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Peter Kirk
01-08-2009, 19:18
That title should get the secret services twitchy!

Recently got a plan from TNA of RAF Gaydon in 1958. But not the airfield. I think it is the weapons storage site east of the main site. Did all the V Bomber bases have these and were they all built before the 60s?
For some reason I assumed they were 1970s built probably because they only appeared on maps in the 70s.

superplum
01-08-2009, 20:41
Where exactly are you looking? Gaydon would have had a "site" but I.m not sure where. I was there (training visit) c1962 and saw my first "special wpn" there during a practice load.

Regards

H
(One who knows)

WJT
01-08-2009, 20:55
Hi there Superplum. As one who knows, better check there is not a black Omega parked in the road outside your house!

By the way, have you been watching the series on British nukes being broadcast on More 4. I can't get the programme when it is broadcast on Weds evening, but I have been looking at it on the Channel 4 version of i-Player (4 on demand??). The second programme had some excellent vid from AWRE showing the Valiants being bombed up on Christmas Island, the first time these shots have been seen in public it seems. There were also some good scenes of Aldermaston. Now you are not the only one who knows, you know.

I thoroughly recommend this series - hope they publish it in DVD. Next week they are looking at Thor and Blue Streak.

ColinBa
01-08-2009, 21:52
Try to get hold of RAF Nuclear Deterrent Forces By Humphrey Wynn HMSO 1994 and all will be revealed. The initial delivery and storage at Wittering and subsequent use of US supplied and guarded bombs on British UK bases is fascinating.

superplum
01-08-2009, 21:57
Seen the progs (first by chance) and got the book (original hardback - had it before it was declassified!)

Regards

H

Peter Kirk
01-08-2009, 22:37
This is the Gaydon site today.

superplum
02-08-2009, 10:42
Yes, that is the site - you had me fooled because I was looking to the "East" of the main site!

The main storage facilities required a drive thro' capability because of the size of the early weapons. The remaining 12 buildings appear to be either a later addition or have had the earth covering removed. Designs changed as weapons got smaller but some other original areas still exist.

H

Peter Kirk
02-08-2009, 12:47
Sorry about the compass directions, I had GE upside down to match an aerial photo and forgot to turn it around :oops:

A great way to find "new" airfields though :)

PETERTHEEATER
03-08-2009, 10:43
I must have missed this thread.

All of the 'V-Bomber' stations had 'special weapons' storage areas.

The Gaydon site which you have now identified was known as the SSA (Supplementary Storage Area) but you will find many references to the sites being called 'clutches'. When I was at Gaydon 1959 - 1961 it was always referred to as the SSA.

The weapon in those days was Blue Danube a physics package in a 10,000 pound bomb case which could be carried singly by the Valiant and Victor aircraft. (Detail available on-line by searching).

In theory, the Valiant could carry three BDs, one in the bomb bay and one under each wing but I don't think that it was ever given full clearance to do so.

SWs were brought up to the airfield northeatern perimeter gate along a narrow road visible today. They were transported on a Standard Airfield Bomb Transporter (SABT) loaded into a special box bodied trailer known as a Pantechnicon which had a built in electic winch and a folding ramp set to get the SABT in and out. The Pantech had all the electrical supplies to keep the SW warm (electric blanket!) and comfortable and was towed by a Tractor Unit (Thorneycroft?).

My RAF specialist qualification then - at the tender age of 22 - was Victor/Valiant Bomb Loading and I drove and operated the awful (early) Neal Gantry and the later (excellent) Simon Bomb Hoist on 3 ton Bedford chassis.

The SSA in those days of course was heavily secured and guarded. The mounded 'D' stores for maintenance and storage are still there but the site is now overbuilt with airconditioned stores for the national film archive trying to keep cellulose nitrate cinema film for posterity.

WJT
03-08-2009, 11:39
A 'pantechnicon' came up for sale at a farm near Strubby last year. Must look out the pictures.

Ossington_2008
03-08-2009, 22:00
Thanks again Mr Kirk! I too have whizzed around GE looking for such stuff. I had assumed that Gaydons store was destroyed by the need to accommodate subsequent vehicular activity, it never occurred to me that it was a stand-alone site so far away from the main airfield. A setup similar to Waddos, across the A15, I'd expect, not something fields away to the east.

http://i388.photobucket.com/albums/oo322/Ossington_2008/Gaydon.jpg

Does anyone have, or can get, ground level photos to share? I take it that originally there were more "clutches" in the central area before the dozen film stores were built?

Hawkeye001
03-08-2009, 22:14
Have a look at a website called secret bases you will find alot of info on there about such places.

Regards,

HawkEye001

Peter Kirk
04-08-2009, 13:01
The 1958 plan is very similar, just remove the rectangular thingys in the middle. I will try and post the original once I have redrawn it.

PETERTHEEATER
05-08-2009, 07:33
A 'pantechnicon' came up for sale at a farm near Strubby last year. Must look out the pictures.

A rather specialized, beautifully built vehicle so probably not that adaptable to commercial use.

I can't remember who made them; probably Tasker?

Hal_Chase
20-08-2010, 17:11
Bringing this back from the dead....sorry!

Just thought I'd mention there is still an extant SSA at RAF Wittering, 5 x Igloos and 5 x Fissile Core Stores, built in the mid 1950's for Project E 'toys' when they had V Bomber's there. If everyone knows that then please ignore me :wink:

Paul Francis
20-08-2010, 17:31
This thread should be re-named 'Supplementary Storage Areas'. The Humphery Winn book is indeed excellent and is well recommended, though not all will be revealed. There is much additional material in TNA but one has to search for it!

canberra
20-08-2010, 20:08
SSA = Special Stores Area, I accidentally photographed the SSA at Laarbruch from the right hand seat of a C150!

And as for all the V bomber bases having an SSA, did they? I ask this as the documentary on the Discovery channel about the Cuban missile crisis says that the weapons were housed at Faldingworth. Or was it just the Lincolnshire bases weapons that were housed there??

WJT
20-08-2010, 21:49
Sorry, Canberra, I'm with Paul on the name. They may have been called 'special weapons' but they were Supplementary Storage Areas.

canberra
21-08-2010, 08:48
Sorry but in my time the were called special stores areas. They may have been called supplementary at one time, but as I say in my time they were called special stores areas. And that was for the reason that the RAF referred to nuclear weapons as special weapons.

And Im curoius as to why they were called supplementary weapons?

PETERTHEEATER
21-08-2010, 09:30
Sorry but in my time the were called special stores areas. They may have been called supplementary at one time, but as I say in my time they were called special stores areas. And that was for the reason that the RAF referred to nuclear weapons as special weapons.

And Im curoius as to why they were called supplementary weapons?

The weapons were not called or referred to as supplementary weapons it was the owning airfield's storage area which was referred to as 'The SSA' (Supplementary Storage Area) and this was from the mid 50s through mid 60s at least. Remember that in the early years the SW were intended for strategic use but as technology advanced the size shrank for the same power and then the policy changed to tactical with small and easily managed bombs albeit with high levels of safety and security.

ted angus
21-08-2010, 10:03
always known as Supplementary in my day at UK stations I always thought that it was because the area was always supplementary to the pre existing conventional stores areas ?? However I have a sneeking suspiscion that in Germany both at Bruggen and Laarbruch they were known as special storage area but I could be wrong on that bit. In Cyprus it was simply known as the Western explosive storage area the conventional site where I worked was you guessed-- the Eastern explosives area.

canberra
21-08-2010, 12:54
Didnt know that Akrotiri had nukes, strange as well that it had two bomb dumps. Back in 1990 the Sappers worked like stink to double the size of the bomb dump for some reason! Now why do that if they had two bomb dumps?

I was going to say what you said Ted and that a supplementary storage area was just that a supplementary one. And yes in Germany they were indeed called Special Storage Areas, I suspect as a sop to the locals.

Carnaby
21-08-2010, 17:13
TNA contains SSA records for Coningsby, Cottesmore, Finningley, Gaydon, Honington, Marham, Scampton, Waddington - dates 1958 to 1964 The records are entitled Supplementary Storage Areas. In all correspondence this does appear to be the official approved term.

I remember the term 'Special Storage' being applied to Barnham and Faldingworth discussions in the mid 1950s.

Peculiarly AIR29 / 4089 is entitled Special Storage Area RAF Marsham,1954-58

T225/2199 is 'Special storage facilities at Royal Air Force airfields in the United Kingdom 1960-62'. It refers to intended work on four Class 1 airfields to house Skybolt. The term Special Storage Area is used in this document, however it is Treasury, not Air Ministry terminology.

