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Location of RAF bone yards

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by Hairog, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Hairog

    Hairog Member

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    Where did the RAF put it's surplus aircraft after the war? I know the US had huge facilities our west but where did the RAF equipment go until it was scrapped? Any particular airfield or area?
     
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  2. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    You peeked my interest and a google search pretty much came up empty. I've been by a couple 'boneyards' out West (Mojave & I think it was Kingman) and was reminded to "Watch the road, not the airplanes!" while driving the interstate. It doesn't look like Britain has the climate necessary for long term storage and my guess is the aircraft they wanted to 'save' would be outside the country. That plus the fact most British planes of WW2 were most likely way pass their life expectancy and simply scrapped.
     
  3. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    The RAF had a number of MU'S Maintainance units....that would have been responsible for breaking up...onward selling...disposal etc...Spread over much of UK. One such was RAF Grove. There must be a record somewhere under RAF Disposals or some such records.
     
  4. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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  5. ptimms

    ptimms Member

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    I once did training at RAF High Ercall (after it had closed late 80's early 90's not sure) and there were aerial photos of it awash with Halifax's (I counted 100+ every dispersal full). Details on the photo said that all the Halifax's flew there then 10 at a time they flew to Scotland. 1 flew back with the crew of the other 9 in it and the 9 left behind had their wings cut off and were shoved down a mine shaft!
     
  6. Hairog

    Hairog Member

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    Were there any main ones...I mean huge right after the war where they would have been stored for spare parts or mothballed?
     
  7. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Very few RAF aircraft were 'mothballed' ; the country couldn't afford it, didn't have the space and, in any case, the advent of the jet engine meant that most operational WWII aircraft were instantly obsolete.

    As urqh has quite rightly pointed out, the various MU's acted as very efficient scrapyards. Aircraft were ( briefly ) stored at former operational airfields before being ferried into the MU's and quickly reduced to scrap, usually in conjunction with locally-based scrap dealers.

    This understandable 'swords-into-ploughshares' policy led to some horrors of aviation history ( Guy Gibson's Lancaster ! :eek: Every single Stirling and Halifax etc etc :rolleyes:). In one famous incident, Battle of Britain veteran Spitfire P7350 was actually returned to the RAF by a scrap dealer ( who was horrified when he read the logbook ) and is now the most treasured flying component of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

    Even a scrap metal dealer had more heart than the Air Ministry.................
     
  8. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    One in news only today, in Fife Scotland...Now being investigated for toxic waste on the nearby beach....BBC red Button if you've got it Martin...Never heard of the place myself but sounds like an MU.
     
  9. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Sorry-double post.
     
  10. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    That Dalgety Bay again? Originally the airfield at Donibristle was an RFC/RNAS field, it became HMS Merlin for the FAA during the war, then was used for scrapping planes postwar.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    As to bone yards....Not really ww2 or even cold war...or even military..but interesting anyway...EX RAF Lasham near Odiham and Oakhanger...big gliding place now, ex RAE establishment and space stuff...Has a procession of aircraft repossessed etc due to austerity thru world...Place was littered with them last time I drove past. A living boneyard.
     
  12. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Just remembered...Where I saw pics of cold war and ex ww2 aircraft rotting away, not in great numbers, usually half a dozen or so...You'll have to spend time searching but I spent a quiet night once looking at threads and pics on an airspotter forum. Fightercontrol forum. Its a good scource anyway for all flight pics so worth a visit, but you'll have to spend time searching their archives.
     
  13. Hairog

    Hairog Member

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  14. von_noobie

    von_noobie Member

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    Just read this and it got my interest peaked from the perspective of other allied nations, Particularly Australia. Seeing as by 1945 We had the 5th? largest airforce in the world (some 6,000 aircraft) does any one happen to know what happened to these ones?
     
  15. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    You parked em all on Bikini Atoll..and Woomerang or whatever...Bet I'm right...Betcha...
     
  16. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Of course, we now know exactly where the RAF dumped its unwanted Spitfires................

    ...............Burma ! :listen:
     
  17. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Von_noobie...I know what happened to the RAN's carrier aircraft ;) I think it was Flypast ran a short article a few years ago about dozens...hundreds...of new and nearly new aircraft....some with just delivery and testing miles on them...being pushed off the fantails of RAN carriers as they entered Sydney Roads' in 1945 ...!

    The British actually DID sell a lot of aircraft...especially Spitfires ;) There were still plenty of places in the world where jets hadn't and wouldn't arrive in combat aircraft for many years!

    Continuing Imperial/Commomwealth and NATO ops did for many more. Air ops in the Malayan Emergency finally did for the airframe hours on a lot of late-war aircraft ;) And the Berlin Airlift shagged out the last of our Sunderlands, and many other transport types.

    So actual disappearance from service of a lot of types might just have been more piecemeal than many people would assume ;)
     
  18. OSCSSW

    OSCSSW Member

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    A little off topic but .... I once saw a very young Peter Sellers in a movie about the "crews" of mothballed RN vessels. It was pretty funny.anyone know the name of the movie?
     
  19. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    I know of one he was in about Navy..Up the Creek....probably not that one though.
     
  20. OSCSSW

    OSCSSW Member

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    That's it urgh Thanks & it is on Netflix
    Up the Creek

    1958 80 minutes
    When the Admiralty assigns bumbling Lt. Fairweather (David Tomlinson) to command the dilapidated old HMS Berkeley, the harebrained officer discovers that the ship's crew, led by CPO Doherty (Peter Sellers), has been happily employed in racketeering with some local landlubbers. Officer and crew soon reach a mutually convenient arrangement, at least until Fairweather's superior officers show up for an inspection. Val Guest directs this comedy.

    Cast:

    David Tomlinson, Peter Sellers, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Vera Day, Liliane Sottane, Tom Gill,
     

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