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Richard Flagg
23-04-2008, 22:27
I took this aerial photo of Tangmere in 2003, seeing as there is alot of uncertanty around Tangmere and the proposed development I thought I'd put this up.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20030907Tangmere.jpg

Please feel free to put any other Tangmere photos on this thread. A station with so much history.

Richard

Richard Flagg
24-04-2008, 12:57
Article taken from: Chichester Observer 10/19/2007

Battle against homes on airfield site begins again.

The future of one of Britain's most historic airfields is under threat once again as Tangmere braces itself for plans for 102 more homes.

Campaigners won the battle against similar plans last year but the developer has drawn up a new plan backed by the parish council.

The proposals would see the site of the old West Sussex fire and rescue maintenance depot, off City Fields Way, flattened for a mixture of flats, houses and bungalows.

Director genreal of the airfields of Britain conservation trust Kenneth Bannerman said: "It is one of the top three most-loved airfields in Britain.

"Tangmere has always had a tremendously favourable reputation. People really care about the airfield.

"They demand a lot more respect."

The disused fire and rescue depot buildings, which include some buildings of historical importance dating back to World War II, will be demolished under the plan.

The officer's H block on the eastern side of the site will be saved, because in July it was protected as a Grade II listed building, meaning it can not be demolished.

Several other buildings of historic importance are under investigation by English Heritage to see if they can be classified as listed.

Secretary of the RAF historical association James Liskutin (34) said: "Rural areas are now becoming built up and we are losing the village feel.

"Maybe in three years' time we are going to find a part of Britain is going to be extinct, so right now is very important."

The airfield is close to many people's hearts as it stands as a reminder of its vital role in World War II.

Mr Liskutin added: "Tangmere is probably to me one of the most famous villages in Britain. It really does make an important point that this village should be kept in the condition it is right now.

"I think the community may lose something by having a lot of development taking place on it. These buildings are on top of the community."

Angela Salter (58) from Seaford, East Sussex, feels strongly about keeping the site as her brother was stationed there in the 1950s as a pilot.

She said: "It would be like going to the pyramids in Egypt and having a McDonald's next to it, you would lose the ambience."

Tangmere Parish Council is backing the plan as it would provide much-needed housing for the younger generation of the village's population, and it also fits in with the parish plan for housing.

Chairman of the parish council Andrew Irwin said: "We have a young population and there is a demand for people in the village to live in the area they grew up in.

"Tangmere has enough social rented housing and we need to balance it out with shared equity, that is the way for people to get on the ladder now."

To comment on this application write to Chichester District Council quoting the application number TG/07/04577/FUL.

F4andy
24-04-2008, 20:51
I have visited Tangmere on many occasions, & you truly get a sense of what it must have been like in the summer of 1940, when you look out across the old flying fields.
I know that there was talk of dismantling the old control tower, & moving it closer to the museum.

I was fortunate enough to be able to go in the tower before the doorway, & windows were bricked up.

It was a glorious summers afternoon, not a breath of wind, as i climbed to the first floor.
The stairs to the roof had been taken out, but you could still get a great view across the airfield.
As I stood there, a chill blew through the tower, that made me shiver, but thinking nothing of it, I left the tower, & went on my merry way.

Many months later, I recounted the tale of the breezy tower to a chap who had lots of dealings with Tangmere.
He informed me that the ghost of the first american pilot to die, a billy fiske, was supposed to haunt the tower :shock:

There have been many reports of strange goings on at Tangmere, as at many of the disused airfields.

It would be interesting to hear of other members experiences... :wink:

F4andy
25-04-2008, 18:52
It was a very strange feeling Lee.
It was a lovely summers day, & you could see the heat haze shimmering over the grass.
It was very easy to imagine the hurricanes bouncing across the fields, & turning away to head for the enemy formations.
The tower, which was actually constructed after the BoB, seems to stand waiting for her charges to return, refusing to accept that some will not.

Most of the peri is still there, & on the furthest side of the airfield, some revetments still stand, now used by the farmer, for storage.

The spirit of Tangmere survives in the fantastic, & well worth a visit, museum.
Lots of personal items, & stories of these brave young men & women, who gave their lives for freedom. Some great aircraft too!

If you do visit the museum, make a point of visiting the church in tangmere village.
Round the back are the war graves, the final resting place of some the flyers, & groundcrew, who were lost during that summer of 1940.

There are also some graves of german aircrew, from the same period.

As I said, well worth a visit :)

F4andy
26-04-2008, 18:47
Sadly, all of the infrastructure of an aifield of that era, has all but dissappeared. :(
All that remains are the 3 hangars, now used for grain storage, & the large concrete apron in front, laid down in the'50s.
The hangars are fenced off, which is a shame, because in front of the hangars there are the remains of the floors of the flight huts from the BoB period, but you cant get to'em!! :?