Discussions include:
extra work at Coningsby, 1960
the third Skybolt store at Waddington (The last of the 'E' stations?)
intended construction of the second store at Honington in 1962
calibration and X-ray facilities for all stores to be at Cottesmore.
much discussion on 'Y' and 'ZZ' safety distances ?
It states that Cottesmore was to be the first. Was Coningsby the 'last' Skybolt store?

AIR2/19070 Clearance of RAF Faldingworth1972/3 uses the term 'Clutch', and the plans refer to the nuclear site as 'Depot Stores'

Discussion most welcome.

Graham

ted angus
21-08-2010, 19:46
Re Akrotiri the west site wasn't very big i never got in there even when I delivered mail or tools stopped at one of many checkpoints on the access road. It still appears on GE. Looking at GE the eastern Ex area doesn't look too much different, seems a bit of an expansion at the east end mind it was nearly 40 years ago. along the south edge all the squares are revetted squares each with a telegraph pole at each corner supporting a galvinised metal roof open sides this is where the stacks of 1000lbs were. they were building new facilities to house Rapier in my final year 73. but the 74 war changed a lot of the plans. There used to be a weapon load team certification Vulcan parked very near our Arm GSE workshop but when the bucket of sunshine work was being done it was way off limits to a little grubby Gen Fitt !!
Fantastic 3 years outstanding bunch of people the 3 of us GEF types were treated as part of the gang not at all like the cling on attitude shown by the squadrons.

PETERTHEEATER
22-08-2010, 07:37
Yes, we 'plumbers' never had a problem with team work and other specialist trades. I once worked Second Line (fighter maintenance) yet the personnel on First Line (Flight Line) treated us as non-squadron personnel!

ted angus
22-08-2010, 11:06
Peter several of the plumber SNCOs were part of the NEAF EOD team I was their 3 tonner driver towing the steam plant ; how p*ssed off was I when the lads went into action in 74 and my replacement drove the truck with them to the jobs at Famagusta & Paphos harbour. I had been to visit them the friday before the war started as I was out there with 214 sqn what a terrible trip that was; the 2 of us GEF lads and the supplier had to cover both shifts while the off shift was at the beach or down town oh well that's life as a cling on !!

Andy (Mick) Anderson Mick Sharpe, Fred Knox, Flt Lt Caustic are names that spring to mind I cannot speak highly enough about any of them !!

superplum
22-08-2010, 12:43
Didnt know that Akrotiri had nukes, strange as well that it had two bomb dumps. Back in 1990 the Sappers worked like stink to double the size of the bomb dump for some reason! Now why do that if they had two bomb dumps?

I was going to say what you said Ted and that a supplementary storage area was just that a supplementary one. And yes in Germany they were indeed called Special Storage Areas, I suspect as a sop to the locals.

Sorry Canberra, but they were actually Supplementary SA's. I ran the one at Bruggen (3+ yrs) and had regular dealings with the other one up the road. I also did it at HQ STC level. The term "Supplementary" was dictated by the SD814 - RAF NW Regualtions. The misuse of "special" tended to come from the general knowledge of storing "special wpns".

Ted, I remember sniffing around inside the Akr Vulcan whilst on detachment with 111 Sqn Lightnings (Feb 74) - they had left a checklist in the cockpit!

PS Caustic should read "Costick".

canberra
22-08-2010, 15:04
Sorry mate but at Laarbruch it was called the special stores area.

ted angus
22-08-2010, 16:05
PS Caustic should read "Costick".

Thanks I remember now ! There was an officer in Arm Eng Sqn who every saturday morning would motor over the bay to Limassol sea front and park up. There was a bar /cafe that had tables on the "prom, " a succession of Arm Eng
people and their families would be there he would have a couple or three of Keo then motor back to camp. I am pretty sure that Was him !! Somewhere I have the Air clues that reported the RAF contribution to the post war clean up in one of the pictures Fred Knox is in the water at Paphos harbour Happy days !!

When were you at Bruggen I was on C DSU jan 79 to jan 82. we had a building in the woods south of the SSA gate it was the old receiver building we resided in their on exercise.

superplum
22-08-2010, 16:07
Sorry mate but at Laarbruch it was called the special stores area.

Not by those in the know! I also did a tour at LBH.

Trust me, I'm an armourer!

PETERTHEEATER
28-09-2010, 09:48
Update on Gaydon SSA current use:

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1934017

ted angus
28-09-2010, 11:25
Update on Gaydon SSA current use:

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1934017


Ah its good news week by hedgehoppers anon I still know every word !! how sad

TED

foreignerabroad
05-08-2011, 16:49
Thought this report would be of interest to this forum rather then on the shelf at the county council.

Had to split the document into 5 due to size.

Peter Kirk
05-08-2011, 17:09
Excellent. Welcome and thanks for posting the reports. There are a lot of gems hidden in Council websites but most are difficult to find and the names don't always relate to the names we know them by. I noticed tha AiX was mentioned as well.

PETERTHEEATER
06-08-2011, 08:45
Than you foreignerabroad for sharing that report and welcome to AiX. Are you one of the authors or just an interested party?

foreignerabroad
11-08-2011, 17:39
You're welcome.

I have connections with the guys building BFI's new archive store on the site. They learnt the history of SSAs from forums like this, so I thought it right to repay the favour.

PETERTHEEATER
12-08-2011, 05:00
Good. I anticipate that BFIs continued use of the site will prolong the Cold War remains or does building a new archive entail demolition?

foreignerabroad
12-08-2011, 15:17
Yes - The majority of the cold war infrastructure remains, most of them are still used for storage purposes, with one of them now a dedicated bat roost. The BFI aren't going anywhere so neither are these buildings.

PETERTHEEATER
13-08-2011, 08:25
Splendid! Thank you.

DamienB
13-08-2011, 20:00
You're welcome.

I have connections with the guys building BFI's new archive store on the site. They learnt the history of SSAs from forums like this, so I thought it right to repay the favour.

Nice one - fascinating photos in the report. Wonder if the red paint had a particular significance when the site was "live"?

Carnaby
18-08-2011, 21:53
Back to the old Special / Supplementary Storage discussions, I was looking at a TNA file relating to the delivery of 'Smallboy' (the 'HE 10,000 lb MC' bomb as it was called) from supplier to RAF. (On returning home I discover that this 10,000 lb HE weapon was in fact Blue Danube). That explains why a supplier was Burghfield! The two depot stores at Barnham and Faldingworth were referred to as 94 and 92 MU SSS, (Special Storage Site).

PETERTHEEATER
19-08-2011, 07:34
Yes, I recall the appropriate Air Publication described a 10,000 pound medium capacity high explosive bomb and a number were made HE filled and dropped in testing. But, the same casing with a nuclear package (Blue Danube) was the nuclear bomb. The nuclear version was described in classified documents held under lock and key at the Armouries and SSAs of user airfields.

The ballistics of the HE bomb and the nuclear bomb were matched so that the HE could be dropped in practice to simulate delivery. There were also a number of inert filled casings dropped as practice bombs.

ColinBa
19-08-2011, 08:43
I vaguely recall that there was a dialogue between Eisenhower and Churchill during an official USA visit in the early 1950s concerning the USA giving us help with the casing and ballistics of nuclear bombs.

PETERTHEEATER
19-08-2011, 10:16
Since the McMahon Act of 1946 froze Britain out of shared nuclear technology that was of no interest to our scientists. Britain already had more experience in producing heavy bomb cases from the 12000 and 22000 pound weapons of WW2 (of which the USA did manufacture a lot to assist). It was the size of physics package that determined the bomb size and was a critical factor in designing an aircraft to carry it. A heavy (thick) bomb case served as part of the tamper to contain the 'explosion' for a micro time and improve the efficiency.

superplum
12-10-2012, 11:05
Extracted from today's EDP (sorry about the formatting):

Nuclear bomb store in Suffolk on English Heritage at risk list.

