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Thread: Tangmere

  1. #31
    Senior Member hydealfred's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2011 Airshow Season

    And now for something completely different - Tangmere hosted its own mini airshow today. It was nice to smell burnt kerosine over the airfield when the jets flew. There was a very strong wind today so well done to all the pilots in getting their charges safely to ground and yes the helo in the first shot was in controlled flight.













    Last edited by hydealfred; 25-09-2011 at 22:58.

  2. #32
    SuperMod PNK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tangmere

    Looking at the ATB plan for Tangmere (for arrows) I noticed the No.1 GS shed had a "Bomb dropping tower" labelled as 61A, the shed being 61.

  3. #33
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tangmere

    PNK all new-build TDS stations had them, regardless of function. Duxford, sealand and Hooton Park still have theirs for example.

  4. #34

    Default Re: Tangmere

    Some photos I took in January 2009


















  5. #35
    Alec Beanse
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    Default Re: Hispano AA @ Mildenhall

    Another Hispano, at Tangmere this time:


  6. #36
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    Default Re: RAF Tangmere air raid shelter legend ?!?!?

    I hope that this will help to solve the mystery of the WAAFs at Tangmere, I have copied it out exactly as my cousin wrote it.

    Barbara at Tangmere.

    28 February 2012

    Now, regard RAF Tangmere I rather fancy that's an awful rumour re the Waafs being left in a shelter, but it might have been after I left in 1942 when I went to Debden, but it doesn't seem real.

    The first Waaf killed was at a small radar station called Poling 08 ? ? on the Sussex coast a few miles from Bognor. Also the 1st American RAF pilot to be killed was Billy Fiske and he was buried in the village next to Tangmere Drome. I was in the funeral escort and had to march with others behind the coffin. I forget the village name but will look on map later. One other person who was killed, and this was when we were bombed and strafed (August 1940), was the newspaper man who had a pitch on corner of Parade Ground. He was unable to get away because of position and caught full blast of the machine gun strafing. My shift had to dive into where the Hot Water System was underground and one end section got hit but everyone got out okay. One section of our Airmen's Mess got very badly damaged and until repaired we had to work in the open air and cook on borrowed Turley Williams Cookery Vans, but they were mostly for hot water. Food was more or less tinned corn beef (and) sausages called soya links because of little meat. The Navy helped us out, from Portsmouth, with urgent supplies. We had to share the latrines with Airmen and we used to turn a card hanging outside if it was RAF or WAAF inside or Free. The Waaf mess was not too badly hit but our utensils hung outside and had loads of bullet holes in them. My Mum said that there was a message over the tannoy at RAF Wyton, where she was at Naafi, from the RAF Chief to say how proud the Air Ministry was of the Tangmere Waafs, by their Devotion to Duty and Courage shown. We also had to wear square yellow patches on our uniform sleeves for quick recognition for recall in an emergency.

    We cooks and A.C.H' s spent 3 weeks at the Squash Raquet Club as our billet with mattresses on floor and just wash basins, and for bathing we went to YMCA and TOC H in Chichester. Then we were billeted at Fontwell Race Course in the TOTE buildings and Jockeys Quarters in the Grandstand. After several weeks there we were taken to a nearby Manor House where it was great. Needless to say cookhouse facilities were sparse even then and camp stews were cooked in mobile coppers outside in a yard. There were 5000 to feed and because the ovens were hit we had huge Fish Fryers brought in these were used to boil joints of meat when available and (to cook) roast potatoes in.

    The posh Waafs, also the Plotters, were installed in a Junior School near Chichester and as I was by then a Corporal we had also to go there on shifts to make them hot drinks when on Duty. This was a secret venue. After a time we moved to a satellite of Tangmere which was Westhampnett (part of Goodwood Race Course) and we were billeted in Nissan Huts and served a Free French Squadron, and later a Polish Squadron, and after then several of us had to go to yet another satellite nearer Bognor called Merston as there was to be a hush hush plan to be carried (out) on a certain night and waves of planes were to come, land, have soup and hot drinks and take off, then the next wave came. It was very exhausting but necessary and again we were a trusted few. I can honestly say so much has happened in my life that I am not short of memories. Hope I've covered what you really wanted to know.

    * * * * *

  7. #37
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    Default Re: RAF Tangmere air raid shelter legend ?!?!?

    I'm glad this was of interest. As my cousin has mentioned Billy Fiske I did a bit of research and came up with this. Pilot Officer William M. L. Fiske was an American who pretended to be Canadian in order to join his friends in 601 Squadron. This Squadron was known as the millionaire flying aces of WW 11, their CO at Tangmere June/July 1940 was Max Aitken DFC who later became Lord Beaverbrook. 601 Squadron was formed in a London Gentleman's club (Whites?) and was composed of aristocrats and adventurers, most of them had their own aeroplanes. Pilot Officer William M. L. Fiske (Billy) died in hospital 17 August 1940 after bringing back his damaged hurricane to Tangmere. He was the first American to give his life in the Battle of Britain. He was a graduate of Cambridge University, a member of the winning American bob-sleigh teams in the 1928 and 1932 Olympics, and he had also driven at Le Mans. He must have been quite a character, and I am so glad that I now know that my cousin was a member of the guard escort at his funeral, and that is all due to finding this Tangmere thread so thank you!

    Some of this info has come from http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/index/html

    Pauline.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: RAF Tangmere air raid shelter legend ?!?!?

    Has anyone got or knows where to find a plan of RAF Tangmere circa 1944, I'm trying to locate buildings related to SOE on the site.

  9. #39
    tigger
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    Default Re: RAF Tangmere air raid shelter legend ?!?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    Has anyone got or knows where to find a plan of RAF Tangmere circa 1944, I'm trying to locate buildings related to SOE on the site.
    3655 7252/52 1952 Tangmere Record Site Plan
    3815 7613/54 1954 Tangmere Site Plan
    3903 3227/56 1956 Tangmere Site Plan

    Only others I know of are for the bomb store or pre-1940

    (ignore initial 4-digit number, database shouldn't have spat the key out)
    Last edited by tigger; 13-05-2012 at 18:56.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: RAF Tangmere air raid shelter legend ?!?!?

    Thanks guys,

    ok this is my problem, its widely document (and accepted) that the SOE at Tangmere were at Tangmere Cottage, looking at other sites the use of an off camp house is the norm and its about the right size for properties that SOE liked to take on. However I keep finding references (3rd party) that building 116 was used too, now I have had look through the Tangmere Museum website and the EH one among others and i cant find anything concrete to back this up, there is also this reoccurring mention of a tunnel from building 116?

    So with nothing concrete, the use of building 116 (the only remaining building coincidently) does not tie up, In fact it quite the opposite compared to how other sites were set up where secrecy was paramount... If the SOE had a facility on the airfield (which is likely for storage/personnel etc) then from my research it would have most likely have been one of more outlying buildings on the far side of the airfield. For example the buildings at Gibraltar Farm and Heigham Holmes were very much low key and as far from prying eyes as possible.

    Has anyone any theories, information.

    Red is Tangmere Cottage and Blue is building 116
    Last edited by Jenna; 14-05-2012 at 11:05.

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