View Full Version : USAAF ordnance railheads

P Bellamy
05-12-2011, 23:03
New thread created from Grovely Wood (http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?4109-Groveley-Wood-USAAF-MD&p=91503#post91503)

Another photo has turned up in the NARA files:


No location identified as yet, but the LMS wagons and the typical British shed put paid to the official caption on the back:

Enlisted men load crated bombs onto trucks at a railroad station in France. ;)

The shed is quite distinctive, hopefully someone will recognise it, or at least narrow down the area a bit.

In case anyone's wondering, they appear to be AN-M30 100lb GP bombs complete with fin assemblies, in their shipping crates.

All the best,

Peter Kirk
05-12-2011, 23:47
It doesn't look GWR to me. Three to go :)

06-12-2011, 06:27
Another nice picture.

First thing I see is that I too mispelled Wylye in my original post having commented that the photo caption spelling was incorrect. I have amended my post.

The building is a Goods Shed for loading/unloading rail wagons. A track ran asymmetrically through the building and a platform and access doors in the opposite wall permit transfer of goods to and from road lorries. A similar structure can be seen here:


Although the location certainly seems to be Wiltshire downland it does not 'fit' the Wylye railhead so I looked east to Great Wishford which looks to be likely.

The Great Wishford railhead was just south and to the east of the railway so the photographer was looking north towards the station out of side behind the goods shed. The embankment to the right fits as does the flattish land aspect to the left. There is a small wooded area (top left of photo) existing today.

The LMS (London Midland Scottish) Railway Company wagon(s) on a GWR (Great Western Railway) company route was not unusual in WW2. A Central Wagon Control was established which 'pooled' some 600,000 wagons from 4000 different owners to ensure full utilisation especially in the carriage of military freight.

I'm not convinced that it is Great Wishford but I don't think that it is Wylye and certainly no France. I shall look at other possibilities (there are not that many) and see if there is a better match.

10-12-2011, 14:24
Could the picture thats supposed to be in France be Moreton on Lugg near Hereford? I suggest that as despite it being in the west of England the railway line from Shrewsbury to Hereford was an LMS line.

11-12-2011, 06:50
The simple answer is, yes, it could be but it begs the question where are the bombs being loaded or un-loaded from?

Chris Lowe
11-12-2011, 10:42
Here's another couple of similar goods sheds, shows how difficult to find the location using the building.
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1408104 (http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/01/40/81/1408104_84d7083b.jpg)

11-12-2011, 14:44
I suggested Moreton on Lugg, but that was only really an suggestion as regards the LMS wagons, I dont think Moreton handled munitions.

P Bellamy
11-12-2011, 15:29
The layout of the yard and lines is similar to what was at Bures, but not quite right.
The style of brickwork on the goods shed is also similar to other ones in the area.

11-12-2011, 19:40
Off-thread slightly but, as far as I know, Bures station was - because of its being on a relatively high embankment - confined to fuel unloading (hence its tanks). The next stations, White Colne and Earls Colne, served for ordnance unloading for the adjacent dispersed sites.

However, Paul, I'm looking forward to your first book - all that knowledge shouldn't go to waste!

Chris Lowe
11-12-2011, 20:50
Nice picture of the railway in the Bures/colne area on this page including bombs stacked by the roadside.


P Bellamy
15-12-2011, 19:27
RAF-spec Coles Crane on a Thorneycroft Amazon 6x6 chassis in USAAF service, unloading bombs "somewhere in England"


Mods, would it be possible to split this thread at my 5th December photo post and start a general "USAAF ordnance railheads" type thread? DONE


P Bellamy
21-12-2011, 23:01
Ta Graham. :)