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Thread: Birch

  1. #11
    Senior Member horrocks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    I would refer you to the Matching thread on this, where I have posted links to the plans. As it stands, the Admin block and the Norden Store have both had consent granted to convert them into dwellings, that the existing buildings are considered to be of 'considerable historical interest', and therefore are not to be demolished. The submitted and approved drawings clearly show the existing buildings, without additions or extensions.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for posting info, my wife and i drove on part of runway last summer, i plan to take the jeep back soon.
    While on subject of this runway- my gt aunt told me that when they were looking to find this site the, other option was Weeley Heath (where they lived) has anyone else heard this or where could i find any info???

    Thanks Gerry

  3. #13

    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    Be aware that Weeley Heath was planned, but never built, along with nearby surveyed sites at Little Clacton and Beaumont-cum-Moze.
    See Roger Freeman's Mighty Eighth War Manual for more info on the "planned" Essex airfields.
    Last edited by sumter; 10-06-2012 at 10:17.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    Quote Originally Posted by sumter View Post
    Be aware that Weeley Heath was planned, but never built, along with nearby surveyed sites at Little Clacton and Beaumont-cum-Moze.
    See Roger Freeman's Mighty Eighth War Manual for more info on the "planned" Essex airfields.
    Thanks Sumter, that was what i was hoping to find! My Grans house was and still is on the site, i will have to read up on it then! Thanks again. Gerry

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    Ordered book last night, dispatched today, so looking forward to a good read. Thaks for tip off.
    Gerry

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    I too have been reading a book with a reference to Birch aerodrome, and it's somewhat macabre.

    On 8th December 1943 a taxi cab with its side lights still on was found at 11.30 a.m. in a lane near Birch Aerodrome. On December 9th the body of the driver Claude Hailstone was found amongst brambles in the grounds of Birch Rectory. Two coloured American servicemen from Birch camp were charged with the murder and were tried separately by an American Courts Martial at Ipswich on 19th January 1944, and both pleaded "Not Guilty" One was convicted and executed by hanging at Shepton Mallet, he confessed before the execution but accused the other of actually killing Hailstone.

    This is from CAMPS on Crime by Francis E. Camps, and it states that there were 5000 coloured American troops at Birch at this time. That sounds an awful lot to me, does anyone know if it is true, and if so what were they doing.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    Hi Pauline, yes i have read this, in a copy of the Nottingham evening post dated Jan 24th '44- which i downloaded from the Newspaper archive-you have48hrs for i cant remember how much. They went to london after and their evidence changed.
    the base was considered ready spring 44 so i guess they were building it-846th US Engineer Aviation Batt. moved in summer of '43.

    Regards Gerry



    Quote Originally Posted by pauline View Post
    I too have been reading a book with a reference to Birch aerodrome, and it's somewhat macabre.

    On 8th December 1943 a taxi cab with its side lights still on was found at 11.30 a.m. in a lane near Birch Aerodrome. On December 9th the body of the driver Claude Hailstone was found amongst brambles in the grounds of Birch Rectory. Two coloured American servicemen from Birch camp were charged with the murder and were tried separately by an American Courts Martial at Ipswich on 19th January 1944, and both pleaded "Not Guilty" One was convicted and executed by hanging at Shepton Mallet, he confessed before the execution but accused the other of actually killing Hailstone.

    This is from CAMPS on Crime by Francis E. Camps, and it states that there were 5000 coloured American troops at Birch at this time. That sounds an awful lot to me, does anyone know if it is true, and if so what were they doing.

  8. #18
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    I think the Birch murder was covered in Airfields of the Ninth (After the Battle Publications). My copy in the upper library at present so not ready to hand to check.

  9. #19
    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch Airfield

    Yes it is; pages 28 & 29 which is where I first saw a report.

  10. #20
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    Question Re: Birch Airfield

    Quote Originally Posted by Southend Spitfire View Post
    Ive found this today, not sure if it is something to do with the Airfield



    http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=51.83....5&r=0&src=msl
    This building has a substantial concrete track in the fields around it, any ideas?

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