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Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

Article about: Well, Iv been looking forward to seeing the finds all day! and you havent dissapointed at all.Got to love that panel,definately star of the show Great I.D. PB and that illustration really br

  1. #1

    Default Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

    Hi all

    I had cause to stay over in Essex over the weekend, (work related), and had plenty of spare time to go off hunting all new sites. I had researched the airfields close to where I was staying and pinpointed some likely search areas. I also had help from the local expert, 381st Digger, (thanks 381st ), and set off to get search permission sorted.

    First site I visited on Saturday I quickly found the landowner and, after chatting for a good 45 mins, and being shown all manner of aerial photographs and deluged with information, got permission to search the airbase. He even told me where the site dump was ! So off I went detecting. A bit annoying was the fact that the area was peppered with shotgun shells, new and old, so I had to get past them to get to the relics. I also had a look round the dump which was covered in old bottles and broken crockery, (I shall be digging the dump next weekend !), and extended for about 30 metres ! I didn't find a huge amount, but did find some things. A couple of hours in and the landowner turned up for another chat, (another 45 minutes !), and pointed me in the direction of the old base pond, now drained. He told me about all the stuff he'd had out of there and didn't expect anything to be left, but I had to search it anyway........it was right next to the big hanger.

    On Sunday I went to a different airfield, again found the landowner, and yet again was deluged with pictures and stories. Still, at least I got permission to search. Problem with this base is that two people own the land and the bit I really wanted to get to was off limits, (couldn't find the landowner), so I had to settle with the little bit I could search. Again, finds were slim but that is probably due to the fact that only about 30% of the base remains, the rest of it being one massive quarry.

    So.....here is what I came home with, (that's worth showing......got a lot of airframe bits but none of it marked).

    I was a little excited by this find as, on site I managed to clean up the tube a little, enabling me to read.........

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    ..............this bit on the bottom. Unfortunately, the company that made it opened in 1952 so nothing to do with the airbase. Never mind......thought I'd show it anyway as it is a little interesting.

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    Picked these up off the surface of the dump and leaf litter. The dump looks like it has only ever been dug by badgers. One down side is that the landowner tells me the locals used it for a few years after the war and only stopped when it spontaneously combusted one day. He seems to think everything will have got burnt but I still think it's worth a dig.

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    Thought this was an oil can lid when I dug it. But when I cleaned it, this was revealed.....

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    ..........on the back. Can't track it down to a particular era but the company started up in the early 1900s so it could be a wartime item....

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    50cal in the pic for size. Old fashioned phone ear piece maybe ?

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    Bits and bobs. The stainless bit on the right is a radio part, (Icranic), but again. Not sure of era.

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    I took three of these things home with me, all found in the bed of the old pond. 50cal for scale. At first I thought they were shelf brackets but they appear made of aircraft alloy and are riveted. I've cleaned this one up on the off chance it is something from an aircraft. It was a USAAF base so likely to be from an A20, B17 or possibly a fighter. RAF also occupied the site though so could be from anything. No markings on the alloy of note.

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    50cal for scale. Piece of really well riveted airframe. No codes on it unfortunately but an interesting chunk.

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    Ha'penny and a farthing

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    The best find of the day, although it suffered damage along the way. Didn't know what it was until I got to the hotel and cleaned it, but the writing on the base........

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    ...........helped an awful lot !!! It's a match holder and striker. 'Everdry'

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    At least I got a couple of 50s. Would have been disappointed if I came home without any !

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    Last thing is, (and excuse the terminology here), I believe a propeller screw thread protective nut, used to protect the threads on the end of the shaft prior to mounting the propeller. Found on an old B17 base. No markings on it and thanks to 381st for the ID........I'd been round to see his collection and he had one !

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    That's it for the finds.

    Cheers

    Steve T

  2. #2

    Default Re: Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

    Interesting finds Steve. Its frustrating when you find a dump that has been used post war. The one at St Athan was like this, just had to dig a bit deeper.
    Cheers
    Hangarman

  3. #3

    Default Re: Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

    EXCITED !!!

    During my visit to the first base, I was detecting the bed of the old pond next to the main tech area and hanger. This was lying on the surface. I thought it was just a chunk off an old generator or lorry but, following the unwritten rule about taking everything home until POSITIVELY ID'd as junk, took it back to the car.

    I was just about to shove it in the garage when I thought I'd give it a quick scrub to see if there were any marks on it.

    Nothing on the front.

    Nothing on the back.....to begin with.

    Then I thought I saw a letter 'A' and scrubbed harder.

    'ASSEM' appeared through the grime.

    Then 'ANA' in a circle.........

    THEN....

    A code for a P51 B !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OMG !

    Just got to work out exactly where it was from. Measures 67cm x 47cm (26.5inches x 18.5 inches).

    A hunk of crap turns out to be the best find of the weekend !!!!

    You can probably tell I'm a little chuffed

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    Anyone know where it would have gone on a P51 ?


  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

    102-71001
    Installation, Radio Equipment, P-51B

    Related Items:

    99-71001
    Installation, Radio Equipment, P-51A
    104-71001
    Installation, Radio Equipment, P-51B & C

    All the best,
    PB

  5. #5

    Default Re: Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

    Nice one Steve the panel is a keeper after all.

    Andy

  6. #6

    Default Re: Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

    Lovely panel Steve! Great find

  7. #7

    Default Re: Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

    Thanks PB. Not got a picture of it in situ have you ?

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

    Not as yet, I'm still buried in the NA Microfilmed Drawings Index to identify the part numbers first.

    102-71001
    Installation, Radio Equipment, P-51B.

    102-71019
    Support Assembly, Radio, Sliding Shelf, Complete, P-51B & C

    Now to attempt to find them in the crappy P-51B IPC...
    Last edited by Paul B; 11-20-2012 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Removed duff gen due to typo in reference

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

    I had to go to the P-51B-1 Pilots Operating Manual to get a decent illustration:

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    Item No. 12.

    All the best,
    PB

  10. #10

    Default Re: Two new airfield visits - Nov 2012

    I see it Awesome !!! Thanks very much PB

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