View Full Version : Oboe stations

08-09-2009, 20:33
Wondered if anyone knows the locations of the Oboe navigational stations used in WWII.

A pair of widely separated sites were used for each deployment. The CAT Tracking station kept the Pathfinder aircraft on a constant arc from its position in the UK. The MOUSE Releasing station told the pilot when to press the tit.

The most quoted operational stations were 'near Cromer' (Mouse) - Winterton near Great Yarmouth and Trimingham. The Cat stations mentioned are Kingsdown and Walmer in Kent.

The early 1.5 metre version utilised trial stations at Swanage and West Prawle and dropped 'bombs' on South Cerney's camera obscura. The accuracy of 50 yards was described as 'exciting', and immediately prompted another bombing run on Stormy Down's range. The Penrhos and West Freugh bombing ranges were used to appraise the later centimetric version.

The stations ranged from Cleaden in Yorkshire to Sennen in Cornwall. Each station could operate as either Cat or Mouse. Were they associated with Chain Home stations?

(Later discovered this is a typo - it's Cleadon in Co. Durham near South Shields)

Source: Radar Development to 1945 (Institute of Electrical Engineers publication, 1988 - Peregrinus Ltd)

Let's get some names, then we'll get PNK to locate them :twisted:.


P Bellamy
08-09-2009, 21:53
So far I've got Type 9000/OBOE listed next to:

Walmer/Hawkshill Down
Tilly Whim

I'll see if any more turn up.

Does anyone have an accurate location for the Cleadon CHL station?

All the best,

Peter Kirk
08-09-2009, 23:00
Had a look at Cleadon quickly. I found a coiuple of HAA sites near Cleadon but that is all so far. Would HAA site be sited near a Radar station?

Radar stations tended not to be marked on maps in the fifties so unless they laste into the next decade they might be difficult to find.

P Bellamy
09-09-2009, 00:06
I've got all the HAA sites for the area plotted to varying degrees of accuracy from various sources, including those with GL Radar, but I've never been able to tie down the oft-reported CHL station.
There is the Great War predecessor at Cleadon with the sound mirror though..... ;)

All the best,

09-09-2009, 08:31
Page 36 onwards of this document might provide a clue:

09-09-2009, 12:00
Useful document Peter. It's downloadable as a PDF with pictures HERE (http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/wwwfileroot/regen/locallist/tyne_and_wear_defence_sites.pdf)

More site info from - Cumming, Michael. 1998. Beam Bombers. Stroud: Sutton. This is a book about 109 Sqn (Wyton, Marham, Little Staughton) with excellent TNA references.

Paired stations (not football results!):

Trimingham 1 (release), Hawkshill Down 1 (track)
Winterton 2, Hawkshill Down 3
Winterton 3 (release). Hawkshill Down 4 (track)
Winterton 4, Hawkshill Down 5 (Mk.III Oboe)
Trimingham 2, Swingate
Hawkshill Down, Worth Matravers
Sennen, Worth Matravers (against the Atlantic ports)
Sennen, Treen
Beachy Head, Tilly Whim
Cleadon was used as a tracking station to extend coverage for a raid on Emden. It operated with a 'pair of East Coast stations'.


Chris Lowe
09-09-2009, 23:02
This site is a mine of information on various radar systems http://www.radarpages.co.uk

09-05-2010, 20:40

Just to let you know, there's no point in trying to locate the Cleadon site - it doesn't exist. At least, it doesn't exist anymore - it was in the middle of what is now a quarry and hence there is nothing left.



30-03-2012, 23:46
Here is the Treen Oboe site not far from RAF Sennen. It was built in early 1944, was extremely busy in the run up to and during D-Day, but by the late summer of 1944 was out of effective range given the successes in Normandy and onwards and so was closed with the airmen transferred to a mobile station at Bawdsey, Suffolk. The buildings remain and are well maintained as a camp site.

Peter Kirk
24-03-2013, 15:57
Oboe Station Frequencies from AIR 20/12852 - Oboe tests carried out on Ot Moor Range in 1944.
Not sure if this is of interest or not.


Tilly Whim II

Tilly Whim III

Tilly Whim IV

Tilly Whim I

Winterton V

Beachy Head III

Beachy Head III

Beachy Head I

Hawkshill down V

24-03-2013, 17:13
Trimingham is still and active Radar Site. The bunker is closed and has been for years. The site is small in comparison to that in its heyday.

24-03-2013, 18:08
An explanation and some personal memories of OBOE from Canada



03-05-2013, 16:05
Hi all you budding Oboe specialists..................