It started as a top-secret military site, built in the midst of the cold war, but has since fallen to a state of disrepair.
Now, the UK’s first independent nuclear deterrent, in Suffolk, will be restored and repaired with a series of conservation works. For the Barnham Nuclear Bomb Store, a nine-acre site on the Gorse Industrial Estate between Elveden and Barnham, near Thetford, is one of the latest additions to the English Heritage at risk register. This includes 6,000 buildings and historic sites at risk of being lost, including monuments, archaeological sites, battlefields, shipwrecks, places of worship, conservation areas and landscapes in England which are under threat from neglect, decay and damage.
Keith Eldred, who bought the Suffolk site from the Ministry of Defence for £20,000 in 1966, initially to grow mushrooms to sell to Woolworths, is working with English Heritage to restore the area. “This was the most top-secret place in the country,” he said. “My wife nearly passed out when I said I’d bought it.”
Built between 1953 and 1959, the bomb store was created for the maintenance of the Blue Danube, Britain’s first free-falling nuclear weapon to be stockpiled. Today, the site, which has been subject to vandalism and moisture over the years, is a fascinating snapshot of a top-secret world that once was. It includes 57 “kiosks” which housed the nuclear components, although only about 16 were ever occupied, bomb-storage units, five watchtowers and is a scheduled ancient monument with three grade II* and two grade II listed buildings on site. Four of the towers will now be restored – with one left to demonstrate slow decay over time – and the kiosks and perimeter concrete wall repaired. Scrub will be cleared, a water tank restored and a testing store preserved. This will be funded with a £80,000 grant from English Heritage – which will cover approximately 80pc of the costs while the remaining 20pc will be funded by Mr Eldred.
Inspector of monuments for English Heritage, John Ette, said the organisation had been working with Mr Eldred for some time, and expected the remainder of the work to be completed in about a year.
“There’s nothing particularly unique about some of these buildings and even the observation towers themselves aren’t particularly unique but what’s important here is probably what the site housed and how significant it was as Britain’s first nuclear deterrent,” he said.
“It was all about security and secrecy. They were out of the way and down on the heathland and they wouldn’t be bothered.”
Most of the restoration work will be carried out on site, which is a scheduled ancient monument and which is also partly used as an industrial estate.

PETERTHEEATER
13-10-2012, 06:56
Well, there's a surprise. But, I am happy that EH and the owner are prepared to refurbish the site because I agree that it is of significant historical interest even though the individual structures are not considered unique. This should lead to it becoming a museum for the history of the British nuclear weapons but it is early days yet and and I just hope the announcement intent can be carried through to reality.

corij
13-10-2012, 07:52
in the centre of Raf woodbridge bomb dump is a secondary area with its own turnstile gateway. the turnstile has an observation box with slit windows /a kiosk of sorts around it and a large green generator in a small room attached .this secondary area has razor wire protection and a sort of no mans land surrounding its fence. it has about 8-12 of its own bunkers ,i forget exactly now

i was working at Woodbridge as a guard in the year 2000 and had to use a pushbike to patrol with. i removed the dipstick from the generator and used its oil to lubricate the bikes chain and then put it back

Trains&Planes
10-02-2013, 22:11
I did two stints on SD814 duties, the first at RAF Laarbruch, then at RAF Bruggen, in training and at both locations, SSA stood for 'Supplementary Storage Area'.

superplum
10-02-2013, 22:44
I did two stints on SD814 duties, the first at RAF Laarbruch, then at RAF Bruggen, in training and at both locations, SSA stood for 'Supplementary Storage Area'.

Intriguing, which dates were you doing "it"?

Trains&Planes
12-02-2013, 23:03
I was at Laarbruch Oct 89 - Nov 92, IIRC the SSA was mothballed just after I came back from the Falklands in Feb 92. I was at Bruggen between Feb 94 - Feb 97 with operations at that SSA finishing early 95.

BrenGun
22-06-2013, 16:00
I also was employed on Security Directive 814 duties at Laarbruch and Honnington (79-86). Explosive Storage Areas (ESA) stored conventional weapons with the Supplementary Storage Area (SSA) storing 'special weapons'.

RAFP SNCOs completed training where they qualified as Special Security Supervisors.

SD814 which was a secret document was the bible of the RAFP in how to protect special weapons whether in transit (road or air) or stored within an SSA or loaded on an aircraft within a QRA. This covered all aspects of physical security (fencing, lighting, lighting, etc) to convoys and loading to aircraft by armorers, along with lots of other policy and procedural matters. All this was inspected and tested frequently.

On exercise I once dealt with a pilot who having a special weapon loaded to his aircraft and ordered to take off on his mission refused. I shot him!

Paul Francis
22-06-2013, 19:50
Brilliant #2 post there BrenGun

WJT
23-06-2013, 08:00
Has SD814 been declassified and can it be accessed anywhere (ie RAF Museum)?

BrenGun
23-06-2013, 08:24
I would doubt this very much as I would imagine that the protection measures are still practiced at Aldermaston and the Trident submarine base.

WJT
23-06-2013, 08:36
Hi BG: Welcome to AiX.

I think you are right - nuclear didn't end with WE177! Shades of my time at Honington, Bruggen and Marham.

superplum
23-06-2013, 10:14
Hi BG: Welcome to AiX.

I think you are right - nuclear didn't end with WE177! Shades of my time at Honington, Bruggen and Marham.

Correct! However, the SD814 contained only the RAF Nuclear Weapon Regulations. It was never "de-classified" and is no longer in existence. I had the last working copy in a unique post and was responsible for its shredding in Feb 2005. That said, there may be one copy held in an archive (unlikely) but it will not be made available to the public.

Now beginning to wonder if I should have kept the binder!

Ossington_2008
23-06-2013, 16:20
You should have kept the entire document! What valid reason was given for destroying it?

Smoggieboy
23-06-2013, 17:15
Probably the same reason I had to shred target lines at Honington in 1990ish ! We didn't need them and no one else needed to know !!

superplum
23-06-2013, 20:26
Probably the same reason I had to shred target lines at Honington in 1990ish ! We didn't need them and no one else needed to know !!

Exactly! The publication had been deemed to be no longer needed 18 months previously by the sponsor (they screwed up) and was to be destroyed iaw classified document destruction procedures. Our two copies were retained (officially) because the disbanded sponsor had left me without any covering reference and regulatory material. We never messed around with material such as this.

SJT1985
21-08-2013, 21:58
I've just been reading this and seen the bits relating to Barnham Nuclear Storage Site. If anyone's interested, I've created a website to try and preserve the history as well as help EH and UEA out. http://rafbarnham-nss.weebly.com/

I'm pretty interested if any of you folk out there no much about the "x flight" convoys who moved the weapons between AWE, Barnham, Faldingworth and the op units, and indeed anything about the vehicles and trailers, especially if anyone has any details or pics about the "glider trailers" that BLUE DANUBE was moved around in behind the Hippos...

Alex Brown
21-08-2013, 22:24
I've just been reading this and seen the bits relating to Barnham Nuclear Storage Site. If anyone's interested, I've created a website to try and preserve the history as well as help EH and UEA out. http://rafbarnham-nss.weebly.com/

An interesting site about a very interesting site! Does need some detailed spell-checking though.

SJT1985
21-08-2013, 22:27
An interesting site about a very interesting site! Does need some detailed spell-checking though.

Which is gladly welcome, I've been building it in the evenings amongst watching a toddler and occupying a hyper active dog, so any mistakes you spot, please let me know :-)

Alex Brown
21-08-2013, 22:42
Which is gladly welcome, I've been building it in the evenings amongst watching a toddler and occupying a hyper active dog, so any mistakes you spot, please let me know :-)

It's easy for them to creep in, I have a curse where (either fortunately or not!) spelling mistakes just jump out at me.
If I have some spare time I will have a look through and let you know what I find, I plan to have a read through it anyway...

alertken
28-12-2013, 14:22
US Nuclear Weapons Storage Sites in UK: (dates: MJF Bowyer, Force for Freedom,PSL,1994)
G.Washington U.Nuc.Archive:History of the Custody&Deployment of Nuc.Weapons,7/45-9/77,DoD,2/78 (pub.1999) http//www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/19991020/04-24.htm,P.6 (accessed, 22/12/13):

1/1/47: McMahon Act established USAEC/Sandia,NM in sole custody of nuclear weapons.
wef 17/7/48: Berlin Blockade: temporary duty (TDY) UK rotation upto c.100xSAC B-29, implied as, but not, nuclear-armed.
wef 5/49: Silver Plate TDY B-29: nuclear capable, not armed: AEC saw Mks. 4/5/6 Bombs as “too complex” for conscript armourers.

14/6/50: men/facilities in place, Pres.Approved 90xMk.4 transfer to USAF/USN “for training” and of Mk.4 “non-nuclear components” to SAC/UK.
30/6/50: Korean War caused Approval to deploy SAC B-50D to Guam/Canada from 7/50 and:
9/9/50: USS Coral Sea/VC-5 AJ-1 Savage to Pt.Lyautey, Fr.Morocco/Sixth Fleet: all: Mk.4 (11, AJ-1), nuclear capsule (pit/core/birdcage/physics package) held at AEC, “fast air transport” on Presidential Approval for insertion at deployment bases Pp.8/10/15-17/B-2.
7/50-2/51: SAC B-50D TDY (7 RAF stations, and) Lakenheath (to USAF, 8/8/48 ), Mildenhall (15/7/50), Sculthorpe (7/2/49):
one of these WW2 Explosive Storage Areas will have been 1st in UK to receive US weapon, Mk.4, “before (end-50)”.

