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Report - Derelict RAF/USAAF Cluntoe Airfield, Ardboe NI 25/1/08

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Pacie, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. Pacie

    Pacie Guest
    Guest

    Cluntoe, WW2 airfield in Ardboe, Northern Ireland.

    Bit of history:

    "In 1940 officials had begun to chalk out boundaries.

    The airfield was to be built directly in the centre of Ardboe, in the townland of Kinrush. At the time Kinrush was the most populated area of Ardboe and the largest townland. It contained shops, two blacksmiths, a shoe maker and a railway carriage!

    The building of the airfield began on 9 December 1941, properties were forcibly purchased and livestock and equipment auctioned off. Some people bought other farms locally but many left the area never to return.

    All hedges and trees were ripped out, the land flattened and three runways built (2,600 yards, 2,200 yards and 1,300 yards long) with a three mile perimeter taxi way, leading to 30 hardstands (plane parking areas). Two hangars covering a half acre each, were built, as well as four communal buildings, headquarters, hospital, cinema, church, sewage facilities, shooting range, fuel and bomb dumps and nissan huts for living quarters; over 500 buildings in all. In less than two years John Howard and Co, the English contractors employed, had demolished Kinrush and rebuilt it as Cluntoe Airfield, bigger, better and bomb proof.

    Initially the airfield was occupied by the RAF but was quickly given over to the USAAF (United States Army Air Forces). The airfield was used as a training base. Experienced pilots leaving the European theatre would meet with new recruits to pass on the benefits of their experience. The airfield was also a rest stop for bombing crews.

    By 1943 over 3,500 American troops were stationed on the base, effectively tripling the population of Ardboe. Coming from a country not affected by war and rationing, money was in abundance, again providing a boost to the local shops and other businesses.

    The construction of the airfield had a massive impact on the area and its inhabitants. An entire townland was buried under its runways, but it dragged Ardboe into the 20th century. It brought electricity, water supplies, communication and wealth to an area which had barely changed in at least one hundred years. Ardboe was finally on a map even if it was Hitler’s."



    The site is vast with many buildings still dotted around.

    Flash earth link of site - http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=54.621603&lon=-6.527676&z=14.1&r=0&src=ggl

    Control Tower
    2216854901_afc9b4e430.jpg

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    Ground to Air Signal square
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    2217653306_cb8e096a86.jpg

    2217653674_934c57465a.jpg

    Operations viewing window
    2216860027_33a286d400.jpg

    Operations room
    2217654776_1f2cf99ffa.jpg

    2216861111_a06146db08.jpg

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    2216862081_7e6e7a7a17.jpg

    2217657426_7d4c63455c.jpg

    2216863733_880dae11a9.jpg

    Original floor covering
    2217660086_1d5dc8010a.jpg

    2217660376_1ea5766473.jpg

    2216866769_7822674c41.jpg

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    Radio Fixings?
    2217663186_8768fb593e.jpg

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    2217664794_2f9db9de9f.jpg

    2216871441_789052b0a1.jpg

    This was the crash tender shed
    2216872035_092f3f88a7.jpg

    Runway
    2216876313_d605ce2b22.jpg


    Gun implacements were built in the hills around the area, hopefully when the weather improves I might find one!
     

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