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Author Topic: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!  (Read 26240 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2010, 22:53:33 »
Welcome along Fred, I bet the logbook is a really interesting read!  Any chance you can scan and paste some relevent bits?  It would be nice to have the other sides view of things!

Offline Paul

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2010, 21:46:36 »
Maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner. :{

Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2010, 21:32:23 »
Hi Fred,

You are more welcome than your uncle was on 15th August 1940. He was one of those who scared me witless! :)

Best wishes,
Peter
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merc

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2010, 21:13:17 »
Welcome Fred  :)

Rochester Airport has it's own website and there's some interesting reading in the History Section:  http://www.rochesterairport.co.uk/

I believe the airport still has some buildings from the 30's, for the no 23 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School that was run by shorts.

Glen

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2010, 20:57:31 »
Hi Fred- welcome to the forum (herzlich willkommen  :)). The airfield still exists in Rochester but is no longer a military airfield. It is used mainly by flying clubs with light aircraft.

Glen

fred

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2010, 20:20:02 »
Hello everybody,

I am new to this forum and I came across this entry when I was googleing for 'Rochester, bombing'.

I am German and I started digging up the biographies of members of my family years ago. Only recently I could put my hands on the flight-logbook of my uncle. Born in 1920 he was drafted to serve with the Luftwaffe in 1939.

There is an entry for August 15, 1940 stating a flight from Antwerp at 15:10 to Rochester and a return at 17:25. His plane had been a Dornier 17 Z bomber. The details say that the aim had been an airfield and an aircraft production-site. Anti-aircraft and fighter defence had been st
rong with six hits.

The details fit in with what I could read on your forum. My question is, if this airfield still exists and where I would find it.

Thank you for your replies.

 

Offline MedKev86

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2009, 04:38:47 »
I was driving past the 'Cows Field' along Snodhurst Avenue at the top, and because of sunlight on the field you could clearly see where some of the craters that were caused by bombs on the field that is behind the old Mid Kent College. Never noticed it before! Very interesting!

Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2009, 01:45:41 »
Hi guys....just thought I'd run this past the site and see what comes back...

My friends grand father, long dead and an ex Marine, whom when home, lived on the Davies estate during WW2 told us the following stories mainly regarding the Rochester airport:-

1/ A shot up P-47 Thunderbolt landed with failed brakes and shot thru part of the Shorts buildings at the end of the runway killing a number of workers...he said the pilot escaped with wounds.

2/ A very flak damaged B-17 landed but the undercarriage failed
 on landing.....she also had a stuck ball turret with air gunner still inside, the ball turrent was all bar wiped from the bottom of the B-17....he said the workers at the airport hosed out most of the poor gunner remains before the US recovery team arrived.

3/ In the woods down near Concorde Avenue out the back of the Scout hut we used to play in a large crater, called the old bomb hole....well he told us quite a few bombs landed around the Davies Estate area, this was one...a few landed in the Cows field opposite the Fort Horsted/Vale Drive (which wasn't there then of course)

...there are also a string of bombholes at the top of Boxley hill, come up the hill at the top turn right down Pilgrims way and about 300 yards in the woods off to the left, they were there 10 years ago, looking like a stick of bombs had fallen on the farmers field with the last entering the wooded area?...he did some manauvres up there with the Marines, not sure why?


He also said if you see
Tarmac down a concreate road most anywhere near Davies Estate you know that's where a bomb landed.! Some house were bombed out, don't know where?

4/ One of the air raid shelters at the airport took a direct hit, but wasn't full, 3 or 4 people died?

so, there you are myths or facts?  

From Kent Airfields In The second World War by Robin Brooks -

1/ In 1944 a USAAF P-47 Thunderbolt ran into the factory canteen whilst attempting a landing with failed brakes.

Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2009, 21:22:43 »
Iconic - there's a great history and some old pics on here -

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=264.0

iconic

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 14:09:10 »
Thanks for the response guys....that B-24 story sounds familiar, I'm know the aricraft didn't block the runway so must of overshot.....sort of becomes B-17 as a lot of guys thought every US bomber was a B-17, bit like 'Spitfire Snobbery' I've read about maybe?

