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P Bellamy
15-11-2008, 17:41
RAF Croughton: Signals Square

I've just noticed in both Live Maps and Google Earth that not only does the signals square at Croughton still exist, but whoever is in charge of it either has a sense of humour or a sense of history.

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/ctss1.jpg

The wind T is set, and the other markers indicate "Gliding is underway", very appropriate for the former home of No. 1 Glider Training School.
Someone really ought to repaint the "Do Not Land" marker in the corner of the square though...... just in case. :wink:

TTFN,
PB

Carnaby
23-07-2009, 16:32
When I was a lad....(yawn)...

I was interested in amateur radio (c.1960?). Somewhere on the shortwave band one could pick up a loud ghostly message at hourly? intervals which went on the lines of:

"All Moonshine Aircraft, all Moonshine Aircraft this is Croughton, this is Croughton. Do not answer, do not answer, Break - Alpha Delta Kilo Seven Niner Four Four.
I say again - All Moonshine Aircraft, all Moonshine Aircraft this is Croughton, this is Croughton. Do not answer, do not answer, Break - Alpha Delta Kilo Seven Niner Four Four. Croughton out."
Used to wonder who, or what Croughton was. Never did find out what it was all about - almost certainly something to do with SAC.

Something below on the subject from: http://www.merhabaturkey.com/1CAMMARATAAindex.html

There were two other missions we handled at airways. We made "fox" or one way voice broadcasts. SKY KING and MOONSHINE. SKY KING was a code name for the SAC B-52 airborne nuclear deterrent force. We never knew in advance when we would make a broadcast until the crypto man would alert us about an hour before the scheduled time and give us the coded phrase and exact transmit time. It went something like this: "SKY KING, SKY KING this is Incirlik this is Incirlik. Do not answer, do not answer break Romeo November Juliett break authentication is x-Ray Sierra." We repeated the message one more time followed by the phrase "Incirlik out." Other Airways stations also made random Sky King and Moonshine broadcasts. The Moonshine coded messages were similar except that we used the phrase "All Moonshine Aircraft". I never did find out what Moonshine missions were.

I too can't find out what Moonshine missions were - somebody out there must know ;-)

Graham

Richard Flagg
26-06-2010, 21:51
RAF Croughton gate guards - 25 June 2010

Republic F-105G Thundercheif (62-4428)
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/NORTHAMPTONSHIRE/Croughton/20100625Croughton9-1.jpg

North American F-100D Super Sabre (54-2212)
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/NORTHAMPTONSHIRE/Croughton/20100625Croughton15-1.jpg

EGDGZTCW
26-06-2010, 22:20
I guess with the F105 gone from Duxford, this must be the only example in the UK now?

PETERTHEEATER
14-11-2010, 04:11
These Fighter Pens are amongst the best preserved that I have seen:

http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=51.9926962035042&lon=-1.1754834651947021&gz=17&oz=7&gt=1

kebecker
06-01-2011, 00:06
from 1980's from the DOD image site
http://i336.photobucket.com/albums/n330/kebecker2/DF-ST-91-067371.jpg

Hairbear
02-01-2012, 20:43
I spent two years working in the building with the pitched roof to the left of the antenna. That was Croughton Airways (77 -79)

Richard Flagg
09-01-2012, 02:00
RAF Croughton Back Gate (1974) by Ray Pipitone / RAF UH fb group.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/ALL%20OTHER%20PHOTOS/Ray%20Pipitone/378839_2276883536241_1673333525_1559265_1088069513 _n.jpg

Richard Flagg
01-05-2012, 11:08
Does anyone know where the bomb stores were located at Croiughton?

P Bellamy
01-05-2012, 14:53
SW side of the airfield it would appear. Already fairly well cleared in the "1945" GE coverage:
http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=51.983604862322494&lon=-1.1889266967773438&gz=17&oz=8&gt=1

All the best,
PB

PETERTHEEATER
02-05-2012, 07:16
I have not been able to confirm a bomb store at Croughton. It was always a grass field and opening in 1941 would have had the early war layout bomb store. A number of fighter pens were grouped in the north and east perimeters indicating use of the airfield by fighter aircraft.

There is some road structure and (possibly) a Fuzing Point shed visible on GE '1945' view in the south, just west of a hangar but it's not convincing.

Available on-line post-war mapping doesn't show anything.

