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Report - RAF Burtonwood, Lancs - Nov 08'

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by lightning1975, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. lightning1975

    Guest

    My first post. It might go in the bin but I understand of it does. I was back up North and heard that what is left of RAF Burtonwood was going to be demolished, so I drove over on the Saturday to find only one K type hanger on 'A' site remaining and one 'J' type hanger on 'E' site. Firstly, 'A' site:

    A Site was constructed to form part of the Aircraft Storage Unit (ASU) at Burtonwood to be operated by No.37 Maintenance Unit RAF. The site consists of two K-type hangars one of which was ready for use by October 1940, however the site was not fully operational until February 1941.

    In April 1942 A site was taken over by Burtonwood Repair Depot (BRD). BRD operated a shadow factory and comprised BOAC, Rover Car Co., Rollaston Aircraft Co. and Sunbeam Talbot.

    The site fell into American hands when Burtonwood was taken over by the USAAF in October 1943. This hangar and it's now demolished sister was also used in the Berlin airlift to clean crap such as flour and coal dust from the C-54 Skymaster cargo aircraft.

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    In 1945, this taxiway and all the others were FULL of US fighters and Bombers which were waiting to be scrapped:

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    ....and onto 'E' site:

    An almost demolished 'J' type hangar:

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    and onwards to the last remaining hangar. I once saw a picture taken from almost this spot where a B24 liberator was parked near those red doors. 16,000 were made and about ten survive today:

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    I have loads more but didn't wanna bore people by uploading too many. I would welcome any critique re my first post and if this goes in the bin, I really won't be offended but if you want me to add more, please just say. All this has gone now. They are going to put a prison there apparently. The rest was demolished in 1986 and this represents less than 5% of the airbase. Thanks for looking.!
     

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  2. lightning1975

    Guest

    Re: RAF Burtonwood, Lancs - REPORT - (1/11/08)

    I just woke up after nights! ....Ok, a few more then.....!

    On the taxiway in front of the hangar on 'A' site, there was a raised 'ramp' towards the hangar. I know that part of the reason that the airfield was closed was due to mining subsidence but this seems like it has always been there. It must have been real difficult for aircraft to taxi/park in this area if so.

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    A lot of aircraft were literally just pulled apart by large cables during scrapping in this area and the B17's had their batteries shorted out so that they would explode in the wings, rendering them unusable. Engines would have their sumps smashed through with hammers and pistons would be bent. If I had a metal detector, I would go back here as there must be all sorts in and underneath the grass.

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    Where the Blue sign is on the right, is the M62. This was built directly on top of the main runway which was massive. It was big enough to take Convair B-36's which to date, are the biggest bombers that the USAF have ever had. My dad remembers them flying over Wigan in the 50's.

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    The remains of one of the 'Spectacle' type hardstandings, which where loops along the taxiway where more aircraft could be parked.

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    This was one of the original taxiways to the runway looking south. The end was still quite a way to the west.

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    An almost wrecked hangar on 'E' site.

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    A bunker/air raid shelter. This was just a small room with nothing inside.

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    More 'E' site, Hangar 8E

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    Burtonwood in the 1950's. I believe that the runway was extended even further east after this and I know for a fact that a V bomber QRA pad was added at the east end and was used until Burtonwood was stood down as a dispersal in 1966.

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    'A' site in the 1970's

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    ...and World War two. These are B17's. The awnings on the hangar entrances were used in an attempt to camouflage the line of the hangars apparently.

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    'E' site in the 1970's

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    For the last three, I copied the URL from the burtonwoodbase.org website. As far as I know, they are in the public domain. Certainly the USAAF ones are free to use. If this is not the done thing, let me know and I will remove it.

    Bye-bye, Burtonwood. They demolished the other side in 1986 and built jack all there. With the 'credit crunch', they will bring jack all here. I know of loads of historic aircraft collections or other preservation movements that would benefit from such covered accommodation as well. Not to mention the historical importance of these buildings. They should have been listed I think. Typical Northern council 'lets cash in quick' mentality. Pathetic!

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