6/51: SAC/Guam was 1st “complete” Bomb deployment,

22/7/52: Ike Approval, Mk.7 to UK Light-/Fighter-Bombers (B-45A/Sculthorpe {OSS, 31/5/52}; F-84G/Wethersfield {OSS, 21/5/52}/Woodbridge): all, minus capsules.
(F-84E(75), Manston/406FBW, 10/7/52-1/4/54 trained for Mk.8 (penetrator),“all up” weapon, no insertable capsule: Pres.Approval for “fast air transport”?)

5/54: SAC/Morocco 1st. “complete Bomb” on non-Canadian/US Territory Pp.18/B-2/3.
6/54: Pres.Approval, “complete Bomb” deployment to UK Operational Storage Sites:
wef 9-11/54: Mk.7, B-45/F-84G; Mks.5/6/18, B-47E/Fairford {OSS ready, 9/53} Pp.19/30/B-6.

early-55: Mk.7, F-84F/Bentwaters/Manston/Shepherd’s Grove.
late-55: fusion Mk.15/B-47E.

10-12/58: “UK, Thor” (Feltwell)}

1/68: “UK, NDB” (St.Mawgan) } P.B-3.


Alconbury: 15/9/55-5/58: B-45A, 47BW/86BS, Mks.5/7; 7/58-early 8/59, B-66B, Mk.7;
5-7/58: F-100D, 20 TFW, 55/77FBS, Mk.7 (Then, non-nuclear Units. Vacated by USAF,12/95)

Bentwaters: 5/55- /59: F-84F, 81(FBW,8/7/58: )TFW/91TFS; /92TFS, 30/4/58- /59: /Mk.7;
4/12/58-3/1/66: F-101A/C, 81TFW/91/92TFS, Mk.7;
4/10/65-10/73: F-4C, 81TFW/(1/10/71: FW), Mk.28/B61; 8-10/73-1/79: F-4D, Mk.28/B61.
(Then, non-nuclear Units. 30/9/93: RAF care and maintenance).

Boscombe Down: 4/83-1992: USAF/TAC F-111D/B61 Forward Operating Base.

Brize Norton:12/54-4/58: SAC B-47B/E,Mks.5/15; 4/58-3/4/65: Reflex Action B-47E/Mk.15.
(maintenance: 4th.ADS, 30th.SSDS). (1/4/65: RAF Transport Command).

Bruntingthorpe: 1-7/59: SAC Reflex Action B-47E, Mk.15 (Vacated by USAF 8/62).

Chelveston: 1/11/55-8/59, 8/62-19/6/64 Dispersed Operating Base(EB-47E,1-9/59) (RAF c&m).

Fairford: 9/54-4/58:SAC B-47E,Mk.5/15;1/58-6/64, SAC upto 19xReflex Action B-47E, Mk.15;
(c&m,6/64-9/78 ). Designated as Primary Installation, 1/6/79; >2014: Dispersed Operating Base.

Greenham Common: 5/56-4/58: SAC, upto 45xB-47E, Mk.15;
1/58-1/4/64: SAC, upto 18xReflex Action B-47E, Mk.15; . (RAF c&m, 1/7/64-1/67; 11/11/68, USAF store);
1/5/70-1977: Operating Location ‘A’, F-111E, 20 TFW/U.Heyford, B61;
14/11/83-3/91: (96) BGM-109 Gryphon, 501 TMW, W-84 (RAF c&m, 3/91).

Lakenheath: 12/54- /56: TDY upto 30xSAC B-47E/Mk.5 (Works to 1/10/59);
5/1/60-1/2/72: F-100D (75), 48TFW Mk.7;
7/74-22/4/77: F-4D(72), 48TFW(Wing opnl.1/7/75)/492/493/494TFS, Mk.28/B61;
9/7/77-14/12/92: F-111F (91), 48TFW (Wing opnl.31/8/78; 15/3/92, 48FW), B61;
(Wing IOC: ) 1/10/93 ->2014: F-15E (upto 54), 48FW/492/493FS; each a/c, 2xB61.
(1996-2004, 33 of the 60xHAS had WS3 pits holding upto 110xB61 in 6-packs).

Manston: early-55-30/4/58: F-84F, 81 FBW/92FBS, Mk.7. (RAF c&m, 30/6/58 ).

Macrihanish: 1/68-11/91: P-3A/B/C, USN AW Facility(Det):W-34/Mk.101-3/71;Mk.57-11/91.

Mildenhall: 2/58-4/59: Reflex Action B-47E/Mks.5/15 (B-47 mtce,9/56-3/65) (Then:non-nuclear Units)
(1/5/64-1/68 {St.Mawgan NAWF}: USN NAF could have held Mks.57/101 Lulu for visiting P-3)

Molesworth: mid-56: B-45, det. from Sculthorpe; to 1/58, B-45 Standby Dispersal Base (SDB)
12/86-10/88: BGM-109 Gryphon (18 ), 303TMW, W-84.(RAF c&m,1989)

St.Mawgan: 1/68-11/91: USN AW Facility: P-3A/B/C,W-34/Mk.101 Lulu -3/71; Mk.57 -11/91.

Sculthorpe: >9/54-29/7/58: B-45A (upto 75), 47BW, Mk.7;
9/8/55-27/4/56: F-84F(25), 20FBW/55FBS, Mk.7;
5/56-3/5/57: F-84F (25), 81 FBW/78FBS, Mk.7;
18/1/58-22/6/62: B-66B, 47BW/Light Bomber Wing, Mk.7;
(22/6/62-1/67: c&m). 4/67-2013: 48FW/SDB.

Shepherd’s Grove:c.4/55-5/56,3/5/57-12/58: F-84F(25),81 FBW(8/7/58:TFW)/78TFS, Mk.7;
9/8/55-27/4/56: F-84F (25), 20FBW/77FBS, Mk.7(RAF,for Thor IRBM, 1/4/59)

Upper Heyford: 3/55-4/58: SAC B-47B/E, Mk.5/15; 14/2/59- 4/65, SAC Reflex Action B-47E
1/65- 8/66: Dispersed Operating Base. (Then, non-nuclear Units).
15/1/70-12/2/71: F-100D (75), 20TFW/55/77/79TFS, Mk.7;
(opnl.29/11/71)-7/12/93: F-111E(72), 20TFW/55/77/79(TFS; 15/3/92: 20FW), 2xB61. (9/94: RAF c&m).

Wethersfield: 11/54-(12/57): F-84G (50), 20 FBW/55/77FBS, Mk.7;
6/55-9/8/55; 27/4/56-6/57: F-84F (50), 20 FBW, 55/77 FBS, Mk.7;
5/57-1/6/70: F-100D (50), 20 FBW(8/7/58:TFW), 55/77TFS, Mk.7
(28/7/70, Alconbury 10TRW SDB. 6/76: RAF c&m).

Woodbridge: 1/10/54-(12/57): F-84G (25), 20 FBW/79FBS, Mk.7;
6/55- /57: F-84F (25), 20 FBW/79FBS, Mk.7;
5/57-15/1/70: F-100D (25), 20 (FBW, 8/7/58: )TFW/79TFS), Mk.7;
22/12/58 - 3/1/66: F-101A/C (25), 81TFW/78TFS, Mk.7;
4/10/65-6/69: F-4C,81TFW/78TFS,(25), Mk.28/B61; 6/69-12/78: F-4D(25).
(Then, non-nuclear Units. 30/9/93: RAF c&m).

20 sites: from19/9/58-3/6/60: Thor IRBM (3 p.site), SAC, W-49.

Holy Loch:USN FBM Refit Site One/Atl.Fleet SUBRON 14:6/3/61-64,UGM-27 Polaris A-1/2, 16x1xW-47; /64-8/73, Polaris A-3P/T, 16x3xW-58; /73-3/92, Poseidon C-3,16x10xW-68.

Other Standby Dispersal Bases had no nuclear handling facilities: Bowyer,P.36: “exposed” B-29s’ planned dispersal to Filton/St.Mawgan…and (RB-29/50) Heathrow!

SAC TDY B-29 (wef 17/7/48 )/B-50A(18/8/49)/B-50D(15/7/50)/B-36D(16/1/51), HE-only:

RAF Bassingbourn (25/8/50-2/51)

USAF Burtonwood (B-36D TDY, 21/10/56; USAFE IRAN -1/3/59. US Army to 1992)

RAF Lindholme (10/50-2/51);

Marham (wef 7/48; USAF ad hoc TDY >2014)

Oakington (12/10-early 12/50)

St.Mawgan (8/50; {USN}OSS to 11/91)

Scampton (7/48-1/49)

Valley (7/50-2/51)

Waddington (7/48-2/51)

Wyton (8/50-12/51).