The tower is owned by the church, apparently.
This seems to be in line with the agreement made when the land was purchased, that in the event of the airforce leaving, the land would resort to its previous owners ownership :!: :?: :!:
Think thats why it has not been demolished, but I dont think it has "listed" status.
Round the back of the museum, in amongst the small allotments, you can still make out a couple of circular dispersals, in concrete, slowly being reclaimed by nature.

If you do get there, have a walk round the old peri track, the picture posted at the beginning of this thread, is a great shot, & I would be inclined to print it off, (with permission of course!!), & use as a guide to working out where everything is, when you are on the ground there.

& Finally...

There is something about Tangmere...

The feeling that the RAF never really left, seems to hang over the place.
I guess for those brave souls that paid the ultimate price, they have never left tangmere either....

lee999
27-04-2008, 16:05
Thanks for the update Andy...! If you havent got it....get 'After the Battle,s' - ' then and now the Battle of Britain' ..Its the bible on this era showing the airfields as they were and now...crash sites etc etc. Although mostly done in the early 80s ( so things will have again changed) its ace!! Lots on Tangmere....aerial shots at the time ( im sure theres some bits there to be found). Are the barrack blocks still there? In one pic from 1979 one of the blocks still shows machine gun strike marks from an attacking ME 109! Wonder if its still there!

F4andy
27-04-2008, 17:15
Hi again lee, :D
I am the proud owner of that superb publication. :D
It may sound a bit morbid, but in the book, they state the final resting places of the pilots, who were sadly lost in that period.
I used to live in portsmouth, on the south coast, & in the 3 cemeteries in good old pompey, there are 4 pilots interred.
I made a point of finding these graves, to be able to pay my respects to them.

My last visit to Tangmere was only last year, so most of the buildings shown in the book are long gone.
A building that does remain is the old NAAFI, which is now the community centre for the village.
I believe the parade ground is now the car park for the community centre, & legend has it that near to the NAAFI was an underground shelter, that received a direct hit, & still contains the bodies of the poor WAAFs who were sheltering there.

This was not an uncommon practise, not recovering the remains, as near to where I used to live in portsmouth was a communial shelter that also suffered a direct hit, & the remains were left , & the hole filled in.
Many years later, when the road was being altered, near to the spot of the shelter, human bones were dug up. A legacy of that tragic incident, but the coroner was still informed, & an inquest was held to confirm that these were indeed from the victims in the shelter...

Anyway, on a brighter note, hope you get to visit there soon, just going to have a look at your west malling posting.
TTFN,
Andy 8)

Paul Francis
13-05-2008, 19:17
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q51/norwichpaul/RAF%20Tangmere/tang23.jpg

The Watch Office control room 1982

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q51/norwichpaul/RAF%20Tangmere/tang19.jpg

Watch Office / Control Tower 1982

Scapa
31-08-2008, 22:38
As far as I know, the control tower is not listed though there have been a few attempts to get it so designated over the years....but we must remember that it was not built until after the Battle of Britain and is not in original condition. I thought the Community Centre was the former Sgts Mess not the NAAFI and I believe that this has been Listed for some years. Apart from the H block, can anyone confirm what else is definately listed at Tangmere?

Paul Francis
01-09-2008, 09:20
Only the 8/84 BB is Listed, though not sure about the CT

Scapa
03-09-2008, 22:42
Here is my pic of Tangmere's village Community Centre taken just a few weeks ago.

http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo104/Scapa-photos/P1030728Medium.jpg

Peter Kirk
04-09-2008, 21:46
The guardhouse taken in 1981

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn128/PNK_album/Airfields/Tangmere_Guard_1981.jpg

The tower in 1981

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn128/PNK_album/AQ_022.jpg

In 1972 there were warning signs saying something about the airfield being a drop zone. No idea what they dropped on it though. No photographic records just a memory, which, by the way, seem to get more vivid the older I get!

Peter

LFT
27-12-2008, 21:11
A couple of aerial views en-route Shoreham - Old Sarum -

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd11/DJ17DJ/AFXTangmere1-1.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd11/DJ17DJ/AFXTangmere2.jpg

Richard Drew
04-01-2009, 22:57
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn23/atlantikwall-photos/Airfields/RAF%20Tangmere/IMG_2016525.jpg
Fighter pens full of sh--t & rubbish what happened about protecting the site???.
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn23/atlantikwall-photos/Airfields/RAF%20Tangmere/IMG_2017.jpg
Steel reinforcement.
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn23/atlantikwall-photos/Airfields/RAF%20Tangmere/IMG_2018.jpg
Site of the T2 in the west side.
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn23/atlantikwall-photos/Airfields/RAF%20Tangmere/IMG_2019.jpg
Bloody rubbish everywhere Sussex you should be ashamed of your county!!!!
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn23/atlantikwall-photos/Airfields/RAF%20Tangmere/IMG_2021.jpg
Concrete from runways & cable ducts.
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn23/atlantikwall-photos/Airfields/RAF%20Tangmere/IMG_2025.jpg
Fighter pen WW2 with the air-raid shelter (Stanton type).
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn23/atlantikwall-photos/Airfields/RAF%20Tangmere/IMG_2027.jpg
Tigh down in the fighter pen.
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn23/atlantikwall-photos/Airfields/RAF%20Tangmere/IMG_2030.jpg
Landing or peri track lighting?
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn23/atlantikwall-photos/Airfields/RAF%20Tangmere/IMG_2033.jpg
Pipe ducting.

