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P Bellamy
16-06-2010, 13:26
AAF Station 520 Melton Mowbray.
Operated by the USAAF between 1942 and September 1945, but does anyone know where it was?

Apart from being an ordnance depot, the site was also home to a training school known as the Aviation Ordnance School Center.
Established to "train enlisted men and officers of all Air Forces in all types of ammunition", it ran various courses for AAF personnel including a Rocket Grenade Launcher School in late 1944. References to a "Bazooka School" there at around the time are probably the same course.

Units known to have been stationed at AAF 520, thanks to Bernie and Phil on the AAF Forum:

21 June 1943
859th Engineer Aviation Battalion, B Company

14 August 1943
1962nd Ordnance Depot Company (Aviation)

30 September 1943
1515th Quartermaster Truck Battalion (Aviation), 1938th QM Truck Company (Aviation)
1962nd Ordnance Depot Company (Aviation)

14 November 1943
1515th Quartermaster Truck Battalion (Aviation), 1938th QM Truck Company (Aviation)
1962nd Ordnance Depot Company (Aviation)
2085th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)

31 December 1943
364th Engineer General Service Regt, HQ & Service Co, A Detachment
1962nd Ordnance Depot Company (Aviation)
2034th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
2106th Ordnance Ammunition Battalion, 1916th Ordnance Company, A Detachment

21 February 1944
1961st Ordnance Depot Company (Aviation)
1962nd Ordnance Depot Company (Aviation)
2034th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
2056th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)

31 March 1944
1514th Quartermaster Truck Battalion (Aviation), HQ & HQ Detachment
1514th Quartermaster Truck Battalion (Aviation), 1946th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
1720th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company
1961st Ordnance Depot Company (Aviation) (Part of unit on detached service elsewhere)
1962nd Ordnance Depot Company (Aviation)
2034th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
2056th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
2057th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)

30 April 1944
1460th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company (Aviation)
1514th Quartermaster Truck Battalion (Aviation), HQ & HQ Detachment
1514th Quartermaster Truck Battalion (Aviation) , 1946th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
1961st Ordnance Depot Company (Aviation) (Part of unit on detached service elsewhere)
1962nd Ordnance Depot Company (Aviation)
2034th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
2056th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
2057th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)

31 May 1944
1460th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company (Aviation)
1578th Quartermaster Battalion (Medium) (Aviation), 2498th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
2106th Ordnance Ammunition Battalion (Aviation), 1915th Ordnance Ammunition Company (Aviation)

30 June 1944
1460th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company (Aviation)
1578th Quartermaster Battalion (Medium) (Aviation), 2498th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
2106th Ordnance Ammunition Battalion (Aviation), 1915th Ord Ammunition Company (Aviation)

31 August 1944
1460th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company (Aviation)
1915th Ordnance Ammunition Company (Aviation)
2498th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)

31 October 1944
1460th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company (Aviation)
1921th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
2218th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation) (Unit transferred from Stn. 583 Sharnbrook during September 44)

25 November 1944
1460th Ordnance Medium Automotive Maintenance Platoon (Unit transferring to Stn. 587 Barnham Warren Wood from 22 October 44)
2218th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)

16 December 1944
2218th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)

2212th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation) (26 January 45 through to about March 45)

2 May 1945
213th Medical Dispensary (Aviation)
1460th Ordnance Medium Automotive Maintenance Platoon (Aviation)
2189th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
2218th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)

29 December 1945
No units listed at Station

All the best,
PB

Carnaby
16-06-2010, 19:26
I suspect that this is Great Dalby, which was mentioned in several RAF 42 Group TNA documents as a potential new bomb store which was handed over to the USAAF. I seem to remember finding a document showing the railhead, which was HERE (http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=52.72241368574568&lon=-0.9121870994567871&gz=17&oz=8&gt=1).

Graham

PETERTHEEATER
18-06-2010, 08:40
The location of Great Dalby Ordnance Store has also eluded me. A 'railway' website said this (extract):

The busiest time in the history of Great Dalby Station was in World War Two when American munitions were stored in the nearby woods to the extent of thousands of tons and extra sidings had to be made to accommodate the traffic. When this material was needed for France train loads were sent daily from this otherwise sleepy country station. Today the whole station area is in the possession of a large egg producing firm, the batteries and other buildings cover six and a half acres.

The only 'nearby woods' - avoiding a drive through the village - was here when looking at a contemporary OS map:

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=52.716933&lon=-0.939721&z=14.8&r=0&src=msl

So, this wooded area is a possible location. Anyone fancy a look? Should be some remains if only hut bases.