US Weapons Yield. Amended 16/3/2014 to align with N.Polmar/RS Norris,US Nuclear Arsenal,NIP,2009.
Bomb types prior to variable yield B-43,1961, were held by Users in groups of 3, differing yield and fusing (air/ground burst). Thus, per site: storage capacity greater than User-residents’ delivery capacity.

Mk.5: 6-120kt: US-deployed 1952-1/63: B-29/45/47/50;

Mk.6: 8-160kt: 1951-1/61: B-29/36/47/50/52/66;

Mk.7: 8-61kt: 7/52-64: B-45, F-84F, F-100C/D, F-101C;

Mk.15: 3.4MT: 7/55-65: B-47/52;

Mk.18: 500kt: 1953-4/56: B-36/47;

B28: 70kt-1.45MT: 9/58-1991: B-47E/52/66, F-100D, F-101C, F-111E/F, F-4C/D;

W34/Mk.101 Lulu: 10-15kt: 1958-71: P-2/3;

Mk.36: 6-19MT: 1956-62: B-36/47/52;

Mk.39: 3.8MT: 2/57-66: B-36/52;

B41: 25MT: 1960-75: B-47E/52;

B43: 70kt-1MT: 4/61-1991: B-47E/52/66, F-100D, F-101C, F-4C/D, F-111E/F;

W-47: 600kt-1.2MT: (Atlantic:) 3/61-65: Polaris A-1/A-2 FBM;

W-49: 1.45MT: (USAF-manned:) 19/9/58-3/6/60: Thor IRBM;

B57: 5-20kt: 1/63-1992: F-100C/D, F-4C;

B57(NDB): 5-10kt: 1971-91, P-3;

W58: 3x200kt: (Atlantic:) 9/64-7/70, UGM-27 Polaris A-3P; 1970-10/81, Polaris A-3T;

B61: <500kt: 1968-(>2014): F-100D, F-4C/D, F-111E/F, F-15E (48FW/Lakenheath, to 2008);

W68: 10x50kt: (Atlantic:) 1971-1991: UGM-73A Poseidon C-3;

W84: 80kt: 12/83-3/91: BGM-109G Gryphon.

(To follow soon: 2. US Weapons, UK Operated. 3. UK Weapons.
AIX Manston site does not show any weapon storage area.
Cross-ref to http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?11994-COLD-WAR-UK-USAFE-SAC-Installations-1948-1980&highlight=nuclear+storage)

alertken
09-01-2014, 21:13
AW Storage Sites: 2. US-Weapons, UK-Operated (Prime Source:Wynn,RAF Det..Forces)

The Political Context of UK Operation of US Weapons:
9/1/57: ex-Chancellor, ex-Sec.Def.Macmillan, PM. 13/1/57: D.Sandys, Secretary of State for Defence
21/1/57: Cabinet agrees "substantial, immediate" Defence Budget reduction
1/2/57: UK/US Secs.Def agree principles: (to be) Project ‘E’, and co-ordinated targeting
25/3/57: Bermuda, US/UK Defence Collaboration Agreement
8/8/57: MoU, UK:US CAS: AW target/ops.: basis of all MBF/USAF collaboration Wynn,P.260/2:
1/7/58: USAF/SAC: RAF/Medium Bomber Force “nuclear strike plans…inextricably linked”
22/2/58: Exchange of Notes, on the Supply of (Thor) IRBMs; MoU, 3/7/58
1/10/58: Project ‘E’ initiated: Mk.5 in MBF Valiant, Vulcan B.1
2/7/59: Mk.7 in Tactical Bomber Force (RAF TBF) Canberra B.6; 1/10/59, RAFG B.(I).6/8
30/8/61: Heidelberg Agreement, BAOR warheads custody/deployment arrangements
1/68: Project ‘N’ Lulu NDB, Coastal Command
27/10/83: Montebello Decision by NATO to limit tactical AW: BAOR AW to be reduced
12/9/90: (4 {WW2 Allies}+2{Germanies}) Treaty of Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, and:
19/11/90: CFE Treaty; 21/11/90: Charter of Paris: these three, together: “End of Cold War”
27/9/91:US unilateral intent to destroy theatre AW (ADM/SSM/artillery). Done, BAOR, by 6/92
14/1/94:US: , 15/2/94, UK:Russia: Joint Statement, De-target strategic NW away fr. each other

Warheads’ Yields: W-7: 9-61kt, US deployed, (HJ, Spring,’54-late ’60s; Corporal, 2/55-1965)
W-31: 20kt, US deployed, HJ, 1960-1981
W-33: <2kt US deployed, M115/M110, 1957-1988
W-45: <15kt, US deployed, MADM, 1965-1987
W-48: <2kt, US deployed, M109, 1964-1988
B-57 Bomb: 20kt, US deployed, A-4, 1963-1992
W-70: 1-100kt, US deployed, Lance, 1972-1992
W-79: <10kt, US deployed, M110, 7/81-1988.

20 sites: 3/6/60-27/9/63: Thor IRBM (3 p.site), Bomber Command (Wing HQ, Feltwell), W-49.

Coningsby: 2/7/59-13/7/61: TBF Canberra B.6, Mk.7;
Binbrook: 2/7/59-31/12/59: TBF Canberra B.6 }
Upwood: 2/7/59-31/12/60: TBF Canberra B.6} Bombs at Coningsby
(but SSA too small for 64xMk.7. No AIX note of USAF personnel at Faldingworth).

Honington: (SSA to USAF, 1/10/58-1/7/61 Wynn,P.267):
1/10/58-7/60: MBF Valiant, Mk.5;
3/59-30/6/61: MBF Victor B.1, Mk.5;
12/58-30/6/61: MBF Valiant, Mk.15/39.

Kinloss: 1/68-2/71: Shackleton MR.2/3 Phase III, Lulu;
2/71-11/91: Nimrod MR.1/2, Mk.57(NDB);

Machrihanish: 1/68-2/71: Shackleton MR.2/3 Phase III, Lulu;
2/71-11/91: Nimrod MR.1/2, Mk.57(NDB);

Marham: (SSA to USAF, 1/10/58-(last {from peak 82} USAF personnel left:) 7/65 Wynn,P.269)
1/10/58-12/7/61: MBF Valiant, Mk.5;
1/1/60-12/7/61: TBF Valiant, Mk.5; -31/3/63: Mk.28; -26/1/65: B-43.

St.Mawgan: 1/68-3/71: Shackleton MR.2/3 Phase III, Lulu;
4/71-11/91: Nimrod MR.1/2, Mk.57(NDB);

Waddington: (SSA to USAF, 1/10/58-(all weapons out by:) 30/3/62, Wynn,P.267)
1/10/58-17/3/62: MBF Vulcan B.1, Mk.5

Luqa: (accessing USN/Sigonella:): 1/2/69-12/1/72: NEAF Shackleton MR.3/Phase III, Lulu;
4/72-31/12/77, NEAF Nimrod MR.1, Mk.57 (NDB).

BAOR:
NORTHAG prime AW Depot, 9xbunkers:VLM Münster-Nord(Telgte), Ostbevern, Schirlheide. Menden Honest John warhead Storage: Neheim-Hüsten (2xbunkers) and Hemer-Deilinghofen. Lance W-70: Depot 90/Sennelager.

Kasernen with AW-equipped BAOR Units “supported” by USArmy Artillery Group Dets. (Mating, kit:warhead, may not have been on-site. Logistics train was by CH-47):

SSMs: * Firestone (M2A1) MGM-5B Corporal IIb, W-7:
. 27 GW(Fd) R./NapierBks.Dortmund: c.18/3/64 -)31/12/66,
. 47 GW R.(Field)/Napier: c.18/3/64)-10/65.

* Douglas(M31A2)MGR-1A Honest John, W-7)/(’63) -1B; 1963: W-31:
. 24 Msl.R./Barker Bks.Paderborn (c.18/3/64)-1/11/72; /Ubique Bks.Dortmund-2/77,
. 39 M.R/Dempsey Bks.Sennelager-Süd: (c.18/3/64-)1/11/72,
. 50 R./Northumberland Bks.Menden: (c.18/3/64)-12/76,
(each Regt: initially 2xbatteries, each 4xHJ launchers, plus 2xbtys, each 4xM115).

* Vought MGM-52C Lance, W-70:
. 50 M.R./Northumberland:12/76-5/92.

