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Thread: Oakington

  1. #11
    Senior Member Jerry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oakington

    Really sorry that I was'nt able to take photos something about security, but I surveyed the entire site for work, G4S are using the site as an immigration centre.

    Overall the site is as was, the Stanton Shelter have been bricked up, the H blocks used for sleeping, ops block, canteen etc are used for various purposes and the offices mess is used for storage.

    The future of the site is unsure, there is talk of closure, if that happens then photos may be possible via a contact.

    I'll keep you posted.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Barney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oakington

    The Longstanton and District Heritage Society are trying to secure some space, hopefully in the Officers Mess, once the immigration centre closes, for a heritage centre relating to Oakington's history, and that of the surrounding district. They have a website at www.ldhs.org and are interested in hearing from anybody with memories from Oakington or any pictures, memorabilia they can use in future displays. They seem very active in trying to preserve something of the airfield before the developers move in to create this 'Northstowe' eco town.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Jerry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oakington

    G4S are the operators and have a 6 months rolling lease, this continually gets extended and should do for another 18 months. The officers mess is outside the fence and is used for offices.

    Permission has been granted to photograph when the site closes.

  4. #14
    Junior Member Drakie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oakington

    I was at Oakington in the late 1980's a few years before it was closed Loved the Base,
    found a few links for some info on it have a look at these,

    http://www.derelicte.co.uk/raf-oakington

    http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/s102.html
    Last edited by Drakie; 03-04-2010 at 15:36.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Jerry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oakington

    NorwichPaul, any chance of emailing me the site plan, i've got some work to do on site and this would be useful, thanks in adance.

  6. #16
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oakington

    It always amazes me when reading through the station operations record books at the extreme skill of some of the pilots had and just how dangerous it was when taking off, let alone when over the target, or on the return journey. I mean take this entry for Oakington 28-07-42 and this is not an isolated case. I have included the whole entry for that day:

    7 Squadron, 7 Conversion Flight & 101 Squadron: 14 Stirlings, 2 Stirlings? & 14 Wellingtons, target Hamburg. Two sorties cancelled due to armament failures. Shortly after take-off a Stirling of 7 Conversion Flight captained by F/O Butterfiled, collided in mid-air with a 101 Squadron Wellington. The tailplane of the Stirling was ripped off but the skill of the captain combined with the exemplary discipline of the crew, enabled all members to bale out successfully. Unfortunately there were no survivors from the Wellington which spiralled out of control. Two Stirling sorties returned early owing to severe icing and four more abandoned the task with defective engines. P/O Runciman attacked a search light belt near Hamburg after being caught in the beams and shadowed by three enemy fighters. Three sorties located and bombed the target. Two aircraft (W/O Black and F/Lt Whitman) are missing.
    One Wellington cancelled owing to engine trouble and Sergeant Teale and all members of his crew lost their lives through the collision with the Stirling over the parent station. Five sorties returned early after experiencing severe icing conditions over the North Sea and one with engine trouble. Four sorties located and bombed the target. Sergeant Foxcroft bombed Emden instead and on his return was attacked by an enemy fighter, seriously wounding his wireless operator - despite his wounds he stayed at his W/T set and the aircraft made a successful landing at Coltishall. 256 aircraft took part including 71 Stirlings and 161 Wellingtons.

  7. #17
    Senior Member airfields man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oakington

    There should be a memorial to the lost crew members of the Wellington. They are all hero's at a very young age and deserve to be remembered as such.

  8. #18
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oakington

    Agreed AFman. Well what about this one for 10-09-42:

    7 Squadron & 15 Squadron: 11 Stirlings & 8 Stirlings, target Dusseldorf. Visibility was good enough for the early arrival of 7 Squadron PFF to identify the target and to start fires that increased so rapidly that later arrivals found the town obscured by smoke.
    One aircraft cancelled and one returned early but all other aircraft located and bombed the target. P/O Watts's aircraft was hit by heavy flak over Krefeld. The navigator (P/O King) was hit by shell fragments in the stomach, hand and knee. Bombs were then jettisoned and although P/O King was in intense pain and feint from loss of blood, he successfully navigated the aircraft back to base. F/O Trench's aircraft after bombing across the aiming point, was hit by heavy flak. Course was set for home but by the time they had reached Maasricht, his aircraft was flying on two starboard engines only. The W/Op helped the captain to keep the aircraft on an even keel and the engineer helped to keep the two remaining engines running smoothly but height was being rapidly lost. The North Sea was crossed at 100 / 200 feet after guns, ammunition and parachutes had been jettisoned. Eventually the aircraft crashed in a field near Clacton. In a heroic effort to extricate the rear gunner, trapped in his turret, Sergeants Thorpe and Mellot re-entered the aircraft. They were killed when the aircraft exploded and the rear gunner P/O Glendenning was severely burned although he extracted the mid-upper gunner through a hole in the fuselage and rescued him.
    F/Lt Barr and crew are missing, nothing being heard from him after take-off.
    Six aircraft of 15 Squadron located and bombed the target, one aircraft had cancelled with engine trouble. Smoke over the target area prevented observation of results. F/Sgt Bannister after requesting a priority landing at West Malling was making a good approach to land but his machine crashed - there were no survivors. A total of 479 aircraft took part including 47 Stirlings.

  9. #19
    Senior Member airfields man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oakington

    All these heroic deeds and terrible losses during the early part of the bombing campaign are wonderful and appalling, and it would get worse before getting any better. Look at the atrosious losses on the Nuremburg raid six months later, 98 aircraft lost on one raid in one night for no expectant result. I have four EXCELLENT books of the later raids that include almost unbelievable accounts of achievement. Most of which was done at 20,000 feet in the freezing-cold night sky over enemy territory full of flak and fighters. Most of these airmen wouldn't have owned a car or even knew how to drive one yet they could fly, fight and die in defence of this country, and then get ignored by the government-s they saved....sounds about right !! Why has it taken sooo long to have the recognition they deserve... when it finally does arrive. The above mentioned books are: Bomber Crew, Bomber Boys, Tail-End Charlies and Men of Air.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Barney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oakington

    Unfortunately, many people have been unable to make the distinction between the sheer heroism involved in climbing into a bomber prior to penetrating enemy territory, night after night, and the human consequences of saturation bombing. Whatever you feel about the morality of the bomber offensive the people who flew those bombers in awful conditions should be recognised for the heroes they are.

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