P Bellamy
02-05-2012, 14:27
Although Croughton had fighter pens and a Night Fighter Station control tower, it's first regular use (under the original name of RAF Brackley) was as a satellite of 16 OTU at Upper Heyford, operating Hampdens and Herefords between June 1940 and April 1942 and then Wellingtons until August 1942.

PNK
02-05-2012, 17:31
Would an early war OTU satellite be equipped with a bomb store intially? If this was the case then by 1942 it may have had a later pattern bomb store?
The road layout to the south on the "1945" GE view looks unfinished and serving no real purpose.
Croughton's ORB may throw some light on this - or not!

P Bellamy
02-05-2012, 19:13
Croughton's Operations Block (Bomber OTU Stations) 15586/40 with connected Station Headquarters, much modified and now with a pitched roof:
http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=51.99540227189858&lon=-1.1882548034191132&gz=20&oz=4&gt=1

I wonder how many others of this type are still in active use...

All the best,
PB

TommyUSA
02-05-2012, 21:31
What I want to know is how does one pronounce 'Croughton'? Cr-OU-ton (as in 'ouch')? Cruffton? Crow-ton? Crah-ton?
:-P
T

buccaneer66
02-05-2012, 21:51
As far as I know it's Crow-ton but I stand to be corrected. :lol:

Carnaby
02-05-2012, 22:23
THE USAF radio broadcasts from the base, (actually Barford St John, the TX site), used to say Croughton with the 'ou' as in 'ouch'
Then I found this on Wiki:

There is no one predominant pronunciation of the village's name, with residents pronouncing it with its first syllable rhyming with "thou" or with the first syllable rhyming with "crow". The "thou" pronunciation was adopted by the Americans nearby at RAF Croughton when the airbase was in use by the USAF.

PETERTHEEATER
03-05-2012, 04:38
Although Croughton had fighter pens and a Night Fighter Station control tower, it's first regular use (under the original name of RAF Brackley) was as a satellite of 16 OTU at Upper Heyford, operating Hampdens and Herefords between June 1940 and April 1942 and then Wellingtons until August 1942.

Thanks Paul, that reinforces the likelihood that there was an early war type bomb store in the area discussed above.

PNK, if, at the outset, the airfield was planned to be a Bomber OCU it would have had a bomb store. Supplementary bomb stores to the 1942 standard were only added when airfields were upgraded to Class A standard. Since Croughton has never had hard runways it could not have supported heavier bomber types than Blenheim, Hampden etc and would not have supplementary bomb storage. What's needed for confirmation is a good aerial photograph.

superplum
03-05-2012, 11:37
Thanks Paul, that reinforces the likelihood that there was an early war type bomb store in the area discussed above.

PNK, if, at the outset, the airfield was planned to be a Bomber OCU it would have had a bomb store. Supplementary bomb stores to the 1942 standard were only added when airfields were upgraded to Class A standard. Since Croughton has never had hard runways it could not have supported heavier bomber types than Blenheim, Hampden etc and would not have supplementary bomb storage. What's needed for confirmation is a good aerial photograph.

There was never any evidence of a bomb store in any of the documents that I had. However, there was a 40mm Practice Grenade range in that area for a while. The farmer ignores the metal debris!

Sparky67
03-05-2012, 21:51
Mention of those HF transmissions from Croughton sent shivers down my spine ! There was also the mysterious Cemetery Net and the RAF's AT2J / MKL active on HF around then...

Here's a photo taken a few years ago inside one of what looks like original RAF buildings close to the base of the lighter-coloured tower in kebecker's photo on page 1...

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7098/6993854644_7a3c7830d2_c.jpg

This two-colour paint job seems to crop up everywhere. Was there a standard colour scheme for buildings ?


And as a contrast to REF's 1974 security staff photo...30-ish years on :-P

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7249/6993856400_c548132755_b.jpg

We pronounced Croughton at the time with the ou as in 'ouch', the gh as a 'w' and ton as 'tun'.

Carnaby
03-05-2012, 22:22
There was also the Cemetery Net and AT2J on HF around then...
Tell us more, please. Where were these transmissions? Around 6MHz (plus and minus a hell of a lot) perhaps?

kebecker
03-05-2012, 22:55
if any one has the time rigth now I noticed 2 additional images of Croughton taken at the same time as the one on the previous page, the page is quiet slow. I may get to this at the weekend.

http://www.defenseimagery.mil/imagery.html#a=search&s=croughton&chk=6cfe0&n=60

From the DoD site: change of command parade 2003

http://i336.photobucket.com/albums/n330/kebecker2/DF-SD-05-083751.jpg

and from 1989

http://i336.photobucket.com/albums/n330/kebecker2/DF-ST-90-101721.jpg

Richard Flagg
05-02-2013, 21:52
Some of my notes about Croughton;

RAF Croughton began life in 1940 as Brackley Landing Ground, it was renamed in July 1941. The first aircraft here were Whitleys of 78 Squadron on deployment from their home base at Linton-on-Ouse. From june 1940 until July 1942 the airfield was used by 16 OTU operating Hampden, Anson and later Wellington aircraft.

