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Author Topic: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury  (Read 15941 times)

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Offline conan

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2016, 09:03:49 »
Hi relaybill and welcome to the forum.You should find this link of interest

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=16775.0
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline relaybill

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2016, 23:59:57 »
Hello,  I am actually writing about RAF Coldblow near Detling.  I was with the USAF and at RAF Coldblow from late 1964 through Jan. of 1967, after having moved down from RAF Wethersfield.  I was in charge of the USAF Marconi microwave part of the facility which was in overall control of the RAF and it was all part of the interconnected Ace High system--our comms were interconnected.  We had microwave and tropospheric scatter communications equipment.  There was no radar.  Tropo was sent/received on four 60 foot dishes.  The next station towards Dover in our microwave system was what we called Dunkirk near Canterbury.  The eastern most of our relay sites was in Dover.  There were five of we yanks and about 10 to 12 RAF.  It was an extremely pleasant place to work and I lived in Linton.  We would go down the hill many days to our regular--the Hook and Hatchet.  Sometimes we could see the fox hunts occurring on the adjoining hills.  Detling was a wonderful little village at the time and a very dear friend of my wife and I who was from Detling just recently passed away--she had relocated to the states with her husband, another of the USAF personnel.  I have been back to Coldblow just to look a number of times--I married a brit and have family there.  It was sad to see the place in ruins after fire.  But, I will always have great memories of how it used to be and how great it was to work with all concerned.  When I arrived in 1964 until sometime late 1965 we were part of NATO and had a  French NATO controller at Coldblow.  I'll never forget his old Citroen.  I never saw an auto with a two cylinder engine before.  Ha.  It would be great to hear from anyone else who might have comments and questions.

Offline JohnG

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2012, 20:14:13 »
BenG.  The two photographs you have posted of a 40mm Oerlikon emplacement I think you will find should be a 20mm Oerlikon.

Offline JohnG

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2012, 22:28:04 »
I think Chasg is correct, it is barbed wire or dannet wire.

Offline chasg

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2012, 17:26:09 »
Barbed wire, perhaps?

jammy36

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2012, 17:08:26 »
Here is an RAF 1946 aerial view of the Dunkirk site

Does anyone know what the angled lines on the southern and northern side of the station are? Some appear to pass under hedge/fence lines.

Thanks

Offline kyn

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2012, 20:36:42 »
Please take into consideration this report was written many years ago - before the internet made research easy and gave you all the answers in minutes!



Repeto Vestigia Martis
                    
by Ron Crowdy
This is another in the series on how to recognise what is left for modern researchers.  The title is the groups motto, “ I seek again the traces of war”.

Chain Home Radar

I have written this article in the nature of a site visit report.  The site I have chosen is Dunkirk Chain Home Low Station, just off the A2 near Canterbury; it is one of only two sites (known to me) which still sports one of the original wartime towers, although a shortened version of its former size.

The layout seems to be absolutely typical, being a line of 4 transmitting aerials, plus the 4 receivers at right angles to each other forming a square, round a central operations room.  At Dunkirk there is another cluster to the south.  If you enter the site via the bridlepath  opposite the entrance to Dunkirk Church, you will find that after about 2-300 yards, there is a path leading off to the left – take this and find the ack ack tower.  This tower will be the subject of further articles, but suffice to say that it had a Bofors 40mm and a tripod mounted Lewis gun on its top.  Return to the path and enter the field with the remaining concrete supports of the receiving towers.  The central blast-walled control block is the obvious attraction.  Here we can not only see the operations rooms, but also recognise the various features associated with gas-proof buildings (an aspect we discussed in the article on coast defence plotting rooms).  The first feature is the main entrance with its heavely barred wooden door.  The door itself closes onto a thin rubber gasket fitted round the inside of the door frame.  There is the familiar lobby before entering the second door, and then into the building proper.  The air filtration room is obvious from the remains of metal trunking coming into the room, and the concrete bed of the ventilation plant.  Further gas proof features will become apparent.  The building is exactly the same in both the receiving and transmitting areas.
There is another building, shown B, but I cannot be sure of its use.  It is of the same construction of A, but much smaller.  There are a few clues,  shown in the drawing – could it be a generator room or transformer room?
At the northern boundary of the site is what I take to be the “buried reserve” the standby alternative to the main site, the evidence is strong, in that they appear to be all the components of the main station, but on a smaller scale.  There are two buildings, one completely buried, the other with its roof about 3f above ground level.  They measure about 30’x15’ and have sliding concrete hatches running on rails.  Along side we have the supports of a large tower, presumably the fifth steel mast mentioned in Dave Collyer’s article, plus the supports of two much smaller masts set at right angles to each other.  As in the main site, the transmitter has a room beside it, and the two receivers also have a similar room (the buried room mentioned earlier).  The only disappointment was that both these rooms had their hatches welded shut.
The outer defences were also very interesting being three – machine gun pill boxes, Oerlikon emplacement there were also the remains of four lewis gun emplacements.  One of them still has the original gun mounting (shown in the drawing).  I have heard this called a “Beaverette Mounting” but I cannot confirm this.  One other mounting from this site is in the wrong group’s possession…

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2012, 17:11:37 »

Offline Islesy

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2010, 21:21:28 »
I notice that Planning Permission to turn the site into a Data Centre has been turned down, Swale Council citing a number of reasons including "failing to adequately demonstrate the impact of the proposal on important archaeological remains".
Three Peaks Challenge 2012 - raising funds for Help for Heroes
www.bmycharity.com/Islesy

Guest

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2010, 19:52:12 »














AnDy

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2010, 21:59:15 »
Is the buried reserve flooded again, it was pumped out a few years ago, I think there might be some pics of the interior on Sub Brit.