It is commonly thought that RAF Sennen (Skewjack) had Oboe during WW2. A little over 3000 mtrs to the South East of Skewjack is Treen Farm Campsite. Now it would be odd that there was Oboe at Skewjack and Treen Farm................ There are two remaining huts on the Campsite which can be seen on google earth. Both are ww2 and both have been extended for campsite purposes. They are most certainly ww2. A gentle man who lives in the village who is ex Tri services radar and confirms it to have been Oboe. Is this the Sennen (Skewjack) Oboe site? A visitor returned to Treen Post Office asking if the site still existed, he served there in 43 and later transferred to GCI for D-Day to go forward when the FDT's relinquished cover of the Normandy beaches.

Anyone got any further info???????????//

03-05-2013, 21:18
In RAF Signals

There was a proposal for a Southern Oboe Chain for attacks on U-Boat bases in France was quickly approved by the Air Staff, and high priority was given to the building of two stations at Sennen and Treen, near Lands End and two at Worth Matravers.

The Southern Oboe Chain carried out its first operation on 28th Februart 1943 when over 400 havy bomber aircraft led by four Oboe aircraft bombed the U-Boat base and port Saint Nazaire.

Oboe / Type 9000 stations in operation by 14 February 1943
Trimmingham I
Trimingham II
Hawkshill Down
Worth Matravers
Sennen, Lands End - 300ft asl - Two channels 211 MHz and 228 MHz


The success of the Ruhr offensive gave rise to increasing demand ... for more Oboe ground stations .... a decision was made in May 1943 to form a third Mark I channel at Winterton 2 to become operational by 18th June in conjunction with a third channel at Hawkshill Down. To obtain the necessary equipment quickly the installations at Treen and Worth Matravers 2 were withdrawn leaving only Sennen and Worth Matravers 1 operational on the Southern Chain.

.... by 11th February 1944 .... This suggestion was supplemented by the immediate installation at Treen of the Mark I single-rack receiver made at the TRE

.... Arrangements were made in April 1944 for anti-jamming equipment to be installed at ....... Sennen, Treen .....

On the night of 5/6 June 1944, the Oboe stations at Sennen, Treet, ..... were used in various combinations to attack coast batteries in the ten major defence positions between Barfleur and Cherbourg ...

Mention of Sennen and Treen being used between October and November 1944

December 1943
Table of stations

50 03 56.690N 05 40 14.053W
304 asl
Transmit 216 and 228 MHz
Receive 232 MHZ

(no position given)
326ft asl
Transmit 212 and 220 MHz
Receive 236 MHz

Both have Ballie Beam Positions Azimuth Arc - Constantine 070 - - 230 degrees

09-05-2013, 16:48
The Tilly Whim (Swanage) unit was located very close to the Durlson country park visitor centre. No trace now exists. I seem to recall it being dismantled around the 70's. The huts were used for a time for fairground storage and and early pikey was prsecuted for digging up some copper cable at the site.


HF Dave
09-05-2013, 21:11
According to local information, Lund (http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?10265-Wireless-Telegraphy-Station-Lund-East-Yorkshire) was also used as an OBOE station. I am a little doubtful of this, and if it was the case, it must have taken on this additional role later in the war. Anyone ever seen a reference to Lund and OBOE?

28-10-2013, 17:07
I live at Scratby East Norfolk. There is a Norfolk Heritage Explorer Record NHER 18359 detailing a site outside my front door. Neither the Imperial War Museum or the radar museum at Neatished can find any record of it despite aerial photographs. If it is not RAF Scratby couuld it be a satellite of Winterton. Can anybody help me please? Jim Bratton

28-10-2013, 17:42
I was looking this up on a map and saw a Met Station NW so had a look on Google Earth. The concrete circle reminded me of some CSO sites in Caithness, probably coincidence.



http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/268070/details/bower+composite+signals+organisation+c+s+o+s+smerr al+rdf+out+station+no+4+site/

Probably complete coincidence.

28-10-2013, 18:02
RAF Signals has the Lat / Long for Winterton I, II, III, IV and V if you don't have them

There was also obviously radar at Winterton.

29-10-2013, 00:52
RAF Signals has the Lat / Long for Winterton I, II, III, IV and V if you don't have them

There was also obviously radar at Winterton.

Could you tell me how to access that info please, thanks, Jim

29-10-2013, 01:56
Could you tell me how to access that info please, thanks, Jim

It's one of the official histories written at the end of WWII. I got a copy on CD from the RAF ADM but I think it had been produced by someone at the RAF Signals Museum.

I think MLRS sell it also


Not sure which volume it is but turned off the other computer now so will check in the morning.