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Carnaby
20-07-2010, 23:46
There was a training requirement in March 1944 for gramophone records containing a recording of the sound produced by the 'recently installed Mountain Warning Beacons'. All Bomber and Coastal Command OTUs were to be supplied, plus 50 for Flying Training Command, and 12 for the Radio Schools. (AIR 20/1348 )

Any knowledge of these Mountain Beacons ? Did it mean some poor guys had to trek up mountains carrying car batteries on a very regular basis ?

Graham

canberra
25-07-2010, 10:05
Never heard of them, sounds to me as a very early form of ground proximity warning systems.

Peter Kirk
25-07-2010, 13:37
I have never heard of them either. Depending on the criteria there must have been hundreds! I wonder if they were only installed near training stations?
I suppose it could have been a wartime only thing and they were removed soon after. A logistical nightmare though.

Just had a thought, depending on the wording on the document could it be the equipment was installed on the aircraft and not on the mountain?

canberra
25-07-2010, 13:47
As I said earlier Ive never heard of them, if a a pilot knows roughly where he is there will be the minimum safety altitude(MSA) which will keep him clear of the ground. As I said Im wondering if its an early form of GPWS. In fact it would be nice if Carnaby could use more information on this system.

Dave Smith
25-07-2010, 17:06
Mountain Warning Beacons were the same as Balloon Squeakers and emitted a squeaky tone on a common frequency, which I have a note of somewhere. And yes, Graham, poor mountain rescue unit personnel did have to carry heavy batteries up mountains! I don't think there were all that many of them and they were typically sited in areas that had already seen a number of crashes. Llandwrog MRU serviced one on the Carnedd massif in Snowdonia and on one occasion when taking new batteries up there, they found a C-47 missing for a week or so jammed in the cliffs above Dulyn Lake. It is unlikely that the USAAF crew were aware of the Squeakers. So I suppose they were a forerunner of GPWS which squeaked instead of saying "Terrain, Terrain! Pull-up, Pull-up!". GPWS is of course on-board equipment only.

Carnaby
25-07-2010, 20:32
Excellent Dave - thanks. I have no info whatsoever, other than the comment in a TNA file that pilots needed educating about the sound the beacons made.

re 'It is unlikely that the USAAF crew were aware of the Squeakers' I was already wondering about the Overexposed (http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?2279-RB-29-quot-OverExposed-quot-Higher-Shelf-Stones-Derbyshire) disaster in the Peak District.

Graham

Dave Smith
25-07-2010, 22:35
Interesting about the gramophone records. The beacons had long gone by the time the B-29 crashed on Higher Shelf Stones.

Carnaby
26-07-2010, 10:36
Interesting about the gramophone records.

They were used as part of the Synthetic Training aids I'm researching at the moment. Just noticed:
Darkie and Squeaker Signals - Gramophone records giving R/T procedure and balloon barrage danger signals respectively.

Synchrophone - A gramophone lecture is illustrated by an illuminated picture, parts of which light up automatically to illustrate each particular point of the lecture. Various lectures with the accompanying picture frames are available.

Graham

mbriscoe
27-06-2012, 12:29
I don't know if this is connected but there is a story here that mentions some equipment on the top of a hill in North Wales.


However about 4th January 1944, an Oscillator had been placed on the summit of Garnedd Goch above Cwm Silyn. This was done to try and cut down on the number of airplane crashes in the area. Three planes had crashed on Cwm Silyn and eleven airmen lost their lives as a result........

http://www.nantlle.com/history-tanrallt-plane-crash.htm

MB

Dave Smith
07-07-2012, 09:00
Thanks for posting that very interesting story. Yes, that was a Squeaker beacon. The Cwm Silyn accident and the Anson on Moel Eilio revealed all the inadequacies of RAF mountain rescue at that time. The Llandwrog team was merely an ad hoc collection of mainly medical staff from the Station Sick Quarters. One of the "volunteer" founder members, Corporal "Mick" McTigue BEM, told me that they had no proper climbing equipment, only gas capes and standard issue boots and wellingtons. The fact that civilians recovered the Henley pilot's body when the RAF were unable to do directly influenced the creation of a properly trained and equipped MRU at Llandwrog.

mbriscoe
07-07-2012, 09:33
Thanks for posting that very interesting story. Yes, that was a Squeaker beacon. The Cwm Silyn accident and the Anson on Moel Eilio revealed all the inadequacies of RAF mountain rescue at that time. The Llandwrog team was merely an ad hoc collection of mainly medical staff from the Station Sick Quarters. One of the "volunteer" founder members, Corporal "Mick" McTigue BEM, told me that they had no proper climbing equipment, only gas capes and standard issue boots and wellingtons. The fact that civilians recovered the Henley pilot's body when the RAF were unable to do directly influenced the creation of a properly trained and equipped MRU at Llandwrog.

I passed it on some time ago to a local friend was an early MRT member (though not that early!), he had not heard the story and I think passed it on.

manxphoto
30-06-2013, 12:38
I've attached a picture of a wooden mast on top of Colden mountain in the Isle of Man. It may be nothing to do with this, but just a though as I haven't been able to identify what it is yet. There is another similar pole on a nearby peak.1287412875