The airfield remained a training airfield and No.1 Glider Training School moved in from Thame in August 1942, they were equipped with Hector and Hotspur gliders. Tugs were based there in the form of Miles Masters. Tiger Moths and Oxfords were used for training at the same time. No.1 GTS remained here until March 1943.

From March 1943 until October 1944 the airfield was allocated to 20 Pilots Advanaced Flying Unit that were based at Kidlington. They were a twin-engined training school and used Airspeed Oxfords. At the units' peak they had around 200 aircraft and Croughton was a very busy place.

In November 1944 No.1 GTS reformed here and remained until June 1946. the next unit to use the airfield was 267 Maintenance Unit. After a period of Care & Maintenance in July 1948 the airfield was in use again, this time by No.3 MU who remained until July 1951.

Now used by the United States Air Forces' 422nd Air Base Group, the airfield is a large communications centre and one of the largest military switchboards in Europe.

The airfield is now covered in an array of aerials, radar and antenna but the same layout has remained, the grass surface can clearly be seen and there are a number of original WW2 structures still on the airfield including the Control Tower and some immaculatly preserved fighter pens.

Rerun57
07-02-2013, 10:09
Croughton airways was on (is on??) 6751kHz, if I remember rightly, in the 1970s. It also had many other freqs in the other usual HF air segments of the radio spectrum. The "67" freq was the one I used to hear most traffic on, especially in the day time. You also used to get Lajes, Incirlik, McDill, Loring and others which I now forget. I never heard a "Moonshine" call, but "Sky King" messages were very common and seemed to be broadcast at a given number if minutes past the hour, varying with station. MKL was on a similar freq in the 6 MHz band, as well as other HF freqs. This was (is) RAF and NATO maritime patrol net, sending ops status info and coded traffic by both speech, Morse and RTTY to and from Northwood(??). I used to hear the Cemetary net after dark, but rarely heard anything of interest-normally just radio checks, although once there was mention of an F-4 crash in Germany. My favourite HF net was that of the 10 TRW and 20 TRW, which was often busy with RF-4Cs and F-111Es carrying out sorties over UK and Western Europe. Sadly, when moving many years ago I binned all my notes from these nets. Stupid or what? Anyone else have other info about these?

tigger
07-02-2013, 10:33
My own memories of the Cemetery net are of an assortment of callsigns, usually numerical (eg CEMETERY 51 was Kleine Brogel, CEMETERY 83 was Sigonella), though sometimes they used others such as RINGSIDE (also Kleine Brogel). Messages were hourly, on the security status of all USArmy/USAF nuclear sites in Europe. Another callsign often heard was BOLD JUSTICE - some kind of airborne asset. I think the net was divided into subnets as the callsigns always seemed to transmit in the same smaller groupings of around ten stations.

SKYKING messages were always very short and other transmissions were often interupted so they could be passed. I don't recall them being at a specific time, nor are they now.

Trawling my brain for MOONSHINE but don't remember the format....I was only about five or six years old but fascinated by HF listening (the shipping forecast is poetry even now!).

I thought all my notebooks (I used the scrapbooks that most kids probably put cuttings etc in then swapped to using my school exercise books later) were at my mums house but with a few moves between then and now she says not.

Probably better in a different thread but if anyone else has memories of these nets from the 60s and 70's I'd also love to hear them.

juddy
07-02-2013, 10:59
Do they have a helicopter pad here?

tigger
07-02-2013, 11:22
Do they have a helicopter pad here?

Not seen one....they could use the running track if it was necessary to land a helicopter?

Rerun57
07-02-2013, 16:04
I have started posting on the HF Comms Nets here:

http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?10101-HF-Military-Aviation-Nets-c1970&p=120255&viewfull=1#post120255

All very welcome to join in!

Terenceskipp
16-04-2013, 18:29
In my planespotting days of the late 1950's 60's we used to listen in on the short wave band of my parents, with transmissions fading in & out. Callsigns Skyking & " all viaduct aircraft" come to mind, with lots of numbers after