Report - - Chilbolton research Lab - Possible Underground Bunker-19-02-2008 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Chilbolton research Lab - Possible Underground Bunker-19-02-2008


are you calling me white?
28DL Full Member
Well on my back from a very early start In London with work I decided it was a perfect day for some fresh air and a mooch. I had my camera but little else which transpired to be very frustrating as I left the house at 4.30am I looked at my tripod and surefire and thought No I won’t take them today:crazy.. bad decision and lesson learnt. On my way back down the A303 I decided to deviate to Chilbolton as it linked in with Westernzoyland that I had visited last week. I used to walk regularly up on the old airfield. The telescope site is still very much live although the brick guard hut has been demolished and security seemed to be absent:thumb as I walked through an unlocked gate on a remote compound to look in a small white hut on sprung skids next to one of the dishes only to find a bloke in there working. He was most surprised but did not mention security he just informed me that I should not be there so I left. More interesting though I found a bunker on the edge of the site with a raised turret 5 meters from this were brick step leading 10 ft down this space went back to the turret although access was bricked up. There were 3 or four other rooms, but using the light of my phone (rubbish) it was difficult to make out what was going on down there I am planning to return ASAP. Across the field from this entrance approximately 600-800 meters there were 5 raised manhole shafts which had been capped off with concrete and manhole covers these were spread out at distances of 15 meters. It was daylight which stopped anychance of lifting the covers however one of the manholes was missing and to me it looked like it had been back filled. I thought that may be this was the site of the Middle Wallop underground briefing room as mentioned here back in 2007 (http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=20437&highlight=chilbolton&page=2) See The History below.

Chilbolton airfield was opened in September 1940 as a satellite of RAF Middle Wallop and was used as a relief landing ground for Hurricane squadron, No. 238. It was developed piecemeal with the addition of the necessary facilities that gradually took it towards existence as an independent base. Like many other airfields in the area once the threat of invasion had passed and the major Luftwaffe raids ceased, Chilbolton played host to Army Co-operation Command units.
The airfield consisted of free draining grass landing runways however when allocated for USAAF use in 1942, hardened runways were scheduled, but work did not commence until the spring of 1943.
The three concrete runways were 5,400 ft (12-30), 4,814 ft (02-20) and 4,200 ft (07-25). The existing tarmac perimeter track was extended and strengthened and 48 loop hardslandings built plus a bomb and ammunition store off the south side of the airfield. Two T-2 hangars were erected although Chilbolton had previously gained eight Blister hangars, but five of these were apparently dismantled. A new technical site was added and accommodation expanded.
5th Tactical Air Depot

During the course of this construction. Chilbolton was selected for the site of an aircraft maintenance depot and this was established on the north-east side with large Nissen and Romney buildings erected for workshops.
It was determined that the USAAF would operate six tactical air depots in the UK and the locations had already been decided before the Ninth Air Force was established in the UK . However, the conditions at one was found to be unsatisfactory for the operation of Republic P-47 Thunderbolts and it was decided to shift this depot to Chilhollun. THe first USAAF personnel arrived in December 1943 and by January the 5th Tactical Air Depot, and its 10th and 86th Air Depot Groups, were in residence, although construction of the depot was still in progress in many areas.
368th Fighter GroupOn 1 March 1944 the 12th and 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons from the 67th Reconnaissance Wing, flying Spitfires and Mustangs, moved in from RAF Aldermaston to make way for a C-47 group, The numbers of P-47s increased dramatically on 15 March the 368th Fighter Group arrived from RAF Greenham Common which was also required for transports. At times there were more than 150 P-47s at Chilbolton, the 368th's three squadrons having a combined total of more than 70. The 368th had the following fighter squadrons and fuselage codes:
395th Fighter Squadron (A7)
396th Fighter Squadron (C2)
397th Fighter Squadron (D3)
The 368th was a group of Ninth Air Force's 71st Fighter Wing, IX Tactical Air Command.
From early September, personnel of the 442nd Troop Carrier Group based at RAF Weston Zoyland moved in support equipment to Chilbolton as the airfield had been selected as an advance base for the group's participation in the airborne landings in Holland.
RAF use
In the hands of the RAF, Chilbolton played host to a fighter Operational Training Unit - No. 41 - for the rest of the European war, and then to several different fighter squadrons equipped with Supermarine Spitfires and Hawker Tempests as the RAF reduced its strength.
In March 1946, Chilbolton became the first RAF station to operate de Havilland Vampire jets when No. 247 squadron started to convert to the type, but by the late summer that year the station was on care and maintenance.
Postwar use
With the departure of the RAF in 1946, Vickers Supermarine selected the airfield as a base for conducting flights with their jet prototypes and development aircraft, remained for the best part of ten years.
Folland Aircraft moved in to the other side of the airfield to conduct similar work on their products, chiefly the Midge and Gnat, but were gone bv the end of 1961.
The next organisation to take an active interest in the site was the Space Research Council which set about building an observatory with what was to become a prominent local landmark - a giant radio telescope. Various other enterprises flourished or faded in the buildings on the periphery of the airfield.
Flying continued during the 1980s when helicopters and light aircraft serving a field spraying organisation were in residence. Today, the perimeter track has been largely reduced to a single-lane farm road as much of the airfield has been returned to agricultural use. Hardstands and most of the runways have been removed for hardcore with the exception of about a third of the eastern part of the 30 runway and the northern part of the 20 runway which is used as an access road for the Chilbolton Observatory.

Telescope and lowlevel radio wave research hut

Non ionising radiation

Remote compound

Shed with man in

Bunker and Bomb store used by Oil and fuel company CCTV cameras

Water tower for a small climb

The interesting part






Thanks for looking


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