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Airfield Dumps ~ Question

Article about: Not being able to nip off to mainland Europe battlefields at the drop of a hat, my hunting ground is invariably UK airfields and ranges. Question is, how on earth can I find the dump locatio

  1. #1

    Default Airfield Dumps ~ Question

    Not being able to nip off to mainland Europe battlefields at the drop of a hat, my hunting ground is invariably UK airfields and ranges.

    Question is, how on earth can I find the dump location at my local airfields? Was there a usual place on the airfield that they were? I've looked at maps, plans and wandered around on site but can't seem to find anything likely.

    Any ideas, anybody?
    "You will never know the whole truth" ~ Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski

  2. #2

    Default Re: Airfield Dumps ~ Question

    Quote by Salzburg View Post
    Not being able to nip off to mainland Europe battlefields at the drop of a hat, my hunting ground is invariably UK airfields and ranges.

    Question is, how on earth can I find the dump location at my local airfields? Was there a usual place on the airfield that they were? I've looked at maps, plans and wandered around on site but can't seem to find anything likely.

    Any ideas, anybody?
    One problem with WW2 airfield dump locations is how over the years after the landscape has been changed by farming and the subsequent dispersion of the objects in the soil etc. I once heard someone mention that the dump would not be too far from the runway area but when i have conducted research among local people regarding my local former WW2 airfield locals say the dump was well to the rear as they recall seeing parts from wrecked aircraft in a large pile visible from the railway bridge. So not sure if there was ever any specific point for a dump but there may have been several areas and id try the perimeters first and see what comes up. Cheers, Tim.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Airfield Dumps ~ Question

    Hi,
    Every airfield is different the dump was made wherever there was a pond or any hole that could be used. On Gosfield airfield there has been a couple of bits turn up over the years but I can't find the dump at all and believe me when I say iv looked everywhere so they must have been taking trash off the base.
    All you can do is get permission from the farmers and spend time looking around until you stumble across it (this may take some time)
    Sorry it's not very helpful Andy

  4. #4

    Default Re: Airfield Dumps ~ Question

    First of all you need to decide what you're looking for. The main base 'parts' dump would usually be close to the site of the main hanger, but not always! Domestic dumps tend to be a lot easier to find but can be located anywhere within a 2 or 3 mile radius of the base. The base I have been searching for 3 years now has only given up the secrets of the dump sites when I got hold of the base records. They had buried them and concealed them very well.

    Where I usually start is war time aerial photographs. These can sometimes show where dump sites were, the sites showing up as patches of disturbed ground on the aerial photograph, with a track leading to them. They can be within the confines of the base or outside. Many bases shared dumps so you may find one big dump an equal distance from 4 or 5 closely packed airfields. Once you identify a possible site from a war time photo, match it up with a recent aerial photo or Google Earth screen capture. You can then determine if the location is accessible or not.

    Once you've located a potential site using this method, get permission to dig on the land and dig some test holes. If you have a metal detector, take it with you as it can be useful for finding the edges of a dump. If you find a dump, it will be full of metal so your MD will just go mad....... Sometimes you will get a dump that is close to the surface and, as a result, may find lots of bits of crockery and broken glass on the surface. If you find an area like this, the dump will be beneath your feet so just dig.

    Dig a couple of test holes, going down about 3 feet or so. If you've found a dump you should find lots of rusty metal and, if a domestic dump, lots of bottles and crockery. Don't be fooled by what we show on the forum......dump digging is a hell of a job and can be quite disheartening, especially if you've been digging all day and only found rusty ration tins.

    If you find a dump, dig down to the bottom of it, then widen the hole so you can move around in it comfortably. Then work forward, shovelling earth behind you as you go forward. Don't expect big finds on your first dig ! You can spend weeks on a dump before finding anything other than old bottles and crockery !

    LUCKYSTRIKE also uses old ordnance survey maps to locate potential sites, looking for old pits or mine workings close to or within the confines of an airbase. The personnel wouldn't dig a hole in the ground to dump rubbish if there was already one there.

    Anyway, I'm starting to ramble. Old aerial photos, disturbed ground with or without a track leading to it, test holes. That's where to start.

    Cheers

    Steve T

  5. #5

    Default Re: Airfield Dumps ~ Question

    Many thanks for the advice, guys. Appreciated.
    "You will never know the whole truth" ~ Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski

  6. #6

    Lightbulb Re: Airfield Dumps ~ Question

    The old 'After The Battle' MOD airfield plans can be useful. OK, they won't be marked 'dump' but will show the location of technical areas which, with luck and patience, can yield a few 'finds'.

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