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Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

Article about: Hi all Well, I returned to the airbase I visited last weekend with the hope of digging the dump. I duly arrived at the farm early in the morning and spent a good 30 minutes chatting to the l

  1. #1

    Default Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

    Hi all

    Well, I returned to the airbase I visited last weekend with the hope of digging the dump. I duly arrived at the farm early in the morning and spent a good 30 minutes chatting to the landowner. The conversation got round to the dump, at which point he told me he had dumped about 4 feet of soil on top of the dump about 10 years ago. DAMMIT !!

    So, I decided to go detecting in a wooded area next to the old tech site/main hanger, in the vicinity of my P51 radio shelf find.

    To begin with, things were rather disappointing with very few detections, and those I got were usually shotgun shells. It would seem as though his assertion that the site had been 'done to death' over the years was accurate. It also started peeing it down and I was soon soaked to the skin. However, I was determined to come away with something and took an unusual course of action for me. I had spotted a small clearing in the middle of a massive stack of 6 foot high nettles and brambles the size of small houses, and plunged in, wading through the plants from hell !!! After 15 minutes of cursing, swearing, yelps of pain and general shouting, I reached the clearing. It was about 20 feet square and covered in small nettles and other plants. On went the detector and I initially thought water had got into the case as it would simply not shut up. Where-ever I scanned, beeps came forth. I edged back into the brambles/nettles and moved in from the edge and began to pinpoint separate signals. First one, small piece of airframe. Second, another bit of airframe. Third, a 50 cal...........and so on. I was in the clearing for an hour and more or less dug the whole bloody thing !

    So, for a site that had been searched numerous times, I had found the spot that nobody had previously dared to venture into. Just goes to show, sometimes it is worth losing half a pint of blood and all feeling in both legs below the knee, (DAMN NETTLES !)

    This is what I ended up with. Lots of bits of metal !

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    Odd little alloy pipe with a brass sleeve.

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    A piece of lead with 38/20 and 1952 on it. Kept it because I was curious as to what it was off !

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    This big bit of airframe was originally in one piece but broke in half during recovery. No markings on it that I can find but an interesting lump and certainly off an aircraft, given the alloy and rivets. Each piece is 18inches by 6 inches.

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    Anyone ID it ?

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    And lastly, the finds that made the trip worthwhile. Even though I already have hundreds of 50cals, I'll never get tired of digging them up and adding them to my collection !!!

    Curiously, every single one of them is unfired, (caps soaked in WD40 to kill them off ).

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    All WW2 dated and mixed manufacturers.

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    Not a great visit, but you can't turn your nose up at 20 free .50cal WW2 dated cartridges

    Steve T

  2. #2

    Default Re: Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

    My My,nice finds Steve.So pleased you didnt show pictures of the nettle rashes,thanks for that!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

    Some nice finds there, the 50 cals remind me of my days of dodging MOD police at RAF Burtonwood back in the early 70s, even though Burtonwood was never a combat base you'd find the odd 50 cal round. It really is a wonder i'm still here because i'd set 'em off in a vice with a hammer and centre punch, not recommended at all.
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

    Well done mate for sniffing the productive area out, that's experience for you. It's always worth venturing into the places most sane people wouldn't bother (brambles nettles) because they're always likely to be virgin to detector sites as you proved this time.
    More nice relics rescued, those 18 by 6 inch alloy parts look like the bracing that ran around the inside of aircraft fuselages?
    I can understand when it's raining that the prospect of having a go at the dump is off putting with the top soil, but if the 4 foot of top soil was dumped several years ago then it's very likely that now it will have compacted down to perhaps only two or three feet which is nothing, time wise less than an hours digging and you'll be into the goodies
    Well Done
    LUCKYSTRIKE

  5. #5

    Default Re: Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

    Thanks LS

    The badger set in the middle of the dump didn't appeal much to me either !

  6. #6

    Default Re: Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

    Well done captain ballcock looks like I hadn't quite got all the 50cals laying around Essex.

    Sorry I couldn't resist all the best Andy

    I will leave you to explain to the rest of the forum.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

    Thanks 381st

    His 'ballcock' reference is due to the fact I got quite excited as, at one point, I thought I had found a carry round oxygen bottle. I sent a picture to 381st and he confirmed it was..........a floatation ball off a ballcock assembly. That name is going to bloody stick now............... Thanks 381st...... Grrrrrrrrrr

    Last edited by Steve T; 11-29-2012 at 11:52 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

    Very nice finds Steve. I like the .50's - never a boring trip
    if you are finding cool stuff like this.........!
    Regards,


    Steve.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

    Quote by Steve T View Post
    Thanks 381st

    His 'ballcock' reference is due to the fact I got quite excited as, at one point, I thought I had found a carry round oxygen bottle. I sent a picture to 381st and he confirmed it was..........a floatation ball off a ballcock assembly. That name is going to bloody stick now............... Thanks 381st...... Grrrrrrrrrr

    Steve,

    If that name sticks to you then my work on this forum is compleat.

    Andy

  10. #10

    Default Re: Essex USAAF base - November 24th 2012

    If the name sticks it will be sticky ballcock,thats even worse!

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