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Thread: Castle Donington

  1. #1
    SuperMod stevie's Avatar
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    Default Castle Donington

    A local(ish) Leicestershire airfield that i've been meaning to post a thread about for a long time here. RAF Castle Donington opened in Jan 1943 and became a satellite to nearby RAF Wymeswold for the majority of it's wartime life. No. 28 OTU, No.108 (Transport) OTU and No.1382 (Transport) Conversion Unit all using the airfield with Wellingtons, Oxfords, Dc-3's etc from Jan 1st 1943 till 31st May 1946. Afterwhich the airfield was used briefly by No.49 Gliding School. Following this the site was abandoned untill 1964 when the airfield slowly but surley over the years got completely rebuilt and became the East Midlands Airport.


    It's no easy task finding much of CD's Wartime remains but there are a few around still...only just! The constant re-development of the airport completely wiped almost all of it off the map.

    There are three pan dispersals and a section of peri track still very much in tact but not easy to photograph unfortunatly -





    This hardstanding above still survives but only a section of it. It stretches out of the present airport boundary.

    Trackway around the Bomb Dump area -

    Very plesed to find this pillbox. The only wartime structure i could find. Apparently there is an RAF hut still surviving 'somewhere' amongst all the massive new buildings around the freight area.

    I couldn't put up a thread about Castle Donington without some pics of the excellent Aero Park Museum -




    Cheers,
    Steve

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Castle Donington

    Most of the road system of the former bomb store survives but no visible buildings. This HE Bomb Store, one of four, may have some brickwork left.

    http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepat...z=18&oz=7&gt=1

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    84OTU Chris Lowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Castle Donington

    Is this the end of one of the subsiduary runways http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepat...z=19&oz=8&gt=1 with one obvious end here http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepat...z=19&oz=8&gt=1 ?

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    SuperMod stevie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Castle Donington

    Quote Originally Posted by buccaneer66 View Post
    Is this the end of one of the subsiduary runways http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepat...z=19&oz=8&gt=1 with one obvious end here http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepat...z=19&oz=8&gt=1 ?
    Chris,

    You were correct about the runway in the second link but after studying an old aerial pic from 1945 it seems that the end of the other runway was somewhere in this spot here -
    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=east+midlands+airport&ie=UTF8&hq=&hne ar=East+Midlands+Airport+(EMA),+34+Derby+Rd,+Kegwo rth,+Derby,+Leicestershire+DE74+2SA,+United+Kingdo m&ll=52.825989,-1.329179&spn=0.001348,0.005198&t=h&z=18

    You can just make out where the other end was up near to the surviving dispersals.

  5. #5
    SuperMod P Bellamy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Castle Donington

    Castle Donington dispersed sites, click for large view:

    CD-Disp2l.jpg

    All the best,
    PB

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    Default Re: Castle Donington

    I have some obliques I took early 90s. I haven't seen them for years, but from memory they weren't too good. If I find them, I'll post them, but in the meantime, here's the only image I can put my hands on quickly:



    "Aviation in Leicestershire And Rutland" by Roy Bonser, Midland Publishing, 2001, pages 128/9. Excellent read.

  7. #7
    Junior Member tu 154's Avatar
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    Default Re: Castle Donington

    there used to be some original buildings off the a 453 b4 they built the dhl site ,they was used by a farmer

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    SuperMod stevie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Castle Donington

    Quote Originally Posted by PETERTHEEATER View Post
    Most of the road system of the former bomb store survives but no visible buildings. This HE Bomb Store, one of four, may have some brickwork left.

    http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepat...z=18&oz=7&gt=1
    Not possible to get in the entire bomb store area Peter due to a bolted gate with barbed wire. The parts of the Bomb Dump i did manage to enter didn't reveal much more than trackway and the occasional pile of bricks and rubble buried in the undergrowth.
    I went back up to the airport today and checked out where all the dispersed sites where. I didn't find hardly anything except a few bases although i did think i saw a building on some farm land near to the main airport enterance but couldn't pull over in the car at the time. Brought myself a copy of 'The Airport' whilst i was there which is a nice book that features a great photo of construction going on on the airport in the sixties with old the control tower in the background. Surley one of the very few pictures around anywhere with Castle Doningtons tower in view i would have thought.

    Steve

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Castle Donington

    Thanks stevie, I expected that there would be few remains other than rubble since nothing is visible even on 1999 satellite imagery.

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Castle Donington

    Another enigma. I now find that there were two bomb stores at CD, a 1940 pattern and a 1942 pattern. Nothing unusual in that since it was usual that when early war airfields were upgraded to Class A standard. additional HE Bomb Stores (Type D) were added to supplement the inefficient Type C.

    A 1963 OS 2500 map reveals the remains of both types side by side but, can anyone confirm the date of opening of RAF Castle Donington that is stated to be both early 1942 and 1943? If the former that would account for the Type C layout.

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