Hiatus

November 21, 2012 | Posted in airfield, Bunker, GoPro Hero2, Grafton Underwood, RAF, USAAF Station 106, wearable camera, WW2 | By

Not dead, not given up exploring, although I am totally sick of all the ‘Look At Me’ narcissists out there who are falling over themselves to show off sites in order to get praise from their peers.Is it possible to be an actual ‘Insecure Willy Waver’….?I’ve just been away doing stuff that I’m either not going to publish myself or I have been asked/ordered not to publish. I’m cool with both of those as I have nothing to prove to anybody and the fun is in the actual exploring, not showing off Trophy Pix.

Some lame crap I can post here (just to show some activity…) is some stills from a WW2 Operations Block shot back in October. We were there testing GoPro POV camera’s before and after a firmware upgrade that seems to have screwed them up somewhat. I seem to have lost the video footage we shot someplace but when I locate the files I will add them to this post.

It’s a shame about the state of this place, the local Chav morons seem to like trashing the place and holding raves in here from time to time, even knocking down a bricked up entrance to get their lame PA and Lighting Rig in here. Sadly the world will always be full of shitheads polluting the gene pool, its a fact of life.

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Cantilever ‘Mushroom’ Pillboxes

July 8, 2010 | Posted in 384th Bombardment, airfield, Grafton Underwood, Oakington, Pillbox, RAF, USAAF Station 106 | By

Straying from the Cold War theme slightly here is my attraction to old airfields, I’m not big on WW2 stuff but these places provide a certain draw to me and I’m lucky to have many old RAF/USAF sites very near to my house. A full report on one of these sites will follow in the near future but for now here’s a small article on Cantilever Pillboxes.

Cantilever Pillboxes, more commonly known as Mushroom Pillboxes are found only on airfields and mainly in the East of England, they are of a circular design, partially sunken into the ground and have a 360 degree embrasure (opening) to allow weapon fire to be layed down in any direction. Just inside the embrasure and attached to the brickwork is a circular gun rail so a machine gun could be moved almost anywhere in the pillbox to lay down fire.

The construction of these two are of a circular brick built base with a central cruciform wall which in turn supports a poured concrete dome. The example in the photo’s below is from RAF Grafton Underwood and was in a defensive position at the north end of the No.1 Runway.  A second Mushroom Pillbox is also present on this site but the roof has sadly collapsed.

The airfield was opened in 1941 and was first used by the RAF  Bomber Command 1653 Heavy Conversion Unit with Liberators. The original runways were approximately 1,600 yards and 1,100 yards in length. The runways were not suitable for the operation of heavy, four-engined bombers so the airfield was upgraded to Class A, including the lengthening of the runways to the required 2,000 yards for the main and 1,400 yards for each of the others, started in late 1942.

As a result of this Grafton Underwood was assigned United States Army Air Force Eighth Air Force in 1942. Its designation was USAAF Station 106. The airfield became a major base for the USAF and many squadrons were based there during WW2 – 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 96th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy).

 

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