Richard Flagg
26-01-2009, 00:19
Here is the tower, as of 13th January 2009
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20090113Tangmere225-1.jpg

Just noticed the tyre you mention in Richard Drew's post, it does look large but I wouldn't have a clue what it was from!

I have been meaning to reply to your email as well Brett, I haven't forgotten!

Richard Flagg
26-01-2009, 13:08
Can anyone shed anyinformation on this photo, clearly Tangmere because you can see the Fire Station in the background. Though if you notice there are no houses behind so it must be a few years ago when it was taken.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/ALL%20OTHER%20PHOTOS/AiX-ARG%20Archives/00000000-Tangmere-1.jpg

Richard Flagg
27-01-2009, 16:58
Here is my pic of Tangmere's village Community Centre taken just a few weeks ago.

http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo104/Scapa-photos/P1030728Medium.jpg

Scapa, the site plan I have lists this as:
Building 18 = Institute = Drawing No 1343/24

I guess the uses must have changed over the years.

rotarypete
31-01-2009, 16:39
The tyre in the image seems to have been knocking around for years.......it is very large and from memory is not a vehicle tyre.

The image of the police dummy I guess would have been late 70's early 80's as Sussex Police used to do their motorcycle training here which was always amusing as people would go for a wander on the airfield and suddenly find themselves chased away by a squadron of Sussex' finest!!!

I used to wander around Tangmere for ages and it definitely has a certain "something" about it but alas like so many of this countries airfields it is now more or less disappeared :(

F4andy
13-04-2009, 17:53
Was down south, visiting my folks, over the easter weekend, so popped along to Tangmere, to see the new aircraft, they have recently received. 8)
Another addition is a genuine BoB air raid shelter, discovered by contractors, clearing land for building on what little is left of the old station, at Tangmere :)

The shelter was approx 70 feet long, when it was un-earthed, & the museum staff have reconstructed a small section of it, in the museum compound.
There is a very good article about the shelter on the official Tangmere site, but I have posted a pic that I took on my visit....
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh250/andyonda/558sprint036.jpg

A view down the remaining runway, to the acres of greenhouses, swallowing up the flying field...
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh250/andyonda/558sprint079.jpg

Also found this painted on the large apron, outside the hangars, any ideas as to its exact purpose.
My brother seems to think it would have been the fire point, where maybe, extinguishers, etc, were pooled, when the apron was in use, but I am open to explanation...
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh250/andyonda/558sprint082.jpg

And last but by no means least, Tangmeres 2 additons to the ever growing collecting, a Vampire T11, & a Sea Harrier FA2, on loan from Farnborough.
Such a pity they have to stay out in all the elements... :(
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh250/andyonda/558sprint032.jpg
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh250/andyonda/558sprint044.jpg

ww2nut
13-05-2009, 20:03
just a few shots of the station to include

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/ss217/ww2nut_2009/scan0001.jpg

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/ss217/ww2nut_2009/scan0002.jpg

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/ss217/ww2nut_2009/scan0003.jpg
the early stages of the museum.

i am wondering why when this station stars so prominently in ww2 history and is one of the more famous, well known airfields, that we don't have more photos posted on this thread....?? old or new photos all would be great.

Row74
03-09-2009, 12:41
I'm planning my second visit to Tangmere. Visiting family down that way, thought I'd drop in. The museum is great, sad that Nick Berryman won't be there, he signed his book and a print for me. It's on my wall.

Can anyone confirm that there is anything to see around the peri track?

Even West Malling still has a fort and shelters, I would have thought there would be loads as the the bulk of the site is still there.

Richard Drew
06-09-2009, 15:30
ROW74

http://www.atlantikwall.co.uk/atlantikwall/sussex/tangmere01/html/page01.htm my website of Tangmere.


1941
I have placed a P parking sign on the southern perimeter of my plan with two red arrows to show the easiest way to get to the blast pens & the T2 hangar base, all the other places we have found have small plans on their own pages.

I hope this helps.

PJH
16-08-2010, 17:28
Just spotted on the BBC News website

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10703466

Richard Flagg
08-10-2010, 19:48
I have noticed on the bbc link above posted by Peter that the remaining 8/84 Barrack Block is going to be converted into flats.

Couple of photos taken on 23 Sept 2010
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20100923Tangmere41-1.jpg
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20100923Tangmere44-1.jpg

hydealfred
08-10-2010, 20:24
A few shots from the Battle Of Britain Event at Tangmere 8 August 2010. Very nice to hear a Merlin over the old airfield. Nice to see Dame Vera putting in an appearance too.

