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Thread: Long Newnton

  1. #1

    Default Long Newnton

    Firstly, thanks to Richard Drew for a great day out on the 21st June looking at a few airfields around the Swindon area.

    RAF Long Newnton Airfield was opend in 1940 to flying having been used by 11 MU in 1339 and a short spell as a decoy / Q site for nearby RAF Kemble. It was originally planned with three runways but only two seemed to have been laid down. The runways were originally 'Army Track Strips' but seemed to end up as Sommerfeld Tracking. Long Newnton spent most of its life as an RLG for airfields as follows;
    Hallavington (9 SFTS)
    South Cerney (3 SFTS) (3 [P]AFU)
    Lyneham (14 SFTS)
    Andover (15 PAFU)

    The airfield site is in Wiltshire, however the communal and living sites are the other side of the roman road 'Fosse Way' in Gloucestershire

    The satellite image below shows the layout of the airfield is still very clear and the blue runways are the ones laid down;
    09/27 = 3555 ft
    03/21 = 3420 ft
    The green was never built.


    A few photos;
    Click on the photo for a larger picture

    Lubricant & Inflammables Store (Building 6) (Drg No 664/41)


    Link Trainer & Edmunds Trainer Building (Building 71) (Drg No 4188/42)


    Control Tower / Watch Office for Bomber Satellite and BOTU Satellite Stations (Building 67) (Drg No 13726/41 & 15370/41)


    D/R Instructor, R/T Trainer & Morse Lecture Room (Building 102) (Drg No 9977/42)


    General View of the area and buildings around the control tower


    Officers Mess & Quarters '1to4' (Building 320) (Drg No 3094/42)


    Sergeants & Airwomen's Abloutions, Latrines, Laundry & Hairdressers Shop (Building 323) (Drg No 9275/42)


    As usual, I have more photos on my website! They are here;
    http://airfields.fotopic.net/longnewnton

    Abbreviations;
    MU = Maintenance Unit
    PAFU = Pilots Advanced Flying Unit
    RLG = Relief Landing Ground
    SFTS = Service Flying Training School

  2. #2
    Senior Member Richard Drew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long Newnton

    Richard it was great pleasure to take you around probably my favorite airfield, I think it needs preserving as does Culmhead, but I do not think this will happen?



    How the control tower could look?



    The site of four Blister hangars.



    Decontamination Centre Type 'KM' 13843/40.

    I have updated my website with all the building numbers from the site plan, see if you can find the prophylactic room!

    http://www.atlantikwall.co.uk/atlant...tml/page01.htm
    Last edited by Richard Drew; 21-07-2009 at 20:32.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Long Newnton

    I have just mapped (digitised) RAF Long Newnton from the RAF vertical photographs, thanks REF and Richard for your ground shots, they proved very useful for identifying the different buildings. Here's a couple of cropped vertical images....

    Photo Source: English Heritage (NMR) RAF Photography

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Long Newnton

    I have never seen Xs used to denote a closed grass runway before. Is this unique? (even if its painted on peritrack rather than grass.) And why only one runway so marked? Are those cubes stored bombs?

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    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long Newnton

    I have noted the white X on a number of grass aerodromes, can lay my hands on one yet but the oddity is that sometimes they come out as a + due to bad orientation!

    The runway lighting looks a bit hefty though

  6. #6
    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long Newnton

    Quote Originally Posted by REF View Post

    RAF Long Newnton Airfield was opened in 1940 to flying having been used by 11 MU in 1339
    I see! so Chilmark Ammunition Depot stored gunpowder, (I guess) here for 600 years until they transferred it to the new underground site in Wiltshire.

    On a serious note:

    Action Stations 5 states Long Newton was Kemble's Q site in July 1940

    RAF Flying Training and Support Units states 11MU used the site by October 1939, and later from 7/45 to 1/50.. I'm happy regarding the latter date, (when the site became 11MSU).

    My notes tell me Aston Down and Kemble were used for storage of tail units for 11MU in 1939, but Long Newton is not mentioned. Other sites which were used by 42 Group around this period all had extensive hangarage or other covered storage.

    More info sought

    Graham
    Last edited by Carnaby; 20-04-2010 at 12:16. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long Newnton

    Back to the white Xs. This is Shoreham and the X is a + as the runway follows the arrow. There is another white cross at the other end. Babdown Farm also had white crosses. The difference with Long Newnton is the marking is on the peri-track.

    With the ammo storage would all these sub-sites have had staff stationed there 24/7? Also would they have had an RAF station board at the main gate/entrance, rather like the Bungay one (if anyone knows to the pic I am referring to)?

    Interesting that a simple airfield pic can spawn a so many related queries.
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    Default Re: Long Newnton

    Thought you guys might like that one

    I have seen a few X's denoting closed runways on some airfields i've came across. I think one was Moreton Valence, and am sure it was placed on the peri track as well. (i'll check that one). Yup i suspected the small 'cubes' were some sort of ammo/explosive storage, being well spaced apart. This website also mentions them http://worldwar2airfields.fotopic.net/c471450.html (I think this must be somone on here, just don't know who).

    One question I was going to ask. Does a circular 'o' within a signal square denote 'explosives stored at airfield'? i know there's meant to be some sort of signal for that, just can't remember.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Long Newnton

    I remember having to learn the ground signals as part of my PPL. The same ones are still used today although the context has changed slightly.

    In WWII terms, in the signals square (near the tower) a red square with a yellow cross denoted a total landing prohibition at the airfield. However a white cross at the end of a grass or asphalt runway meant that the runway was disused and you should only land in an emergency. A white cross in the middle of a grass airfield denotes that the entire landing area was disused.

    A cross with a white underline denotes that the airfield has been abandoned but that the landing areas/runways had been inspected within the last 6 months and deemed safe for emergency landings.

    If explosives were stored on the runway it was marked as an underlined EX.

    I've never come across and "O" marking on a runway but a hollow square in the signals board mean the airfield was being used for bombing practice and although the standard was a yellow cross, I've seen a large C used to denote a cable dropping area for glider tugs.
    Last edited by OneEighthBit; 20-04-2010 at 10:13.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Long Newnton

    Thanks, here's a close up. Guess it could be a square not a circle

    Also note the 'T' at the top, it looks as though it has been moved from the signal square??

    Photo Source: English Heritage (NMR) RAF Photography
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