* Howitzers: * M115, W-33: 24 Msl.R./Barker: (c.18/3/64)-1969,
39 M.R/Dempsey: (c.18/3/64)-1/11/72,
50 R./Northumberland: (c.18/3/64)-4/72.

* M109, W-48:
2 Field R./Waterloo Bks.Munster: 3/82-3/87,
4 Field R./Roberts Bks.Osnabrück: 3/84-4/86,
26 Field R./West Riding Bks.Dortmund: 8/74-11/84; /Mansergh Bks.Gütersloh: 4/90-5/92,
27 Medium R./Churchill Bks.Lippstadt: 2/69- (1/77 27 Field R.)-3/86,
39 Medium R/Dempsey: 1/11/72- (1/77: 39 Field R.) 4/82,
40 Field R./Haig Bks.Höhne: 4/85-5/92,
45 M.R./Ubique: 2/67-1/11/72; /Barker- (1/77 45 Fd.R.)-1/78; /Haig: - 4/85.

* M110 (1979:) M110/A1, W-33: 1969-’81; W-79: >7/81-15/3/88:
24 Missile R./Barker: 1969-1/11/72;
26 Field R./West Riding Bks.Dortmund: 8/74-11/84,
27 Army Missile R./Churchill: 2/11/72 (1/77, 27 Field R.)- 4/82,
39 Medium R/Dempsey:1/11/72- (1/77: 39 Field R.) - (4/82, M110A1, 39 Heavy R.) 1987,
45 Medium R/Barker: 1/11/72 (1/77: 45 Fd.R) - 1/1/78; /Haig - 4/82,
50 Msl.R./Northumberland: 4/72-1/11/72.

* MADM, W-45, R.E. 10/70-1985: stored at Menden/Telgte.

PETERTHEEATER
10-01-2014, 08:13
When was Project 'E' terminated or the US owned weapons taken away from the RAF?

mawganmad
10-01-2014, 09:04
Project E came to an end with NATO assigned forces in 1969, but the US supplied & controlled tactical nuclear weapons were finally withdrawn from British use in 1992. I can remember C-141 Starlifters at St Mawgan removing the last of the maritime use weapons from the SSA at around that time.

I have seen sources that state that Dutch, and possibly other NATO European, forces also had mairitime tactical nuclear weapons stored at the SSA at St Mawgan.

PETERTHEEATER
10-01-2014, 10:02
Thanks. I was at Macrihanish TDY in 1968 and their the RAF and USAF were adjacent Torpedoes on our side and Torpedoes and DCs on their side.

What about the RAF 'V' Force and Canbberra provision? That must have ended much sooner.

mawganmad
10-01-2014, 10:16
My understanding is that V Force weapons were completely seperate to any American provisioning (apart from maybe development funding?).
Some Canberras carried US tac weapons, as well as lumpy British 'Red Beard', but assume mainly under SACEUR and NATO tasking, I think the Germany based B(I).8s were phased out early '70s.

Harboda77
10-01-2014, 10:45
mawganman ~ interested to see that alertken has St Mawgan listed as ( 8/50 ; USN OSS to 11/91 )

My long departed Air Ministry relative believed that the OSS had a ' HUT ' at Davidstow using the eastern side village entrance however he never mentioned St Mawgan.

Or is this different OSS org ?

mawganmad
10-01-2014, 13:18
I must admit I don't know what OSS refers to in that particular case, the only one I know of was the wartime US secret service.
Would be interested to know, and what the original source was as Mawgan didn't reopen until Spring 1951.

kebecker
10-01-2014, 16:07
I must admit I don't know what OSS refers to in that particular case, the only one I know of was the wartime US secret service.
Would be interested to know, and what the original source was as Mawgan didn't reopen until Spring 1951.

OSS was defined as operational storage site somewhere at the start of the post 64, but as you infer may not be in the same context

mawganmad
10-01-2014, 17:05
Thanks Kebecker, I missed that, I think it's likely that is the meaning in that case. I see sources are stated at the head of the post as well.

This puts an interesting slant on St Mawgan's post-war re-opening and roles as a US storage area seems to be provided for well before the RAF arrived and opened up the place. Unsure when it was completed (certainly by '54), it would be the storage site to the extreme west of the airfield, adjacent to Trebelzue.

canberra
10-01-2014, 18:29
I once went past depot 90 at Sennelager, very scary. They had dogs running wild between the fences.

alertken
11-01-2014, 15:50
h77 #70: Operational Storage Site was the DoD 1950s' term, to distance from civilian AEC sites. (So many terms for "Dump": Wynn has SSAs as "clutches").

8/50 was Mike Bowyer/Freedom first SAC B-29 TDY at St.M. We now know these to have been with HE.

I have no note of US Bombs until St.M USN AW Facility, serving RAF 1/68-11/91, plus USN P-3, and R.Neth.Navy: they had P2V-7 till 1972/73, so could have come in to lift Lulu; they then flew Breguet/Dornier Atlantic to 1981-ish: I doubt anybody would hang US stores in those. Then P-3C, which no doubt came by to lift B-57(NDB).

pte #66. Medium Bomber Force last US Bomb, 17/3/62; Valiant Tactical Bomber Force/US Bomb declaration to NATO lapsed 26/1/65. RAFG continued with US Bombs till last F-4M, 30/6/76.

mawganmad
11-01-2014, 17:44
Thanks for the clarifications Ken, for me it's a new and interesting angle on the reopening of St Mawgan and for me dates the one of the three weapons store areas that I haven't been able to accurately date.

mawganmad
11-01-2014, 21:04
...R.Neth.Navy: they had P2V-7 till 1972/73, so could have come in to lift Lulu; they then flew Breguet/Dornier Atlantic to 1981-ish: I doubt anybody would hang US stores in those. Then P-3C, which no doubt came by to lift B-57(NDB).


That raises another interesting point, the Dutch kept Neptunes in service alongside the Atlantic in to the early 1980s (as did the French) I wonder if that may have been to keep the force US stores capable.
I wonder though if the Atlantic may have been capable as it was initially a cross NATO Europe project?

alertken
14-01-2014, 20:27
Greenpeace Neptune Paper No.5 http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/nep5text.htm, 1990 has Italian Atlantics US-qualified, 1984/85 for B57NDB. It confines RNethN. to NP-3C.

pete608
16-01-2014, 00:14
Didnt know that Akrotiri had nukes, strange as well that it had two bomb dumps. Back in 1990 the Sappers worked like stink to double the size of the bomb dump for some reason! Now why do that if they had two bomb dumps?

I was going to say what you said Ted and that a supplementary storage area was just that a supplementary one. And yes in Germany they were indeed called Special Storage Areas, I suspect as a sop to the locals.

The conventional Site at Akrotiri was extended to accommodate an Explosives Quality Assurance site [ Q A S ]. I spent the most interesting three years of my Service career there dismantling and testing explosive components. It has all been bulldozed down now and the area has been re-assigned. We had four explosives laboratories and one Proof Yard [ P Y ]. The weapons were inspected in the laboratories and transported to the Proof Yard should sampling be required. They were then dismantled in a workshop attached to the P Y and then tested as instructed. Some of the things tested were the time delays of all the bomb detonators that the RAF had at that time. I recall my first test of the No 52, instantaneous detonator, which had to function within pre-determined parameters. They were all coming well within the times required which were in the milli second range. After we had finished [there were always two of us in the P Y in case of any accidents] I was sweeping up the copper fragments when I noticed the the last inch of the tube hadn't been destroyed. Being new I brought it to my colleagues attention, [ a civilian call Ted ] who examined them under a microscope. The actual explosives chain had broken down and live Composition Exploding [ C E ] which was still encased in the copper tube was all over the place. We completed the sweeping up rather more gingerly and then arranged to Black List all of that Lot Number and Date of the No 52 Instantaneous Detonators and put them up for demolition. So then you might ask how does one measure the time of an explosive device functioning. The detonators concerned were all percussion initiated. Our timing device , called an Intervalometer, had several terminals and we attached a wire to one which was wired up to the striker assembly and the another wire from a different terminal was wound around the stem of the detonator. The reason for the different terminals was to do with the delays expected during the test and using the correct terminals was paramount to achieving the correct result. The Intervalometer commenced its timing when the striker ruptured the first wire and ceased recording when the detonator destroyed the second wire, which was wound around the stem. The time recorded in milli seconds was frozen on a dial which had to be compared with the acceptable timings in the manual.

alertken
16-01-2014, 20:09
UK AW Storage Sites: 3. UK-Built Weapons

The Political Context of UK-Manufacture of Nuclear Weapons.
1/8/46: US McMahon Act: AE under civilian control. For Canada, France, UK: theft of our Bomb
8/1/47: PM Attlee initiates (to be) Blue Danube derived from Fat Man A-Bomb
1/11/49:US Offers dual-key A-weapons (PM interest, but withdrawn after spy Fuchs' arrest, 1/50)
9/2/51: 25xValiant ordered, to carry Blue Danube. US MDAP pays 50%
12/6/54: US Atomic Energy Act authorising (limited) data exchange with UK; Sandys/Wilson MoU
15/6/55: US/UK Agreement for Co-operation in Use of AE (SSN reactor Agreement 6/56:HMS Dreadnought)
4/8/58: Agt. for Co-op’n. on Uses of AE for Mutual Defense Purposes: selective repeal of McMahon:UK:US two-way street, data/material exchange, infusing all warheads after Yellow Sun Mk.1.

