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Thread: Rivenhall

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Rivenhall

    P9050076small.jpg
    This is as close as I could get.. 'elf n' safety!

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Rivenhall

    I was speaking to one of the farm guys a few weeks ago, the flight offices are still there, but fate unknown as yet. He also said if you want to get onto the site, Sundays are best as the demolition crews are not there, nor quarrying bods.

    Not had a chance to go there again as yet.

    Matt

  3. #53
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    Default Re: Rivenhall

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Halton View Post
    I was speaking to one of the farm guys a few weeks ago, the flight offices are still there, but fate unknown as yet. He also said if you want to get onto the site, Sundays are best as the demolition crews are not there, nor quarrying bods.

    Not had a chance to go there again as yet.

    Matt
    Yes... The admin site is still untouched and in its usual overgrown splendour

  4. #54
    Senior Member sumter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rivenhall

    Does anyone have the construction period/opening dates for Rivenhall handy? Thanks in advance...

  5. #55
    Senior Member raptor309's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by airfrancis View Post
    Yes... The admin site is still untouched and in its usual overgrown splendour
    Just come back from having a look at the site. The Picket Post at the entrance to the Ops/Admin building is amazingly still standing (just). The Eastern side Hangar has now gone without a trace as have the Floodlight Tractor / Trailer shed and the building which stood next to it. The Flight Offices are still standing but as for the doors within i don't know. The front door looked as if it was locked (a little ominous i thought). But apart from that everything else is as it was.
    Robert

  6. #56
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    Default Re: Rivenhall

    This post appeared on the Air Britain forum earlier today ;

    "A friend of mine is an airfield archaeologist and visited Rivenhall last year to document what remains.
    A number of building had names on the doors one being Sq. Ldr HE Watson DFC.
    The RAF only occupied Rivenhall form the end of 1944 to the end of 1945. I searched the base ORBs and found no reference to this man. I then searched DFCs and found nothing.
    An assistant took pity on me at the National Archives and we found a Flt Sgt. HE Watson with a DFM. He was a wireless operator with 78 sq. I believe he was Gazetted in late 1943 but my lack of computer skills meant I could not find him. Is this the same man? His service number was 178697 although this would change when commissioned.
    On the assumption that Watson was serving at Rivenhall when it closed my question is how did he get there, what was his role and what did he get his DFM for. I realise it wasn't for gallantry but probably service.
    78sq. transferred to transport command in 1945 so there is a link to Rivenhall. I know I could request his service career from the RAF but that would cost me so is the last resort."

    And a reply ;

    "I too can't find an H E Watson with the DFC.

    Regarding the H E Watson with the DFM, he actually had three forenames, Harold Edward Montague.

    1332634 Sgt H E M Watson was injured on the night of 29-30 September 1943 when 78Sqn Halifax LW263, returning from Bochum, crashed into woods near Scunthorpe. His DFM was gazetted on 10 December 1943. He was commissioned as a Plt Off on 5 June 1944, changing his service number to 178697. He was promoted to a temporary one-year Flight Lieutenant on 1 December 1948, and a short service Flight Lieutenant on 13 May 1949.

    These dates and the rank (after the RAF left Rivenhall and below Sqn Ldr) would seem to rule him out.

    A history of Rivenhall ("Rivenhall - The History of an Essex Airfield") was published privately by B A Stait in 1984. Unfortunately it doesn't have an index. I can't spot any reference to Watson.

    Google doesn't produce references to Harold Edward Montague Watson other than those in the London Gazette.

    Just one thought. After the RAF pulled out off of Rivenhall, a lot of buildings were occupied by Poles, some of them former PoWs, who did not want to go back to Poland. I believe that in the years after the war, some RAF personnel were assigned to helping these chaps find accommodation and jobs. If this happened at Rivenhall, they would have been the last RAF occupants.

    But I am still left wondering whether the sign on the door was accurate in the first place, and whether your friend noted it correctly."
    Last edited by David Thompson; 07-02-2013 at 19:57. Reason: Reply added

  7. #57
    Senior Member raptor309's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rivenhall

    Not sure what's going on around the old Admin Site at the minute. All the foilage and rubbish have been stripped away from the Picket Post exposng it to the elements (not good when half the walls are collapsing!) and the access road up to the main Admin site has been completley cleared almost right round to the old Briefing Hut. The 2 large Admin Site Nissen Huts are slowly collapsing at the windows (especially the one nearest the Picket Post). Apart from that the Ops Block, Briefing Hut and Bomb Site store are still intact. Not sure about the Flight Offices. Anyone local to the area know what's going on?
    Rob.

  8. #58
    Senior Member sumter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rivenhall

    Here's an interesting link to Rivenhall's post-war occupation by Polish refugees. They were still there in 1959.
    There are also links to other similarly used airfields.

  9. #59
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    Default Re: Rivenhall

    Hi guys, I haven't been here for a while. I was registered a couple of years ago but forgot my login details. How you all doing?

    I went back to Rivenhall a week ago, at night mind you and on my own ooooeeeee. I also visited the flight offices (where the names are on the door) and the nissen huts/ops block. I did some research about a year ago and got chatting to some blokes on a forum, 1 who was stationed there as a maintenance engineer who gave me some very good information.

    I managed to got some info about Dr HE Watson D.F.C. and other interesting stuff from some other guy in the forum. (I will post later if I can find it)

    Anyway, as I understand, the T2 hanger on the Sheepcotes Lane end has been demolished along with the surrounding buildings - shame

    The flight offices with the names on the doors is still intact but for how long I don't know? I tried doing research on two other names - Captain Powell and Fl. Lt Beng and came up with nothing. Captain Powell may have been U.S.A.A.F as R.A.F are usually 'Group Captain' unless it was shortened?


    Anyway, I have a link on my Youtube page of the pics here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3Ys...rotBLSe4qx4t0Q, there is also a video and a slideshow of Rivenhall Airfield on my Youtube account, so feel free to have a look

    I will see If I can dig out the emails I got regarding the names on the doors etc.

    Great to be back as this has been a hobby of mine for the last 15 years or so. I only live about 4 miles from the airfield, so if anyone would like to go, then please feel free to contact me. My email address is phillyzippy@gmail.com

    All the best

    Zippy
    Last edited by Zippy; 29-04-2014 at 19:18.

  10. #60
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    Default Re: Rivenhall

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy View Post
    Fl. Lt Beng and came up with nothing. Captain Powell may have been U.S.A.A.F as R.A.F are usually 'Group Captain' unless it was shortened?
    Hello,
    That would be Flight Lieutenant Berg, who was the adjutant with one of the 38 Group Stirling squadrons after the USAAF moved to France.

    I seem to remember from somewhere that Capt Powell was with the Glider Pilots Regt, It was not unusual to have Army Officers stationed on an airfield, especially when that airfield housed aircraft towing gliders!

    I believe the letters 'GPR' were stencilled on the door.

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