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/AIX/DSC_2606.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/AIX/DSC_2580a.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/AIX/DSC_2654a.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/AIX/DSC_2556.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/AIX/DSC_1163.jpg

Blackadder
03-01-2011, 15:10
Tangmere 2008

http://i583.photobucket.com/albums/ss276/anon240577/Tangmere2008.jpg

Richard Flagg
30-01-2011, 10:30
Some photos of mine from a visit on 1 October 2006

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20061001Tangmere18-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20061001Tangmere27-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20061001Tangmere29-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20061001Tangmere38-1.jpg

Pilotdreamer
06-03-2011, 13:00
Just come back from an enjoyable day out at Tangmere,loads to see but not enough time to read every thing.I found the staff not very helpful and quite frankly, appeared to be very board,found that quite strange.Without doubt needs young blood who are interested in aviation.Also found the section on the SOE to be inaccurate and incomplete.Very nice to be able to drive around the perri track past the hangars and come to the Control tower which is in a terrible state and i am sure will not be long before disappears.What a wonderful opportunity to make a bigger museum using the Hangars,perri track pan and control tower and possibly have live aircraft.I am sure with a bit of investment it would make money.It makes far more logic to invest 20 million in a site like Tangmere rather than spend 20 million in the B of B torch or tower,not sure what it is, that the new Hendon director wants to build.I must have left the Tangmere museum at about three and it was packed.In whole a good day out.I would just like to say that I fully respect the people who have worked to keep the memory of our RAF and aviation heritage alive but I do think it could be done a lot better especially by the ones at the top.

ianbache
23-08-2011, 21:14
This C/O of Pathe news, this is where Prince Charles had a flight in a RAF Chipmunk in 1968, with a good shot of the tower in the background, a very young looking Prince 19yrs old so the caption says

www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=68180

hydealfred
26-08-2011, 19:55
On 7 August 2011 Tangmere Military Aviation Museum held a Douglas Bader event to celebrate the famous pilots life. At the same time a book signing took place by a number of Bomber Command Veterans who were raising funds for the Bomber Command Memorial. I was asked to attend and take some shots of the Vets a few of which follow along with a couple of the museums aircraft. The gathering included members from 35, 75, 76, 77, 106, 189, 199, 617, 619, 630, 635 Squadrons.

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/DSC_6887.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/DSC_6918.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/DSC_6825.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/DSC_6856.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/DSC_6947.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/DSC_6950.jpg

hydealfred
25-09-2011, 22:55
And now for something completely different - Tangmere hosted its own mini airshow today. It was nice to smell burnt kerosine over the airfield when the jets flew. There was a very strong wind today so well done to all the pilots in getting their charges safely to ground and yes the helo in the first shot was in controlled flight.

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/Models/DSC_0500.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/Models/DSC_0509.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/Models/DSC_0537.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/Models/DSC_0554.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/Models/DSC_0564a.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/Models/DSC_0594.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/Models/DSC_0608.jpg

Peter Kirk
24-10-2011, 20:23
Looking at the ATB plan for Tangmere (for arrows) I noticed the No.1 GS shed had a "Bomb dropping tower" labelled as 61A, the shed being 61.

Paul Francis
24-10-2011, 20:49
PNK all new-build TDS stations had them, regardless of function. Duxford, sealand and Hooton Park still have theirs for example.

Richard Flagg
25-10-2011, 11:39
Some photos I took in January 2009

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20090113Tangmere220-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20090114Tangmere85-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20090114Tangmere70-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20090114Tangmere67-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20090114Tangmere58-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20090115Tangmere163-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20090115Tangmere164-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20070303Tangmere1-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/20070303Tangmere7-1.jpg

Alec Beanse
10-01-2012, 10:50
Another Hispano, at Tangmere this time:

http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib/60/media-60728/large.jpg?action=d

pauline
05-03-2012, 17:05
I hope that this will help to solve the mystery of the WAAFs at Tangmere, I have copied it out exactly as my cousin wrote it.

Barbara at Tangmere.

28 February 2012

Now, regard RAF Tangmere I rather fancy that's an awful rumour re the Waafs being left in a shelter, but it might have been after I left in 1942 when I went to Debden, but it doesn't seem real.