Carnaby
18-06-2010, 09:24
I now suspect that the name is not Great Dalby, but (from my notes):

GADDESBY 129/SK717137 6 m SSW of Melton Mowbray, to the North of the Gaddesby / Gt Dalby Rd

As early as February 1941 the area surrounding Melton had been surveyed for suitable ammunition storage sites, and a wooded areas between Gaddesby and Great Dalby was proposed as being suitable. In fact the site was not used until July 1943 when it was accepted by the 8th Air Force Service Command as temporary munition stores capable of 21,000 tons capacity. The site eventually became a truck storage depot and was handed back to the Ministry of Supply on the 7th May 1946.

The grid reference is consistent with Peter's location.

Graham (wish I was conscientious with my sources in those days)

PETERTHEEATER
18-06-2010, 10:15
I have been in contact with the Leicestershire Records Office and had a holding reply; also a local history forum offered me this site:

http://www.old-dalby.com/army.htm

Of interest but not our baby.

I shall update when I get more info. Gaddesby it is then.

I'm pleased your MR agrees with my choice!

Carnaby
18-06-2010, 12:36
Strange that Old Dalby is a long way from Great Dalby, and Little Dalby.

The former is HERE (http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=52.80757115920545&lon=-0.9859240157734894&gz=16&oz=5&gt=1) (Still having problems with WTP, Peter? That's a pity, but it is here in BING (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=52.81001259726241~-0.9865687787532806&lvl=16&sty=h&eo=1&w)

Graham

Carnaby
18-06-2010, 14:22
Discovered this plan I made a few years ago showing seven subsites, plus the railhead.
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o102/grahamcrisp/Gaddesby.jpg

Little seems to remain today.

Graham

PETERTHEEATER
19-06-2010, 09:34
I too found my old notes which does include 'Gaddesby' but I was not able to record a location; now I can:)

P Bellamy
19-06-2010, 13:52
Many thanks chaps.

I managed to find a 6-inch OS sheet in my cabinet that covers the area, showing the camp buildings at Gaddesby clearly.
Sadly, as it's the 1902 edition with partial amendments to 1952, and I don't have the original 1902 sheet to compare, I can't tell which roadways within the woods are additions.

All the best,
PB

Carnaby
19-06-2010, 14:23
My map seemed to suggest that Gaddesby Hall itself was requisitioned, and it's mentioned here (http://www.leicesterchronicler.com/johnstone.htm)


Lady Cecilia Johnstone was born in 1913. She was the daughter of Countess Cowley and half-sister of Earl Cowley. In 1944 she was living at Gaddesby Hall, her family home, located about five miles from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. During the Second World War, the Hall had been seconded to the war effort and was occupied by American troops.31 year old Lady Johnstone and a few hundred American troops - the mind boggles :D.

Hall would be the HQ and probably the Aviation Ordnance School mentioned in post 1.

Graham

P Bellamy
19-06-2010, 15:00
I've had a closer look at the camp shown on your plan at Ashby Folville.
It appears to have extended around the Manor House too:

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/Ashby2.jpg

From photos taken when the Ashby site was used as a Polish resettlement camp post-war the huts were Laing type, with Nissen communal buildings.

And here's the camp and Hall at Gaddesby:

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/Ashby1.jpg

(Apologies for the distorted plans. My scanner doesn't work with this new PC so I've had to photograph them.)

Both camps are known to have been used by the Americans, but whether the personnel at Ashby were part of the ordnance depot and school is currently unclear.

All the best,
PB

P Bellamy
25-06-2010, 01:21
Units list updated.

All the best,
PB

P Bellamy
29-06-2010, 15:25
Unit list updated.

It now shows all available information from individual Unit Diaries and US Army Station Lists for the dates covered.
Many thanks to Phil and Bernie on the AAF Forum for their assistance.

All the best,
PB

Peter Kirk
17-05-2011, 19:08
You could try www.Old-Maps.co.uk (http://www.Old-Maps.co.uk) and typing in Ashby Folville. There are usually plenty of choices for dates and the scale of 1:2500 is to be recommended for detail.
I haven't looked yet but if you are having problems with the website let us know.

PETERTHEEATER
13-07-2013, 11:46
The following is the text of a US Army report (extracted from US Army Records ETOUSA) on on Ordnance Depot O-690 also referred to in some documents as Gaddesby and Great Dalby.. The comments in parentheses are mine.


DEPOT O-690

ESTABLISHMENT AS A DEPOT

The Melton Mowbray site was selected for use as a depot for storage of Air Force types of ammunition on the recommendation of Maintenance Command RAF. It was our original intention, as mentioned in the Bolero plan, to return this depot to the RAF as soon as conditions warranted doing. During our occupancy, estimated daily handling capacity of 500 tons per day, and a total storage capacity of 20,000 tons was to be maintained. On 26 September 1942, Col. McKay requested that Melton Mowbray be activated as an Ordnance Ammunition Depot; G.O. # 47, activating the depot as O-690 with Lt Col Robert M Harris commanding, was published 30 September 1942.

