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Author Topic: RAF Biggin Hill  (Read 28146 times)

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Offline cliveh

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2016, 11:07:41 »
The Station HQ:

cliveh

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2016, 21:16:20 »
As noted in the links provided by conan Harrietsham was not an airfield. For Frinstead RFC emergency landing ground see http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=15149.0

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2016, 19:56:57 »
conan. many thanks; so the crash was actually in a field at Frinstead. I notice the person making the enquiry, like me, was from Kent but the answers, including a photograph, were both from Americans! Interesting.

Offline conan

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2016, 13:46:15 »
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2016, 13:21:17 »
I looked on the Bigin Hill website- history- & there is ref. to141 Sqdn.RFC, posted there in 1917 with Bristol Fighters." Before the end of WW1, Biggin was able to claim at least one Gotha bomber shot down on Harrietsham aerodrome". First time I've seen ref. to a 'drome there- I suspect it was a satelite airfield? Does anyone know whether it was on top of the N. Downs a la Detling, or?

Offline conan

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2016, 23:58:33 »
Dave Smith try this you tube link,it should work for you

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4tqLDZ3BPM
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2016, 16:05:49 »
conan Looking forward to that but it wouldn't let me watch! ( computer ignoramous!- why make it easy when you can make it difficult). grandarog .That's a helluver size for a gas chamber- so high. All those I went in were less than 10ft. high ( in fact one I remember specifically was an ex air raid shelter, brick with a slab concrete roof; around 36' x 12' x 9' high). This seems to be an original building, matching those surrounding & I doubt they would have had " gas chamber" in the plans.

Offline conan

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2016, 14:04:17 »
I've just found this 23 minute film about Biggin Hill,so make a cup of tea and settle down comfortably :).........

http://article.wn.com/view/2015/01/30/Statement_from_London_Oxford_and_Biggin_Hill_Airports_regard/
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline Trikeman

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Biggin Hill 75 - The Hardest Day
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2015, 23:20:59 »
BIGGIN HILL 75

It is 75 years since the 'Hardest Day' in the Battle of Britain when the most aircraft were lost in a single day [71 German 63 British - including ground losses] as British airfields were attacked in an attempt to wipe out our aerial resistance as a prelude to invasion - there were three raids on Biggin Hill alone that day.
The losses on both sides were catastrophic, but particularly for the German aircrews as there was no way of them rejoining the fight - and pilots more than aircraft were proving to be the key. It proved to be one of the main turning points of the Battle.

As a way of commemorating the event a splendid collection of 18 Spitfires and 5 Hurricanes had gathered at Biggin Hill. There was huge excitement as the 23 aircraft all started their engines and taxied out to line up on the runway. The sight of those iconic aircraft taking off in close succession was truly exhillarating but also very moving, and as they flew past in finger- four formations the skies above Biggin were once again alive with the sights and sounds of fighter aircraft - a spectacle I shall certainly never forget.
A great day and a fitting tribute to 'The Few'

Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2015, 00:16:33 »
Two photos of gun harmonisation at Biggin Hill.

© IWM (CH 18605). Gun harmonisation board at Biggin Hill, Kent, set up for a Supermarine Spitfire Mark lXB of No. 341 (Free French) Squadron RAF, which has been jacked up into a level flying position in the Blister Hanger fifty yards beyond by armourers of No. 3101 Servicing Echelon. The discs on the board have been placed in order to harmonise the guns so that their lines of fire converge on a point 250 yards from the aircraft. The four small outside discs are the harmonising points for the four .303 Browning machine guns, while the larger discs inboard of these are for the two 20mm cannon. The upper centre spot is for the pilot's reflector sight, and the lower spot to the left of centre is for the camera gun.

And the opposite view. © IWM (CH 18603) An armourer of No. 3101 Servicing Echelon uses a periscope unit to adjust one of the .303 Browning machine guns on a Supermarine Spitfire Mark IXB of No. 341 (Free French) Squadron RAF, jacked up before a gun harmonization board at Biggin Hill, Kent.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2014, 22:37:03 »
RAF Biggin Hill - British Pathe.

Score=1,000. 1943. 1:11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa-Yofxo9Hg
1,000 enemy aircraft shot down at Malta and Biggin Hill.

Battle of Britain Day 1943. 5:13
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CHSGh9Q444
St Paul's Cathedral. The unveiling of the Battle of Britain Memorial at Biggin Hill.

The Many Remember the Battle of Britain. 1952. 3:04
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YDmPiUZeng

The Battle of Britain Anniversary 1954. 2:45
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtEUnEp7GRs
At 0:35 a small boy apparently fires the guns of a Meteor? (No I don't think so)
The officers Mess. Dedicating the Hurricane and Spitfire.