The first Waaf killed was at a small radar station called Poling 08 ? ? on the Sussex coast a few miles from Bognor. Also the 1st American RAF pilot to be killed was Billy Fiske and he was buried in the village next to Tangmere Drome. I was in the funeral escort and had to march with others behind the coffin. I forget the village name but will look on map later. One other person who was killed, and this was when we were bombed and strafed (August 1940), was the newspaper man who had a pitch on corner of Parade Ground. He was unable to get away because of position and caught full blast of the machine gun strafing. My shift had to dive into where the Hot Water System was underground and one end section got hit but everyone got out okay. One section of our Airmen's Mess got very badly damaged and until repaired we had to work in the open air and cook on borrowed Turley Williams Cookery Vans, but they were mostly for hot water. Food was more or less tinned corn beef (and) sausages called soya links because of little meat. The Navy helped us out, from Portsmouth, with urgent supplies. We had to share the latrines with Airmen and we used to turn a card hanging outside if it was RAF or WAAF inside or Free. The Waaf mess was not too badly hit but our utensils hung outside and had loads of bullet holes in them. My Mum said that there was a message over the tannoy at RAF Wyton, where she was at Naafi, from the RAF Chief to say how proud the Air Ministry was of the Tangmere Waafs, by their Devotion to Duty and Courage shown. We also had to wear square yellow patches on our uniform sleeves for quick recognition for recall in an emergency.

We cooks and A.C.H' s spent 3 weeks at the Squash Raquet Club as our billet with mattresses on floor and just wash basins, and for bathing we went to YMCA and TOC H in Chichester. Then we were billeted at Fontwell Race Course in the TOTE buildings and Jockeys Quarters in the Grandstand. After several weeks there we were taken to a nearby Manor House where it was great. Needless to say cookhouse facilities were sparse even then and camp stews were cooked in mobile coppers outside in a yard. There were 5000 to feed and because the ovens were hit we had huge Fish Fryers brought in these were used to boil joints of meat when available and (to cook) roast potatoes in.

The posh Waafs, also the Plotters, were installed in a Junior School near Chichester and as I was by then a Corporal we had also to go there on shifts to make them hot drinks when on Duty. This was a secret venue. After a time we moved to a satellite of Tangmere which was Westhampnett (part of Goodwood Race Course) and we were billeted in Nissan Huts and served a Free French Squadron, and later a Polish Squadron, and after then several of us had to go to yet another satellite nearer Bognor called Merston as there was to be a hush hush plan to be carried (out) on a certain night and waves of planes were to come, land, have soup and hot drinks and take off, then the next wave came. It was very exhausting but necessary and again we were a trusted few. I can honestly say so much has happened in my life that I am not short of memories. Hope I've covered what you really wanted to know.

* * * * *

pauline
11-03-2012, 17:43
I'm glad this was of interest. As my cousin has mentioned Billy Fiske I did a bit of research and came up with this. Pilot Officer William M. L. Fiske was an American who pretended to be Canadian in order to join his friends in 601 Squadron. This Squadron was known as the millionaire flying aces of WW 11, their CO at Tangmere June/July 1940 was Max Aitken DFC who later became Lord Beaverbrook. 601 Squadron was formed in a London Gentleman's club (Whites?) and was composed of aristocrats and adventurers, most of them had their own aeroplanes. Pilot Officer William M. L. Fiske (Billy) died in hospital 17 August 1940 after bringing back his damaged hurricane to Tangmere. He was the first American to give his life in the Battle of Britain. He was a graduate of Cambridge University, a member of the winning American bob-sleigh teams in the 1928 and 1932 Olympics, and he had also driven at Le Mans. He must have been quite a character, and I am so glad that I now know that my cousin was a member of the guard escort at his funeral, and that is all due to finding this Tangmere thread so thank you!

Some of this info has come from http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/index/html

Pauline.

Jenna
13-05-2012, 14:41
Has anyone got or knows where to find a plan of RAF Tangmere circa 1944, I'm trying to locate buildings related to SOE on the site.

tigger
13-05-2012, 15:12
Has anyone got or knows where to find a plan of RAF Tangmere circa 1944, I'm trying to locate buildings related to SOE on the site.

3655 7252/52 1952 Tangmere Record Site Plan
3815 7613/54 1954 Tangmere Site Plan
3903 3227/56 1956 Tangmere Site Plan

Only others I know of are for the bomb store or pre-1940

(ignore initial 4-digit number, database shouldn't have spat the key out)

Jenna
14-05-2012, 11:03
Thanks guys,

ok this is my problem, its widely document (and accepted) that the SOE at Tangmere were at Tangmere Cottage, looking at other sites the use of an off camp house is the norm and its about the right size for properties that SOE liked to take on. However I keep finding references (3rd party) that building 116 was used too, now I have had look through the Tangmere Museum website and the EH one among others and i cant find anything concrete to back this up, there is also this reoccurring mention of a tunnel from building 116?

So with nothing concrete, the use of building 116 (the only remaining building coincidently) does not tie up, In fact it quite the opposite compared to how other sites were set up where secrecy was paramount... If the SOE had a facility on the airfield (which is likely for storage/personnel etc) then from my research it would have most likely have been one of more outlying buildings on the far side of the airfield. For example the buildings at Gibraltar Farm and Heigham Holmes were very much low key and as far from prying eyes as possible.

Has anyone any theories, information.