PMs Attlee (1949), Macmillan (1961) contemplated not building AW, but operating US weapons:
Harris/Attlee,P.290; Moore/Illusion,P.73. Before 4/8/58 Agreement, reason for UK design expense was risk of mortal Threat to UK-alone, a cause for which no GI would die: AW blackmail short of NATO Treaty’s “attack” trigger: say, energy security as the Bear revived The Great Game in Asia. US proliferated Project ‘E’ analogues, but licenced only UK- in-nukes seen by some as Proliferation “goad” to France, worse: FRG; Ike 8/58 chose burden-sharing.
6/4/63 JFK/Mac.Polaris Sales Agt. included “enhancements”, leading to Trident II (D-5) et seq.

Sites: Wynn:P.76: MBF Class A bases: by mid-3/55 “virtually complete (so, inc. SSA:) Gaydon, Honington, Marham, Waddington, Wittering, Wyton (PR: no SSA) …aim…available by 12/57: Coningsby, Cottesmore, Finningley, Scampton (no SSA), (Bassingbourne, Watton”: cancelled with MBF reduction 1955-57, 240-184-144 a/c. Programme revisions caused Coningsby briefly 1963/64, Finningley briefly,1960-61, Gaydon never, Marham not until 5/83, to hold UK Bombs). Pp.92/98: by 15/3/55 BCAS Wittering: “a small stock” of BD. 24 were deployed, 7/57 (Full CA Release, Moore/Illusion,P.112) - 8/60. 32xRed Beard were in MBF Valiant, 1/9/60-31/3/62. 32xYellow Sun Mk.1, 1960-1962; 64xYS Mk.2 (Mk.28/Red Snow),7/61-31/12/67. Wynn infers maximum 6 on any SSA (“1 {or 4xRB, “capsule” insertion of fissile core} p.building”,P.266). The balance, and any spares, were held at:
Barnham: 94MU, supporting Cottesmore, Honington (from 1/7/61), Wittering, and:
Faldingworth: 92MU: Coningsby (fr.early-1963), Finningley, Waddington (-30/9/58, fr. 1/4/62) holding all rounds for Scampton. 5xViolet Club were here 1/7/58-mid-59, managed by AWRE. Scampton’s 24xRed Snow(Blue Steel) to 21/12/70, SSA excess from 16xWittering to 31/12/68. Akrotiri/Tengah SSA excess from 32xex-MBF Red Beard in NEAF, 28/11/61-24/2/69, 8 also Tasked to FEAF to 9/71. RN deployed 26xRed Beard from LM, 7/11/60-23/1/72: those excess to 6 at LM, not embarked on CV/CV/Ls (5 vaults each), were here.
RB withdrawal 1/72 caused Faldingworth’s (nuclear-)closure, 11/72. Barnham (nuclear-)closed 1965 as YS Mk.2 phased-down ahead of WE.177B deployment, 9/66:
Aldermaston: AW(R)E/ROF Burghfield+Hunting Eng’g./Ampthill were “MU”, genus WE.177;
AWE is Support Authority for Trident warhead.

HMNB Clyde/RNAD Coulport:
ET.317 (W-59): 15/5/68-1984/85;
KH.793 Chevaline (W-59): 10/82-5/96; (W-79) Trident II(D-5): 12/94- date.

Coningsby: Yellow Sun Mk2 (16): Vulcan B.2, early-63-16/11/64 (to Works for TSR.2, F-4M)

Cottesmore: Blue Danube (8): Victor B.1,1/7/58-mid-1960
Yellow Sun Mk.1 (16): Victor B.1, early-60-late-62
Yellow Sun Mk.2 (16): Victor B.1, early-63-9/64
(24): Vulcan B.2, 10/11/64-9/66
WE.177B (24): Vulcan B.2, 9/66-25/2/69 (to Works for Training)

HMNB Devonport/RNAD Ernesettle: Home Port ships/CU helis:
WE.177A(NDB): 1971-31/3/92 (RN tactical AW withdrawal)

Finningley: Violet Club (3, held by AWRE at Faldingworth): 1/7/58-mid-59
Yellow Sun Mk.1 (8): early-1960-16/6/61 (to Works for Training)

HMNB Portsmouth/RNAD Frater: HP ships, VL/PO helis, VL/CVS (1983/84, CV/L Hermes):
WE.177A(NDB): 1971-31/3/92
WE.177A(N): 11/7/80-31/3/92 (RN tactical AW withdrawal).

(Gaydon: SSA,1955-6/65. No resident User; dispersal, 9/60-6/65,Valiant/RB, Victor/Blue Steel)

Honington: Yellow Sun Mk.1 (16): Victor B.1, 1/7/61 - 30/4/62
Yellow Sun Mk.2 (16): Victor B.1, 1/5/62-6/11/65 (Works for F-111K)
WE.177A(N): Bucc.S.2(RAF) (10) 1971-30/11/78; (20) - 11/7/80; (5) -19/10/84
Buccaneer S.2(RN/Ark) (10) 10/72-30/11/78
(re-inforcement to Laarbruch’s WE.177C): Buccaneer S.2, 1/7/74-2/80
WE.177B (12): Tornado GR.1, 1/6/82-1/10/86 (to Tornado TWCU)
WE.177A(N)/NDB/B/C: 1992-2000: drawdown Depot, from User to AWE.

Lossiemouth, HMS Fulmar: RB Mk.1 (3, “for emergency use only”): Scimitar, 7/11/60-19/4/61
Red Beard Mk.2 (10): Scimitar, 27/3/62 - 28/11/63
Red Beard Mk.2 (26): Buccaneer S.1, 14/8/63 -14/8/66
Red Beard Mk.2 (26): Buccaneer S.2, 14/5/66 - 23/1/72
WE.177A(N) (10): Buccaneer S.2/Ark, 14/6/70 - 10/72
WE.177A(N): Buccaneer S.2B(RAF), 28/7/80 (5) -19/10/84, (10) - 1/10/93
WE.177A(N) (20): Tornado GR.1B, 1/10/93- 31/3/98 (to non-nuclear Strike).

Marham: WE.177B (24): Tornado GR.1/4, 16/5/83 -31/3/94 (to non-nuclear Strike).

(Scampton): Violet Club (2, held by AWRE at Faldingworth): Vulcan B.1, 1/7/58-mid-59
Yellow Sun Mk.1 (8, at Finningley/Faldingworth): Vulcan B.1, early-60-30/6/61
Yellow Sun Mk.2 (8, held at Finningley/Faldingworth): Vulcan B.2, 7/61-early-63
Red Snow/Blue Steel (24, warheads: Faldingworth): Vulcan B.2, 16/4/64-21/12/70
WE.177B (at Waddo):Vulcan B.2 (8)1/1/70-16/1/75,(16)-28/2/82* (to non-nuclear)

Waddington:Blue Danube (8): Vulcan B.1, 1/7/58-30/9/58
Yellow Sun Mk.2 (24): Vulcan B.1, 1/4/62-31/12/67
WE.177B (24): Vulcan B.1, 1/7/68-4/8/82 (to non-nuclear roles)

Wittering: Blue Danube (16): Valiant, 21/10/58 - 8/60
Red Beard (24): Valiant, 1/9/60 - 30/9/62
Red Snow/Blue Steel (16): Victor B.2, 24/10/63-31/12/68 (to Works for Harrier)

Yeovilton (HMS Heron): WE.177A(N): Sea Harrier FRS.1, 11/7/80-31/3/92 (training rounds:
10 weapons at RNAD/Frater and on CVS/CV/L).

