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Thread: Dunkeswell

  1. #11
    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dunkeswell

    Do you know how big a hole would have to be dug to bury a complete truck? Just think of the amount of soil that would need to be shifted even using a mechanical digger before a truck could be concealed under (say) a couple of feet of soil. I do not dispute that a great deal of smaller items in very large quantities was buried. It was uneconomical to recover it back to the USA and there was a deliberate policy of not disposing of it on the local market or donating it to the British services.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Dunkeswell

    Hi Peter, Yes I can understand how big the hole would have needed to be.The hole was very big as I remember and shaped like a very big spade.

    Over the yrs the ex usn service men have come back to Dunkeswell time & time again and I remember one of them saying that he drove the last truck in and didn't bring it out, the info that we use to get from them was very interesting, even down to where the damage aircraft were too.

    Shape of the hole
    I--------------I
    I I
    -----------I I
    I
    I
    I
    ------------I I
    I I
    I--------------I

  3. #13
    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dunkeswell

    Having searched around the likley areas as indicated by the locals in the mid '60s and finding nothing but cutlery and junk, I dearly want this tale to be true. Someone get out there and find the cache!

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Dunkeswell

    I could'nt agree with you more Peter, I did try again about 10/12 yrs go to get it turned around but the mod was having none of it and as it is on their land I think it unlikely the we will ever get it up. The test we did were
    infa-red photos from our aircraft at low level, and magnatomitor tests of the ground, the magnatomitor readings were off the stop over that spot we also had soil samples done which showed Oil and metal contamination. The Usn service men also agreed that the spot was the right one.

    What you found was the canteen dump which was to one end of the field as I remember it

    Steve

  5. #15

    Default Re: Dunkeswell

    In 60's I was there flying a Cessna 172, and remember the stories of vast amounts of sunken goodies, but we never looked.
    The ATC was from the back of an old comms truck.
    The airport lighting was a two cars, driven by two "kids", and parked at the far end.
    I dropped many Marine parachutists from the C172, their compound being at the western end of the field.
    There was an IFR arrival for the field, which was basically descend with Exeter radar, till broken cloud, and then run low level up the small valley cross the 5 barred gate, and then land. But not at night.

    glf

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Dunkeswell

    Peter, I've copied this from my introduction, I thought it belonged here.

    Yes there's always wonderful stories of stuff buried on or around the airfield. Take it from me, all that was buried at Dunkeswell was junk and a lot of old medical stuff. I have spoken to some of the veterens that have come back and some old C/B's said they buried stuff but it was only the left over rubbish, and they were the last ones to leave. They told me of scrapping some P.B.4.Y.1's by passing a hawser over the fusalages and wings, attaching the ends to bulldozers and pulling them through a la cheese wire! the remains, engines etc went to a scrap dealer at Tiverton I think.
    One of my fellow directors and airfield owner has lived there all his life and believe me he knows every inch of Dunkeswell and would know exactly where if anything of value was buried there! I would have been the first to dig it up!!
    B.T.W. should anyone wish to go around the airfield they should visit the Devon and Somerset Flight Training school and ask for Mr Brendan Procter, the airfield owner first. (I'm no longer part of it) He will tell where you can and cannot go. He will appreciate being asked. There is'nt usualy a problem if people treat the place with a bit of respect. He is also very much into keeping the history of the place alive.
    A visit to the Dunkeswell Memorial Museum is well worth while if you're in the area. They are situated just off the airfield, but the building can be seen from the road. They have a wealth of exhibits and information.

    Jeff

  7. #17
    Senior Member mawganmad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dunkeswell

    Hi Jeff, is the Gannet cockpit section still at Dunkers?

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Dunkeswell

    I can confirm what Jeff has already said about visiting, we arrived ( after a previous phone call) at the training office and was treated with respect and courtesy, it was pointed out where we could go, in fact there wasnt many places we couldnt go!,all in all a very relaxed visit.
    ah yes, the farmer! we 'bumped into' him at the old watch office, iv'e a feeling he saw the car and decided he had an audiance! same old tale,all manner of buried this and that, looking at his smallholding he really ought to spend more time farming than spinning yarns!
    I would definately recommend a visit, so many intact buildings now housing various small business's.

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    Default Re: Dunkeswell

    Quote Originally Posted by mawganmad View Post
    Hi Jeff, is the Gannet cockpit section still at Dunkers?
    Yes it is, but it's not on the airfield as such, being held in careful care by the South West airfields Heritage trust group in one of the black hangars just off the airfield proper.
    I could post a couple of photos' of it (if I can find them) when I had it after rescueing it from an uncertain future at the F.A.A. museum. They still own it as far as I know. I cleaned and repainted it before it went to Dunkeswell.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Dunkeswell

    Quote Originally Posted by ricasso View Post
    I can confirm what Jeff has already said about visiting, we arrived ( after a previous phone call) at the training office and was treated with respect and courtesy, it was pointed out where we could go, in fact there wasnt many places we couldnt go!,all in all a very relaxed visit.
    ah yes, the farmer! we 'bumped into' him at the old watch office, iv'e a feeling he saw the car and decided he had an audiance! same old tale,all manner of buried this and that, looking at his smallholding he really ought to spend more time farming than spinning yarns!
    I would definately recommend a visit, so many intact buildings now housing various small business's.
    I'm sure Mr Procter of Air Westward Ltd/ Devon and Somerset flight Training would be very pleased with your comments. We found that 99% of the aviation enthusiasts that visited the airfield to view aircraft/ take reg. numbers etc. would always ask permission before entering a hangar or areas where there were aircraft operating. Because of this we would always be happy to allow them to roam freely albeit with the usual warnings about runways etc. and we would endeaver to answer any questions if we could.
    On the other hand, the general public were/are a pain in the butt, they will wander all over the place, drive onto active runways, and generaly treat the place like a tip. I have a memory of having to take the fire truck out to stop a chap teaching his small son to drive on the active runway. He was'nt in the least disturbed by the aircraft going over his head. To add insult to injury he got quite stroppy when requested to vacate the runway, stating that it was "only an old abandoned airfield and he was'nt hurting anyone!" My co-director had to be restrained!!
    All of the airfield owners including myself are aviation enthusiasts, especially that relating to the historical side of things.

    Jeff

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