Having lived almost on top of the airport I'm always shocked by the lack of solid information about 'what' happened and 'when' at the airport, and pictures seem very scarce.


Also, I remember seeing a Luftwaffe aeiral photo looking down on Fort Horsted and the rear end of the airport....there were already buildings occupying the college site....was that part of Shorts too? I did part of my apprenticeship at the old CAV site on Rochester Esplanade once occupied by Shorts, small world!


Offline Stewie

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 13:25:42 »
My Mothers Uncle (now sadly deceased) worked for 'Shorts' and lived in City Way. He told me once that an 'American' bomber landed at Rochester to drop off a wounded crew member before taking off again and presumably continuing back to it's home base.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 11:47:20 »
PS:
Extract from Rochester City Archives, but I imagine this refers only to premises outside the airport:
15th August 1940: High Explosives, Rochester. 5 houses demolished, others damaged. 9 injured
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 11:32:29 »
Hi iconic,

No 23 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School (ERFTS) was there from 1938 until it moved out at the start of the war. It gave initial training to RAF and RAFVR pilots, but was civilian run.

Apart from that, it was a Short Bros factory producing Stirling bombers throughout the war, and there were no operational squadrons there.

Designated emergency landing grounds had extra long runways and specialist emergency equipment. Manston, Kent, and Woodbridge, Suffolk being two examples. Whilst any airfield would be used in emergencies, I'm sure Rochester wasn't specifically designated. A B-24 Liberator made a wheels-up landing and slid partly onto Rochester - Maidstone Road about where the caravan site is now. I cycled there with mates to see it and was shocked by the bullet holes all over it, or was it flak damage? I don't know what happened to the crew. This may be the incident that you quote as a B-17 or a different one, and I have no doubt that there were other instances of crash landings.

The Shorts factory was heavily bombed on the afternoon of 15th August 1940 and production of the Stirling was put-back by several months. There were casualties at the factory and stray bombs hit Davis Estate houses. So, yes, stories of bomb craters in that area are fact. One bomb "strayed" as far as Delce Road, Rochester. It was the first bomb damage I saw during the war.
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iconic

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Re: Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 08:36:23 »
Sorry, forget to add, he said the airfield was mainly used as a emergency landing strip during WW2 with no active front line squadrons stationed there?

iconic

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Rochester airport myths or fact and bomb holes!
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 08:32:06 »
Hi guys....just thought I'd run this past the site and see what comes back...

My friends grand father, long dead and an ex Marine, whom when home, lived on the Davies estate during WW2 told us the following stories mainly regarding the Rochester airport:-

1/ A shot up P-47 Thunderbolt landed with failed brakes and shot thru part of the Shorts buildings at the end of the runway killing a number of workers...he said the pilot escaped with wounds.

2/ A very flak damaged B-17 landed but the undercarriage failed on landing.....she also had a stuck ball turret with air gunner still inside, the ball turrent was all bar wiped from the bottom of the B-17....he said the workers at the airport hosed out most of the poor gunner remains before the US recovery team arrived.

3/ In the woods down near Concorde Avenue out the back of the Scout hut we used to play in a large crater, called the old bomb hole....well he told us quite a few bombs landed around the Davies Estate area, this was one...a few landed in the Cows field opposite the Fort Horsted/Vale Drive (which wasn't there then of course)

...there are also a string of bombholes at the top of Boxley hill, come up the hill at the top turn right down Pilgrims way and about 300 yards in the woods off to the left, they were there 10 years ago, looking like a stick of bombs had fallen on the farmers field with the last entering the wooded area?...he did some manauvres up there with the Marines, not sure why?


He also said if you see Tarmac down a concreate road most anywhere near Davies Estate you know that's where a bomb landed.! Some house were bombed out, don't know where?

4/ One of the air raid shelters at the airport took a direct hit, but wasn't full, 3 or 4 people died?

so, there you are myths or facts?  

 

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