a small child. he always called it, FIDO, with the wording intensive, always remember this cos i had no idea what he was on abt !!

Carnaby
10-05-2012, 10:18
Twenty-five sited were listed as locations for possible FIDO installations, from Station I (Staines experimental) to Station XXV (Epinoy). Clearly not all were taken up. Does anyone know the names of Stations XVIII, XXIII and XXIV? (Needed for a future AR article).

PETERTHEEATER
10-05-2012, 10:24
That's Numbers 18, 23 and 24 for the non Latin speakers:)

netcompsys
10-05-2012, 10:34
I had the opportunity to ask a panel of Bomber Command veterans at Elvington last year about FIDO.

I asked what their experience of it was. One ex-pilot said that it was like a normal landing, a bit more bumpy, and that the technique was to approach 10-15kts faster than normal

It wasn't clear wether this was based on personal experience, or simply the training/advice given at the time

kevin

tigger
10-05-2012, 10:38
Twenty-five sited were listed as locations for possible FIDO installations

Source? I've never found a definitive source that says there were twenty-five, just an inference because one was numbered XXV


Does anyone know the names of Stations XVIII, XXIII and XXIV? (Needed for a future AR article).

Were 23 and 24 actually allocated?

How many mobile units were there? Could these have had the 'missing' numbers?

Carnaby
10-05-2012, 23:13
Source? I've never found a definitive source that says there were twenty-five, just an inference because one was numbered XXV

Were 23 and 24 actually allocated?

Possibly not, though it seems a bit unlikely that they jumped from 22 (Tuddenham) to 25 (Epinoy). The others (18 excepted) are all in 'Williams'. I note that there are approx 150 aviation fog dispersal related documents in TNA. Which one has the answer?

P Bellamy
04-09-2012, 19:41
8th AF, 1st Air Division daily records, 14th April 1945:


It was announced that "Fido" marker burners were to be installed at all stations of the First Division.

MikeO
04-09-2012, 22:52
That's interesting. Hard to imagine the intention was ever carried out though. By the 3rd week of May, the Bomber Groups had started moving out and by mid-July the 8th AF was re-established on Okinawa


the Bomber Groups had started moving back to the US and on July 16th, the 8th Air Force was re-established on Okinawa

ianbache
13-02-2013, 22:46
Heres a image from Graveley FIDO pump house, depicting the Sultza pumps used to pump the fuel to the runway,

http://i550.photobucket.com/albums/ii425/LLanbedr/large_zps6337b918.jpg

IWM CH 15275

P Bellamy
14-02-2013, 21:20
Regards the 1959 Marham FIDO trial installation, I've done a quick comparison of the layout drawing given in the Flight article (Black for FIDO burner lines, red for the funnel and yellow for the lighting bars) compared with some visible cropmarks in GE (blue):

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/Continuation%20Album%201/MarFIDO5.jpg

The "box" cropmark at the approach end is very similar to that on the Heathrow FIDO installation.

phil6298
12-06-2013, 05:51
I recently posted this YouTube clip on the Bradwell thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAIjxaJ2_Ag

The overhead footage is definitely Bradwell (you can see my house).

P Bellamy
20-09-2013, 10:19
8AF 1st Air Division
Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations

Weekly report for week ending 5th March 1945


Flying Control Section

1: Major Donovan and S/L Bompas attended experimental demonstrations of gasoline-burning fog-dispersal (FIDO) equipment on two Continental airfields Thesday and Wednesday. At one of these fields they witnessed a demonstration of the new American Ground Controlled Approach equipment, run by RAF personnel.
At Airfield A-75 (Cambrai/Epinoy, France. Emergency strip. PB) where the GCA equipment was demonstrated, a trial of so-called portable FIDO equipment was held. This equipment proved to be a somewhat inferior modification fo the permanent FIDO installations at certain RAF airfields in the UK.

Airstrips A-75 and A-74 (Cambrai/Niergnies, France. PB) were both testing small approach-lane gasoline-burning markers, but were found to be less advanced in their development of the equipment that is Kimbolton in its experiments along the same line.

9: Flying Control at Station 117 (Kimbolton. PB) has arrived at what is believed to be the best basic unit of layout for portable gasoline-burning approach-lane markers. Four 36-foot long pipes are laid out so that they converge to form an arrow at one end. This end points toward the runway, and the vapourizers on all four pipes are positioned so as to give the greatest intensity of light at this point. Major Donovan and S/L Bompas viewed it from the air and deemed this layout quite satisfactory in that it shows both direction and gives the maximum concentration of light.

A decision as to the number of these four-pipe units to be used and their distance/position from the end of the runway is still to be made. Flying Control has been requested to submit a detailed report of pilots reactions to the effectiveness of this equipment on the first occasion it is used under actual poor visibility conditions.

Col. Charles E Marion
DCS for Operations

P Bellamy
20-09-2013, 17:23
The above Kimbolton info probably accounts for this quote I posted a year ago (Post No.69, this thread):

8th AF, 1st Air Division daily records, 14th April 1945:


It was announced that "FIDO" marker burners were to be installed at all stations of the First Division.

maverick
15-01-2014, 10:17
I found this very interesting film about Bomber Command, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7b_w5EX04E. If you watch from 32.40 you will see FIDO in action. Apologies if this film is already common knowledge, but it may be useful.

PNK
10-02-2014, 23:20
More information regarding FIDO Marker Burners (Post #69)

A letter from the Petroleum Warfare Department (PWD) to HQ 3rd Air Division dated 28th March 1945, mentions that 50 FIDO marker burners will be allocated to airfields of the 3rd Division. The burners were to be collected from Messrs. William Press & Son, Willoughby Lane, Tottenham on any day during working hours except Sunday 1st April and Monday 2nd April (Easter, I assume). Since this was as a result of a conference at the 1st Air Division I assume they already had then in use.

Another letter from 27/6/1945 to the PWD list the units being held as:

Snetterton Heath 10
Rattlesden 6
Debach 11
Wormingford 11
Fowlmere 16
Raydon 6
Duxford 6

Were these for experimental use or were they standard issue?