Red is Tangmere Cottage and Blue is building 116
http://www.bartonleclay.org/images/tangmere2b.jpg

Paul Francis
14-05-2012, 18:26
Jenna, I may be able to help, well maybe! Building 116 has a tunnel, BUT, its no different than all other Type 8/84 barrack blocks (except where the water table is very high) which have underground refuges and escape tunnels. I would bet that folklaw has maintained over the years that the escape tunnel was that used by SOE when it simply is not true and this has come about because it is a tunnel and therefore must be associated with something secret like SOE. It also begs the question, what about the other 8/84 bb, is this a contender for the SOE building as well - NO? The only reason why building 116 is extant, is because ABCT put a case together for listing and it makes you wonder why?

rotarypete
15-05-2012, 10:38
I vaguely remember as a kid in the area that there were rumours that Shopwyke Park (where Westbourne School is today) was being used by not only the RAF but also by "other" groups in the Nissen Huts which were quite extensive. I cannot vouch for the info as it was just rumour from conversations with people in the area at the time (mid/late 70's).

Jenna
15-05-2012, 11:35
I feel fairly safe to ignore building 116 for the time being, its just not SOE's style being too new, too big, too obvious, to central to everyday camp life and nobody has jumped up to defend it either so that's good.

Pete thanks for the idea of Shopwyke Park, this from the schools website.."In 1946, the school bought Shopwyke Park which had been requisitioned during the war and now stood empty. After clearing away the Nissen Huts from the grounds and some repair of the building, the boys started their first term here in September of 1947" thats particularly interesting as many SOE sites were hastily abandoned or demolished in November/December 1945 after disbandment. I will do a bit more digging.

Jenna
15-05-2012, 12:07
Shopwyke Park is out, post Luftwaffe bombing in August 1940 the Officers’ Mess was relocated to Shopwyke House. This pre-empts any use by SOE in both date and scale.

rotarypete
15-05-2012, 15:03
Maybe worth checking how long the Officers Mess was relocated to Shopwyke Park.

However, I found this quote in a history of WW2 in the West Sussex Councils record.......

"Through Tangmere flew French Resistance agents, trained at nearby Bignor, and using Tangmere Cottage as their secret operations centre. Many moonlit missions inside enemy-held territory were flown by the Lysanders of 161 (Special Duties) Squadron at Tangmere."

Not sure if you have any references to Bignor, but as it is even today relatively quiet and had the benefit of remoteness and backed to the south by Eartham Woods (which incidentally had a Auxillary Unit hide in), this could be another location to tie into Tangemere Cottage and SOE. The "Bignor" reference is to Bignor Manor.

Jenna
15-05-2012, 17:16
Yes I do know a bit about Bignor Manor, its an OSS site rather than pure SOE. Bignor Manor was the wartime home of Major Anthony Bertram who was attached to the OSS as a French section officer, His wife is well document as the section 'mother hen', I was told her daughter (Tasha Bertram) was working with a London film company to produce a film about the family and the house. It was defiantly used to ship people around but I think its too far from Tangmere to be used as an aircraft base (refuelling, equipment store and such like) plus it only comes into my paperwork as OSS in the latter half of ww2 and I know that Tangmere was handling SOE flights to France well before this.

Its interesting you mention the Auxiliary Units, and I have to admit I never realised the close proximity of the hide to the SOE/OSS units, I need to do a bit of reading on them as there is one very big connection between them and SOE... Sir Colin Gubbins their founder and later boss of SOE.

All grate leads, thanks.

rotarypete
15-05-2012, 17:28
Agree about Bignor Manor not being an aircraft base.

I think the proximity of the AU hide and SOE/OSS is purely coincidental. Eartham Woods was and still is quite an extensive expanse of woodland and in the early days of the war was obviously selected as a good location for a hide. I seem to remember reading somewhere that one of the AU members was from Merston, so would have had first hand knowledge of the Tangmere/Merston aerodromes.

tyffie
15-05-2012, 20:45
Hi Guys
When we had the museum at Apuldram a chap came in one day and told us that as a boy he lived in dell quay and that a black lysander was flown from the airfield on some nights and when not used was left behind the pub at dell quay with guard. I asked Hugh Verity about this and he knew nothing about it.
Regards G

Jenna
16-05-2012, 09:25
Its a site that I haven't come across in relation to SOE too, from a quick flick around the internet it looks like its official use started in 1943 so it possible SOE may have used it earlier than this date.

Building wise there was an airfield related building not too far from the pub, the issue is though this was built post 1943 and its unlikely SOE would have used an occupied airfield unless there was no other option... I will add it to the list to be looked at in more detail though for sure, thank you.

Just for interest the building in question was here: http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.816089&lon=-0.813679&z=18.7&r=0&src=msa

alcluith
27-06-2012, 15:17
I hope that this will help to solve the mystery of the WAAFs at Tangmere, I have copied it out exactly as my cousin wrote it.

Barbara at Tangmere.

