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Uk airfields buried treasures and other myths ....

Article about: i have spent many years on WW2 uk airfields and spend a lot of time talking to locals about local knowledge / stories etc, without doubt the most common Myth i come across is the ''they dug

  1. #21


    Well here's a stroy that is true: years ago I was in a small pub in Belgium owned by a very old lady. She has passed away now for many years. The pub was located on a crossroad outside a small vilage. We got talking about the village during the war, and she told me no less than 22 German soldiers lived in the pub for a year or so. She had to black out all the windows for Allied planes flying over, what got her in trouble one night when she went to the attick with a tourch one night to check on her small baby. The Germans thought she was signaling to British planes.
    Anyway I told her about my ww2 collection, and how I was interested in everything about the war, and she told me when the Germans retreated from the area in a hurry they left behind loads of stuff. I asked what was left behind, and she told me she still had a German machinegun on the attick. Her husband had stashed it away after the Germans left, and it was never metioned again, not even after the war when all civilians were orderded to hand in any weapons left behind. I went up the stairs, and up a ladder to the attick and found a MP40 (bnz), so that was what the lady called a machinegun. She gave it to me, along with some K98 bajonets en some messtins that were lying around in the shed. There used to be much more, but uniforms and that sort of thing simply got thrown away after the war, or were worn on the land untill they were worn out.
    But here comes the interesting part; she told me right in front of the pub there was a big hole on the side of the roadcaused by a shell or mortar round. As the Canadians were all over the place by than, the hole aside the road was holding up hevy traffic like trucks and armoured cars, so they simply filled the hole with anything that was lying about. The Canadian engineers filled the hole with German field gear, and the lady from the bar saw them doing the work. Rifles, helmets, oil drums, you name it, it all went in the hole and was covered with sand and gravel.
    She was pointing out the window to the spot it was supposed to be, and so I asked her to come outside and point it out exatcly, and she did.
    A week later I went back with my metal detector, my frst one, and not a very good one I must say, but I did get a signal and started to dig. The first finds were German canteen bottles, so I started digging deeper and deeper, finding all sorts of crushed items untill the owner of the land showed up. He was furious seeing me digging there as it was on the spot he drives his tractor on the field, so I had to stop and fill the hole again.
    I know for fact it was the good spot the lady had pointed out to me, and there must be much more stuff down there.
    I have always wanted to go back there for a dig, but it never happened, so everything is still there.
    If there are any Belgian digging members here who would like to give it a try, (maybe talk to the land owner before, as I didn't ask for permission) I will give the exact location of the site.

  2. #22


    Thanks for finding the video, Bigfootster. Amazing stuff.

  3. #23


    Have a look at this site and the links at the bottom of the page etc, some stuff certainly was dumped in quarry's etc

    The Archerfield Quarry - full of World War 2 equipment

    The Archerfield Quarry - full of World War 2 equipment
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Uk airfields buried treasures and other myths ....   Uk airfields buried treasures and other myths ....  

  4. #24


    in all the years i have been going to Llandow, with and without the caravan, i have detected nearly every area of intrest, sure i have a few small bits and bobs, airframe sections and a few 50 cal shells but as you say, you would think that more would have been left behind. My freind owns the station offices and i have access to many areas usually out of bounds, i had high hopes last year and spent many hours detecting not only the airfield but surrounding stanton shelters and communal sites BUT TO NO AVAIL THE CLEARING OUT OF A STANTON SHELTER

  5. #25


    Interesting video, thanks for sharing. You moved a hell of a lot of crap! Have you looked at the battle control bunker? I've got it marked somewhere, in a local garden.

    No videos but this was my first visit to the scrapping fields:

  6. #26


    you must also be on airfield information exchange as am i (ww2nut on there as well) , i have seen the pics on there and also went to this location but alas not a lot found, also with aircraft bits and bobs often hard to identify where it came from or if it is indeed from an aircraft

  7. #27


    Quote by m3bobby View Post
    There is stuff out there but not in the way of tons, buried together. There were lots of weapons buried at an Ex RAF base near Manchester over many years and some of these were recovered in relic condition. I have a Long Lee from this base so I know the story to be true. I don't think they were buried En Mass, it was just easier to dispose of an asset when it was unserviceable by burying it. Just laziness.
    I assume you are talking about Burtonwood airbase. When they were excavating the site of a new pub they found several intact .50 cal Brownings in their transit boxes. Several other Brownings were found in various sites around the base, but usually they had their barrels chopped off. Some of these are on display in the small museum. Back in the late 80's I was approached by a serving US Sergeant who asked me if I wanted to buy a case of Thompsons. There is a good chance more stuff may come to light over the next few years, as the area where the control tower and hangars stood is now being built on.
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  8. #28


    It was RAF Altrincham, it was a MU back in the day, the relic Long Lee I have was found buried when a hangar was demolished. Apparently there were a number of Webleys recovered also but these were in such good condition they were destroyed. My relic is so rusted it looks like it spent 100 years on the somme.

  9. #29


    Two of my Great Uncles were in the UK after the fighting ended and said they spent weeks taking shiploads of brand new jeeps and tanks etc. 12 miles out off the coast and dumping it all in the ocean. The ships were never even unloaded to land. Just came into port had a crew of military people loaded on to help the merchant marines with the work straight into the ocean it all went then back into port to pick up soldiers and take them back to the US.

  10. #30


    I went detecting on an old USAAF base in Norfolk, with an apparent load of stuff. I found .50cal and scrap. Don't forget if a load of stuff is to be buried, Gert big holes probably dug with bulldozers etc. And earth piled up on top. So basic detectors won't go deep enough. Ground penetrating radar survey will show any evidence of stuff, then get yourself an excavator. I don't doubt stuff is there, it's the condition which will be major factor. Stuff was buried in the desert after the gulf war, cheaper and easier than bringing back.

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