Air News. 1951. 1:13
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH12LFZwT3M
Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies names the EE Canberra.
(Yes, the Canberra was also built in the USA. :))

The Dambusters Remembered at Biggin Hill 1967. 7:07
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzbUdiKUYYE
The men, Lancasters and Spitfires.

There are also a few more available if you do a search.


John38

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2013, 16:00:43 »
The last time I was at RAF Biggin Hill it was to go through Aircrew Selection 1961. It was certainly in Kent at that time. The only question of County came about in a strange way. As Candidates we were stripped of rank and name - to make it an even playing field. We were each issued with a 'bib' worn on chest and back, on which a unique identity reference was painted - I was "S6".

In the bar that night it was hard to converse, Typically: " Where are you from, S6?" To which I replied, "No, not Essex, I'm from Kent" [think about it :)]

3 days of tests the likes of which I have never experienced since! There were over a 100 on day 1 and about a dozen at the end of day 3 - not an infallible system because I somehow got away with it!

Offline cliveh

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2013, 18:16:51 »
A few photos from a recent visit and guided tour around the East Camp:


cliveh

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2012, 18:23:33 »
In the early 1920's a series of experiments for ground control approach were carried out at Biggin Hill.
A large curved concrete disc, twenty feet in diameter, was mounted on trunnions. The disc could be trained according to the direction of the wind and then elevated to the correct angle of appoach for the incoming aircraft.
Three sound-detector stations around the airfield measured the height, speed and course of the aircraft and reported these to the pilot via wireless.
At the focal centre of the concrete disc was a powerful 10.KW klaxon, projecting a narrow beam of sound. The pilot, on picking up the sound, would throttle down and fly towards it, keeping as near as possible to the centre of the sound beam, until he touched down on the runway.
When in use the noise shattered windows and terrified and stampeded the local livestock!
The disc was demolished in 1926 after three aircraft had been written off in collisions with the disc.

Source. 'RAF Biggin Hill,' Graham Wallace, 1957.

Offline peterchall

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Re: RAF Biggin Hill
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2012, 22:10:34 »
As already mentioned, it was too much of a job to list all squadron movements, but I thought it would be interesting to list those that happened during the Battle of Britain, 10 July to 31 October 1940.

Listed are Squadron, where it came from < date - Aircraft type - date > where it went to.

32    Already at Biggin on 10 July - Hurricane I - 27 August > Acklington
610   Already at Biggin on 10 July - Spitfire I - 31 August > Acklington
141   Turnhouse < 11 July - Defiant – 25 July > Prestwick
79   Acklington < 27 August - Hurricane I – 8 September > Pembury
72   Acklington < 31 August - Spitfire I – 1 September > Croydon (Just 1 night stay, probably due to results of the air attacks)
92   Pembrey < 8 September - Spitfire I – Still at Biggin on 31 October
72   Croydon < 12 September - Spitfire I – 13 October  > Leconfield
141   Turnhouse < 13 September - Defiant – 18 September > Gatwick
64   Leconfield < 13 October - Spitfire I – 15 October > Coltishall
74   Coltishall < 15 October – Spitfire I – Still at Biggin on 31 October.

As a Sector Station housing the Sector Operations Room, Biggin Hill would have had other squadrons based at satellite airfields under its control, those on example dates being:
7 July: 79 Squadron (Hurricane) at Hawkinge, and 604 Squadron (Blenheim) at Gravesend.
8 August: 501 Squadron (Hurricane) at Gravesend, and 600 Squadron (Blenheim) at Manston.
7 September: 501 Squadron (Hurricane) at Gravesend.
30 September: 66 Squadron (Spitfire) at Gravesend.

Hence air raid damage to Sector Operations Rooms had a ‘knock-on’ effect on squadrons based at other airfields yet, perhaps surprisingly, the one at Biggin Hill (and I believe all others) was a normal brick-built surface structure protected only by a surrounding sand-bag wall.

Among others, there were heavy attacks on 30th August, two on 31st August and one on the morning of 1st September, by which time the station was virtually wrecked, the Ops Room had been destroyed and all telephone and teleprinter contact with the outside world had been lost, but some lines were repaired within an hour so that contact was restored with 11 Group HQ, and by the next morning an emergency Ops Room was operating in a village shop. Credit for restoration of communications is due to the GPO for external lines, and the Royal Corps of Signals for internal ones – they worked almost continuously over the 3 days of those attacks, often seeing their work undone by another raid.

I think the emergency Ops Room is sometimes portrayed as being produced ‘out-of-the-hat’, but ‘The Battle of Britain – the Jubilee History’ states that it had been prepared in advance for just such an emergency. However, it could not control the full quota of 4 squadrons, so the construction of a fully equipped Ops Room within a radius of 5 miles was begun – does anyone know where? I also have the notion that the emergency Ops Room was in the back room(s) of a Baker’s shop that stayed open to the public, but can’t find any details.
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