28 February 2012

Now, regard RAF Tangmere I rather fancy that's an awful rumour re the Waafs being left in a shelter, but it might have been after I left in 1942 when I went to Debden, but it doesn't seem real.

The first Waaf killed was at a small radar station called Poling 08 ? ? on the Sussex coast a few miles from Bognor. Also the 1st American RAF pilot to be killed was Billy Fiske and he was buried in the village next to Tangmere Drome. I was in the funeral escort and had to march with others behind the coffin. I forget the village name but will look on map later. One other person who was killed, and this was when we were bombed and strafed (August 1940), was the newspaper man who had a pitch on corner of Parade Ground. He was unable to get away because of position and caught full blast of the machine gun strafing. My shift had to dive into where the Hot Water System was underground and one end section got hit but everyone got out okay. One section of our Airmen's Mess got very badly damaged and until repaired we had to work in the open air and cook on borrowed Turley Williams Cookery Vans, but they were mostly for hot water. Food was more or less tinned corn beef (and) sausages called soya links because of little meat. The Navy helped us out, from Portsmouth, with urgent supplies. We had to share the latrines with Airmen and we used to turn a card hanging outside if it was RAF or WAAF inside or Free. The Waaf mess was not too badly hit but our utensils hung outside and had loads of bullet holes in them. My Mum said that there was a message over the tannoy at RAF Wyton, where she was at Naafi, from the RAF Chief to say how proud the Air Ministry was of the Tangmere Waafs, by their Devotion to Duty and Courage shown. We also had to wear square yellow patches on our uniform sleeves for quick recognition for recall in an emergency.

We cooks and A.C.H' s spent 3 weeks at the Squash Raquet Club as our billet with mattresses on floor and just wash basins, and for bathing we went to YMCA and TOC H in Chichester. Then we were billeted at Fontwell Race Course in the TOTE buildings and Jockeys Quarters in the Grandstand. After several weeks there we were taken to a nearby Manor House where it was great. Needless to say cookhouse facilities were sparse even then and camp stews were cooked in mobile coppers outside in a yard. There were 5000 to feed and because the ovens were hit we had huge Fish Fryers brought in these were used to boil joints of meat when available and (to cook) roast potatoes in.

The posh Waafs, also the Plotters, were installed in a Junior School near Chichester and as I was by then a Corporal we had also to go there on shifts to make them hot drinks when on Duty. This was a secret venue. After a time we moved to a satellite of Tangmere which was Westhampnett (part of Goodwood Race Course) and we were billeted in Nissan Huts and served a Free French Squadron, and later a Polish Squadron, and after then several of us had to go to yet another satellite nearer Bognor called Merston as there was to be a hush hush plan to be carried (out) on a certain night and waves of planes were to come, land, have soup and hot drinks and take off, then the next wave came. It was very exhausting but necessary and again we were a trusted few. I can honestly say so much has happened in my life that I am not short of memories. Hope I've covered what you really wanted to know.

* * * * *


I am interested in your cousin's time at Tangmere I am researching the WAAF Officer in Charge Beryl Pockett and her fiancee P/O C.R. Young who was in the 601 Sqn up until May 1940. I have a group photo of all the WAAFs taken outside Westgate House in Aug 1940. It can be seen at www.fighterboy.org.uk under the epilogue.

Although I know they were engaged I have never found a photograph of them together and Beryl's daughter does not have anything to confirm their engagement either.

In 1980/81 their were a series of newspaper articles written with a view to a reunion, where one WAAF not only recalls Billy Fiske death but that Beryl own fiancee was also killed in action.

I am not sure if this reunion ever took place.


regards

Alcluith

pauline
28-06-2012, 17:29
Thank you, I find what you have said very interesting, and I never thought I would see a photo of the WAAFs at Tangmere. I will send you a PM about this as I guess it is a bit off thread but, as my cousin was there at that time, I think she must be on the photo.

Pauline.

B4ndit
22-07-2012, 21:33
3655 7252/52 1952 Tangmere Record Site Plan
3815 7613/54 1954 Tangmere Site Plan
3903 3227/56 1956 Tangmere Site Plan

Only others I know of are for the bomb store or pre-1940

(ignore initial 4-digit number, database shouldn't have spat the key out)

Hi, I am a new member. Could you tell me how I access these plans?

Many thanks in anticipation

Paul Francis
22-07-2012, 23:01
The plans are available at the RAF Museum, Hendon

B4ndit
23-07-2012, 23:13
The plans are available at the RAF Museum, Hendon

Therefore not just downlaodable?

I did a search on the Hendon site any nothing regarding plans came up.