Akrotiri (? and Tuxedo: C.Gata/Dhekelia): Canberra B.15/16: (32xRed Beard): 28/11/61-24/2/69
Vulcan B.2: 16xWE.177B,15/1/69-15/1/75 (then, NEAF: Supplementary Task for UK Units)

Brüggen: WE.177C (60): Jaguar GR.1/3, 1/12/75- 1/11/85
Tornado GR.1, 1/11/84 -mid-1995 (to non-nuclear Strike)

Laarbruch: WE.177C (36): Buccaneer S.2, 31/12/72 - 29/2/84
Tornado GR.1, 1/11/83 -1/9/92 (RAF-vacated)

Tengah: RAF SSA, 8/62-9/71: Red Beard(RN) for RNAHU: (5 p.CV/CV/L, supported here):
Scimitar: Ark, Hermes, 8/62- 25/10/62, 13/5/63-23/9/63
Buccaneer S.1: Ark, Eagle, Victorious, 14/9/63 -1/8/66
Buccaneer S.2: Eagle, Hermes, Victorious, 31/7/66 - 4/1/72 (RAF-vacated).
45 Sqdn, Canb. B.15(8):11/63-13/2/70, RB from a Supplementary Tasked NEAF Sqdn.
(Supplementary Tasked MBF: a Sqdn: HE - 1/69; WE.177B - 8/71)*. (RAF-vacated).

UK Weapons Yields: Blue Danube: c.16kt
Red Beard: (RAF and RN variants): 15kt
Violet Club (Green Grass warhead): 330kt
Yellow Sun Mk.1 (Green Grass warhead): 330kt
Yellow Sun Mk.2 (Mk.28/Red Snow warhead): 850kt
Blue Steel (Mk.28/Red Snow warhead): 850kt
WE.177A(N) (PT.176 warhead): 10kt
WE.177A(NDB): 0.5kt and 10kt
WE.177B (ZA297 warhead): 420kt
WE.177C: <200kt
ET.317 (W-59) in Polaris A3T: 200kt
KH.793 (W-59) in Polaris A3TK/Chevaline: 225kt
(W76) Trident warhead: 10-15kt and 80kt-100kt

(* Quantities, RB, WE.177: http://www.nuclear-weapons.info/vw.htm#WE.177 accessed 16/1/14 has RB/Tengah for det-MBF (20xSEATO targets,“Burma, parts of China” Stoddart/Empire,P.232; only 8 here by det-NEAF); WE.177A, multiple carriage/Vulcan for 8xSaceur targets not covered after 16 Vulcans to NEAF: Scampton had only 8xWE.177B, 1/1/70-16/1/75. By serial # 107xWE.177A are presented (63/RAF,44/RN on “40 ships”: fewer could be concurrently at sea), cf.48 here: 28x(NDB), 20x(N): RN(10)+RAF(10) Buccaneer, Sea Harrier(10), Tornado GR.1B(20).

Inconsistencies derive from East of Suez policy evolution, 1964-68: despite 6/2/68 decision to leave, even up to 1st.patrol, 6/68, an SSBN was to have been assigned to SEATO Stoddart,P.120, not to be duplicated by Bombs/Bombers.Exactly then, AWRE problems disrupted WE.177 production, terminating Plans for RAFG (till 2/65, P.1154, then) Harrier/WE.177A, Nimrod/RN Wessex HAS.3/(NDB).

.info also has 124xRAFG WE.177C (96 here), inc. re-inforcement a/c from OCUs, inc.Jaguar/Coltishall).

ted angus
16-01-2014, 20:10
Pete 608 when did you work in the QA at Akrotiri ??
TED

Bri21
18-01-2014, 01:58
Since the McMahon Act of 1946 froze Britain out of shared nuclear technology that was of no interest to our scientists. Britain already had more experience in producing heavy bomb cases from the 12000 and 22000 pound weapons of WW2 (of which the USA did manufacture a lot to assist). It was the size of physics package that determined the bomb size and was a critical factor in designing an aircraft to carry it. A heavy (thick) bomb case served as part of the tamper to contain the 'explosion' for a micro time and improve the efficiency.

Not so Peter.

I worked as a junior design engineer on BD. The tamper was internal to the physics package (the implosion sphere) and was composed of U-238. There was also a thick aluminium "pusher", also internal to the physics package. The physics package was entirely independent of the outer aerodynamic casing, and the casing played no part in the detonation. Indeed, the first prototype of the weapon detonated as test Hurricane in 1952 at Monte Bello in Australia didn't have the aerodynamic casing fitted at all, because it wasn't yet designed fully. Instead, the implosion sphere physics package was installed in the belly of the sacrificial frigate HMS Plym, as the declassified films show.

You may be getting confused with the casing centre section. Early in the project designers were asked to consider whether the arming, firing, fuzing and electrical systems could be damaged sufficiently by gunfire enough to prevent detonation, so some vulnerable parts of the centre section were beefed up with armour. Although I don't know if these features made it to the Service issue weapons.

The U-238 tamper and the aluminium pusher can be seen in Penney's sectional drawings from 1947 published on Wikileaks at http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/How_Britain_got_the_bomb and http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_atomic_weapons_program:_The_full_Pe nney_Report_(1947) These are no longer available in the National Archives. Someone deemed them too sensitive. Altho' prospective bomb-builders won't learn anything useful from these poor quality Wikileaks images.

It's also worth remembering that for the atomic and thermonuclear devices tested in Australia and Christmas Island, the same aerodynamic casing (suitably modified) was used to contain the many different designs of physics package; all of which were completely self-contained within the aerodynamic casing.

PETERTHEEATER
19-01-2014, 11:37
Splendid Bri21, I am always pleased to be corrected by someone with first hand knowledge and you clearly have it!

Then, as you say, the thickness - and hence the weight - of the bomb casing was for ballistic defence. Certainly, the service issue weapon was a heavy beast although less than half that of the WW2 Grand Slam and we did have hydraulic ram loading gear so no long and tedious hand cranking of bomb winches. That was left to the Engine men who had to use bomb hoists on Victor and Valiant to remove and install the engines.

Bri21
19-01-2014, 18:53
Splendid Bri21, I am always pleased to be corrected by someone with first hand knowledge and you clearly have it!

Then, as you say, the thickness - and hence the weight - of the bomb casing was for ballistic defence. Certainly, the service issue weapon was a heavy beast although less than half that of the WW2 Grand Slam and we did have hydraulic ram loading gear so no long and tedious hand cranking of bomb winches. That was left to the Engine men who had to use bomb hoists on Victor and Valiant to remove and install the engines.

Well Peter ... ... The spherical implosion system weighed over 6,500 lbs, and that included over 3,500 lbs of HE. Additional to the sphere were several (6 I believe) very large and heavy cylindrical capacitors to supply power to the firing circuits, batteries for the radar fuzing, batteries for the firing systems, and numerous other weighty bits and pieces. I have some of the weights of these items on file somewhere. However as I recollect, the total component weight left very little left over for casing weight, which of course was inflated by the flip-out fin mechanism. The nose was fairly lightweight anyway being a radar transparent composite moulding. Although there were proposals for armouring the firing circuits I don't believe they progressed beyond proposals.

Although total weight was heavy at 10,000 lbs, the density was far lower than a comparable conventional bomb of the same size would be. The Blue Danube casing made it appear a large weapon. But in truth, the interior volume was filled largely with empty air spaces. And it was that low density that caused so many of its behavioural problems at release. I've seen figures that put density at no more than 25% of a conventional bomb.

I don't have the figures to hand, however I'd be surprised if casing weight exceeded 2,000 lbs.

PETERTHEEATER
20-01-2014, 07:49
Thanks. Despite several visits to the SSA during my tour at Gaydon I saw (officially)and handled only the completely assembled rounds. In the Valiant and Victor aircraft there were (IIRC) three spring loaded electrical cable drums each terminating in a Snatch Plug the size of a house brick containing the multi-pin contacts supplying the bomb circuits. These were connected to the weapon before hoisting and as the bomb engaged the bomb bay crutch pads the Snatch Plugs were locked to the aircraft by a spring loaded latching mechanism. At release the weight of the bomb unlocked the Snatch Plugs which stayed attached to the aircraft.

When carrying out practice loads it was undesirable that the plugs be 'snatched' from the bomb and there was almost no room to wriggle up into the bomb bay and get between the bomb and the latch to operate the release so a bright spark in Command HQ designed a locally made tool to install on the latch before loading to hold it open. Since I was a 'fitter' I was given the job of making a score of these under the title Snatch Plug Latch Plunger Restraining Tool. That title is indelibly etched in my brain:)

Mike W
17-02-2014, 17:26
Do you by any chance have a copy of the Gaydon SSA plan or even the TNA ref number.

Have been recently researching the development of Blue Danube and whilst in the RAF was at Gaydon during 1955 and 1956,

PETERTHEEATER
18-02-2014, 10:34
Mike, check your PMs

Peter

Ossington_2008
18-02-2014, 23:00
Didn't I post up a modern GIS drawing of the clutch on the Gaydon thread once?