CONDITIONS AT DEPOT

Storage Sites: On 2 October 1942, Col McKay advised HQ Maintenance Command (RAF) that a capacity of from 10,000 to 15,000 tons was quoted by Wing Commander Doyle (42 Group RAF liaison officer), all of which was to be suitable roadside storage. Inspection indicated a very poor site condition for roadside storage - verges were very narrow, terrain irregular, and maximum capacity on roads indicated, if roadside storage is used in accordance with proposed planning, would not exceed 6000 tons total. In order to use roadside storage, stacking would of necessity have to be in single tier in many cases and habitation within the area is such that many areas cannot be utilised due to safety requirements. Maintenance Command advised that the above conditions would be corrected as soon as possible.

Billeting Faciities: With reference to housing at the depot, Col McKay advised HQ Maintenance Command (RAF) that Ordnance (US Army) would not require the construction of any quarters for personnel, field office, or similar structures. In accordance with our understanding with the War Office the British Army released to the US Army Paske Hall (Gaddesby Hall) and Manor House (Ashby Folville) for billet and Headquarters use.

Roads: On 27 October 1942 Captain Ferritti visited the depot and noted that bomb storage roads had been deeply rutted by heavy traffic. Another trip to the depot on 5 November 1942 showed road conditions even worse and that the Great Dalby railhead was in a similar condition. It was suggested that a maintenance programme be set up immediately to put both roads and railhead into serviceable condition.

Construction: On 15 March 1943 it was recommended that three miles of road improvement, a vehicle park of hard standing, petrol pumps, tank and garage facilities be constructed at the depot. It was also decided to install 'C' lighting at Great Dalby railhead.

DEPOT CONTROL

As previously mentioned, it was planned to return Melton Mowbray to the RAF as soon as expansion of other S.O.S. (Services of Supply) depots permitted. On 14 January 1943, Ordnance advised the Air Ministry that although eventual release of the depot was intended, large shipments of Air Force ammunition arriving at that time prevented a furnishing of a date on which this could be accomplished. On 26 January 1943 plans were made to allocate tonnage for O-690 to other depots. By 15 April 1943 however incoming shipments had so increased that it was necessary to ask that the depot be retained indefinitely. Plans were later made to release (transfer) the depot from Ordnance (US Army) to VIII Air Force (8th United States Army Air Force, USAAF) final agreement being reached on 22 June 1943. Request for inactivation of O-690 was made 02 July 1943

(END)

Consequently the depot was turned over to the USAAF on 15 July 1943 and designated AAF Station 520.

The above would seem to indicated that the RAF had surveyed this area as a potential munitions store but had not gone any further than formally requisitioning the land and buildings before being faced by the US Army need in-line with the Bolero plan. It should be understood that the US Army Ordnance Division managed stocks for the US Army and Air Force although quite quickly as manpower became available the Air Force took over the management of their own munitions.

Referring to Billeting (above), either the US Army intended to build their own accommodation or hutting had already been erected by the British Army. Gadddesby Hall (which the US Army referred to by the old name of Paske Hall) was taken over as the depot Headquarters. A hutted accommodation camp was situated behind to the NW. The Manor House at Ashby Folville was taken over as accommodation for black troops and it to had a hutted camp. (See Post # 11 for maps and photographs below.)

Bomb storage was on dunnage (battens) roadside verges with some temporary hutting for pyrotechnics, incendiary bombs and SAA (see photos below)

As with other depots, a network of local minor roads was utilised resulting in the depot covering a large area with no central reference point.

The single railhead at Great Dalby Station was expanded with additional sidings to accommodate munitions trains. This station was conveniently central to the depot area.

Paske House (Gaddesby Hall) Headquarters O-690

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/MeltonMowbrayphotoHQPaskeHallHQGaddesbyHallPage164 _zps2c430f10.jpg

CO and Staff

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/MeltonMowbrayphotoGaddesbyHallakaPaskeHallHQPage16 4cropped_zpsc428d06a.jpg

PETERTHEEATER
13-07-2013, 11:50
Ashby Folville MAnor House - Accommodation and camp area for black troops.

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/MeltonMowbraybombstackandacommPage170_zpsb673fd8a. jpg

Bomb storage and handling

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/MeltonMowbrayphotosstackandcranePage166_zps149ed1a 3.jpg

Bomb stacks on roadsides

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/MeltonMowbrayphotosroadstacksPage168_zpsd305d786.j pg

Detail of bomb lifting attachment and Great Dalby railhead

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/MeltonMowbrayphotosbombattachandRHPage167_zpsea726 185.jpg