Richard Flagg
24-07-2012, 14:04
B4ndit, have a look at this thread:
http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?8699-Where-to-get-Airfield-maps&highlight=airfield+site+plans

WiganMick59
05-08-2012, 23:51
Hello again......After nipping into Old Sarum found myself on the A27 towards Brighton......temptingly near Tangemere...........here's what I saw:

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010509.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010516.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010508.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010519.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010504.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010503.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010500.jpg

WiganMick59
06-08-2012, 00:01
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010498.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010494.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010493.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010524.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010485.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010531.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010480.jpg

Hope you like the pictures. There is a romour the museum may be moving across the road......If this goesahead it will be bad news for this famous old airfield. But it's still here for the time being. A great place with some secrets ......unfortunately some of these have been blocked off by the landowners liberal use of sileage!

Mick

stevie
06-08-2012, 11:10
Nice selection mate. An airfield i'm really keen to look over at some point. Doesn't look like there's much chance of getting inside the tower anymore by the looks of it.

Bomber
06-08-2012, 11:32
Hi Mick what good photes you have taken of Tangmere .Its sad to see the airfield looking forlorne & diserted .The control tower looks almaost lost surounded by those bushes . At least they have managed to put atribute on the gate to the men & women who served there & anice little memorial too .
Regards ,
Bomber. 8-)

hydealfred
06-08-2012, 18:57
Nice selection mate. An airfield i'm really keen to look over at some point. Doesn't look like there's much chance of getting inside the tower anymore by the looks of it.

Let me know if you and Alan come down this way as there is plenty to see at Tangmere.

http://www.airshowspresent.com/tangmere-military-aviation-museum.html

WiganMick59
07-08-2012, 00:27
You can add me to that visit ....would love to see the bits I didn't have time to get to!

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010478.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010477.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010488.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/P1010497.jpg

A wonderful place.

Mick

Bomber
07-08-2012, 11:23
Hi hydealfred thanks for that i will discus it with Steve when i see him & he can then let Mick know as well .
Regards ,
Bomber .

WiganMick59
09-08-2012, 00:42
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff96/TigersUK7/Tangemere/009.jpg

Hi again .....camera battery was low so this was on the iphone!

Mick

stevie
09-08-2012, 09:50
A-ha!! I knew I'd seen this photo before. Just realised, You sent me this pic to my phone. Look like MT Sheds to me.

bvs
11-08-2012, 06:25
Sorry if this has been posted before - some pathe footage of the 'High Speed Flight' at Tangmere 1946,inc some lovely period airfield/vehicles shots,low level beat ups and even a pretty WAAF LOL

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/gloucester-meteor-in-flight/query/airfields

Shame no sound

Gerry Rudman
11-10-2012, 10:04
Hi all,
Thought you might be interested in a couple of pics taken in 1972, I was exploring around the domestic site when I noticed that the door to the water tower was ajar, feeling bold I ventured in and climbed the steps with the resulting views. The two prints I had, I have rather crudely put together and scanned to make a panorama, (lining them up as accurately as possible:wink:).

10 years previously in Sept 62, I cycled from north of Portsmouth along the old A 27 for the B of B display there, still vivid memories I have of seeing the Avro 707C in the static park, this aircraft was involved with the Vulcan development and delta wing research. I stayed behind at the end of an excellent display in time to see some departures, one of these was a French Air Force Super-Mystere B.2 which took off, did a wide circle to the south before coming round again to beat up the tower right over crowd:grin:, before making off back to France.
Gerry.

hydealfred
12-10-2012, 10:02
A shot of the Watch Office in the 80's before being completely boarded up -

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac307/hydealfred/AIX/Scanned-Section-2-1-1.jpg

Peter Kirk
12-10-2012, 11:26
A great panorama there Gerry Rudman. I was there in 1975 and had a pint or two in a pub on the Boxgrove side of the A27, can't recall the name. I had already walked from Chichester and then walked to Ford. Happy Days

Also a great shot of the tower hydealfred. If only I was bold enough to ignore the MOD warnings whem I went!

hydealfred
12-10-2012, 11:37
Also a great shot of the tower hydealfred. If only I was bold enough to ignore the MOD warnings whem I went![/QUOTE]

I think the MOD had gone by the time I went and access was unrestricted.

Spike Mayes
07-01-2013, 21:00
This was the Fire Section, now offices.

sbird
18-03-2013, 16:52
try:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfxU_fF97wY
for a 1985 BBC documentary about Tangmere

Richard Flagg
23-03-2013, 15:36
Two undated photos from Nigel Bailey-Underwood

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/Tangmere1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/SUSSEX/Tangmere/Tangmere2.jpg

ted angus
17-06-2013, 10:36
Gents I have often wondered the origin of the 6 bay, 2 storey fire section at Tangmere. On another forum I stumbled onto a link to a downloadable document by Paul Francis " Block 116"
fasinating reading. There is a picture of the fire section with caption Bld No 73c, At first I thought it may be wrongly captioned as the expansion era fire section was Bld 91. Looking at the site plan I can see the machine gun butts are next to bld 73c and in a photo I have seen the butts are next to the unique fire section- SO is my conclusion correct that the unique fire section started life as a 6 bay tanker shed ?

TED