DoverDan

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2010, 11:55:45 »
Three of Dunkirks towers being demolished in January 1959.

medwayboy

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2010, 21:14:44 »
Had a trip over this afternoon and here's a couple of my pics . Fasciating place when I wasn't being ripped to shreds by the stingers   lol










Offline kyn

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2010, 16:27:37 »
Aircraftwoman Elsie Bartlett

All types turned up at Hallam Street to enlist: short, fat, thin, small, dowdy, glamorous; typists and shop-girls, married and single, from all walks of life.  They were fussy about who they took at the beginning, and I hadn't a lot going for me - what with spinal curvature and bad eyes.  However, I slipped in as a C3 and,
 that evening, was in Harrogate with the King's shilling and a sore arm from injections.

The Grand Hotel must have been grand once, but when we arrived there was no heating or lifts.  We marched round the gardens opposite, all wearing a strange collection of garments.  I had on my camel coat, brown hat and brown suede high-heeled shoes.  Marching in tat lot was awful, but we were given our uniforms soon afterwards.

Just before Christmas, we were sent to an empty boys' school called Pannal Ash.  It was so cold our toilet bags froze solid.  And it snowed and snowed - so much that we couldn't even get down to the station.  I don't know why, but everyone else was sent off in twos and threes, except for me.  I was always sent off alone.  When I got my posting, I opened it and read 'RAF Dunkirk'.  Well, I nearly had heart failure!  My God, I thought, things must be dodgy.

My Dunkirk turned out to be a village in Kent.  So there I was, a small WAAF weighted down in a heavy greatcoat, hat pulled down tight, carrying a gas mask, a tin hat, a case, a kitbag almost as big as me, and clutching my orders and a packet of spam sandwiches.  Off I staggered to Kent.

The camp stood well hidden in the middle of a wood.  All the staff worked at the Radio Location (RL) camp which was much further up the hill.  I shared my hut with Corporal Beet, a medical orderly; Marie, a batwoman; Dixie and Dot, who were kitchen bods; and Rose from the office.  It was like Alaska in that hut.  Draughts swept through it like miniature blizzards, and I quickly perfected the art of getting dressed under the blankets.  I didn't get to know many other people there as RL was very hush-hush, although the Special Police would bring us dogsbodies a cup of tea with our early morning call, which was nice.  We were all kept very busy by our Flight-Sergeant - once I was sent to scrub the fire buckets, inside and out!  I think she was something to do with the First World War.  She was very fierce, with an Eton crop, and a face which would have scared even a German.  In fact, I often wondered why she wasn't on their side.

I started off scrubbing floors and walking our officer's dog.  Then, after a while, I was sent to the kitchens to work for the LACW there, a real bully called Joan.  She can't have been fond of soap and water, because there was always a great tide-mark around her neck, and her overalls concealed drab, grey underwear.  However, she was friendly with one of the gunners and as they always met in the dark I suppose he never noticed!  Still, I'm sure Joan smirked as she watched me try and tackle the big iron pots we used for porridge.  It took two WAAFS even to lift them.  When I had the chance of going into Canterbury to get rations with the Catering Sergeant, I jumped at it.

The Catering Sergeant persuaded me to go on a course as a catering clerk - which meant that I got all the dirty work on the books while she swanned around doing nowt!  I'd never been good at figures, and this entailed working out how many sausages we'd need to feed hundreds or airmen...  I could see myself getting in real trouble.

Halfway through the course, which was held at Melksham in Wiltshire, a pal and I got forty-eight-hour passes and decided to go home.  We got stuck for a lift on the way back, and when we phoned the camp from Reading station we were told to stay put, we'd be collected the next morning.  We were pretty fed-up about this, and when an Army tender drew up, offering us a lift, we accepted.  He dropped us right outside our guardroom.  Now this was the time when spies were supposed to be dropping out of the sky dressed as nuns, so extra soldiers were walking around, all with their fingers on their triggers.  Suddenly, as we were making our way in the pitch black dark, a voice bellowed, 'Advance and be recognised!'  A rifle bolt clicked back.  We were petrified.  To cap it all, our hut had been changed round over the weekend, and all our gear shifted.  We stumbled around, banging into things, and being cursed soundly.  What a night!  The sound of that rifle put years on me.

Our exam came round the next week.  The menu was brown stew and jam pudding, and if the exam bods could put a knife into the pudding you passed!  Now I was allowed to wear a white apron and a turban, but I still hated cooking, so I asked to be re-mustered back.  At least scrubbing floors and dog-waling had variety.

Soon I was off again, travelling North with a fellow WAAF to Cardington.  It was a fraught train journey, sitting wedged between a morose sailor and a tipsy Highlander, and being sat on by a fat Army ATS.  We arrived at an immense place, full of great big girls, all very brawny and striding about in battledress with knifes stuck in their belts.  A red-faced Sergeant collared us at once: 'Stand up straight, you dozy pair!  Wait here!'  My friend and I looked at one another, and as soon as the Sergeant went into the office, we picked up our gear and hitched a lift on a tender to the balloon site in Rotherham.

Offline BenG

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Re: RAF Dunkirk, Canterbury
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2010, 19:55:34 »

 

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