101st SELHG @ Kemble June 2007
#1

Hi,

First of a few pictures of the group at the Kemble MVT show 23 - 24 June 2007.

Hope you like them.

 

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"Old Glory" flies on the display

 

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The groups mobile CP display

 

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A Spitfire and a Hurricane fly past before landing

 

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The Dakota comes into land (Part of the RAF Memorial Flight)

 

Puddles

 

 

 

RAF Kemble

(A brief History)

 

Royal Air Force Kemble was constructed out of the third phase of the RAF's 'expansion plan', which concentrated on training and maintenance bases. Work started in August 1936 when contractors began clearing the site in preparation to receive aircraft the following year for storage. The first unit to arrive at Kemble was No.5 Maintenance Unit, which formed at Kemble on the 22nd of June 1938 and was to be the unit associated with Kemble for nearly all of its service life eventually becoming the RAF's oldest MU. At the end of 1939 there were already well over 600 aircraft on the airfield, the majority being Hurricanes.

A year later No4 Service Ferry Pool arrived from Cardiff to help with the distribution of aircraft from manufacturers to Kemble and then to deliver them on again after modification by the MU to their respective operational units.

The Overseas Aircraft Delivery Flight (OADF) formed at Kemble on the September 9th 1940 under the command of 44 Group. It was responsible for preparing Maryland, Wellington and Hudson aircraft for long hazardous flights over water and occupied territory to Africa and the Middle East. This unit later became known as the OAPU (Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit).

RAF Kemble as a whole turned out 2.300 aircraft of 41 different types throughout 1941 including 1300 Hurricanes and 200 Beauforts, that represents a staggering 191.6 aircraft per month.

During 1942 the main runway was constructed and late in 1943 it was extended to its present length and the short runway was built. Taxiways were also extended to connect up all the dispersals, some of which were nearly 2 miles away. January 1944 saw the airfield open again after all the construction and on the 7th January 1944 the first aircraft to arrive at the OAPU since November 18th were received when 3 Wellingtons arrived on the newly prepared airfield.

The 1950's arrived and Kemble was now receiving the new jet aircraft and preparing them for issue to squadrons. 550 Sabres appeared on the airfield in batches of 30 direct from Canadair all were prepared and sent to the RAF in Germany. The Hunters were now arriving in force and were to be the mainstay of Kembles' work through to the 1980's and Kemble gained the unofficial name of the "Hunter MU". Another feather in Kembles' cap was the Surface Finish Section that prided itself on the pristine condition that aircraft were turned out in after their treatment.

The Red Arrows came along with the Central Flying School during the 60's and operated from 'G' site for 16 years until the RAF handed over the base to the USAF for rectification work on A-10 Thunderbolts. The threat of closure loomed again when the Americans left in the early 1990's and Royal Air Force Kemble finally closed in March 1992 with a ceremony that involved the Red Arrows returning to their old base. In the hangars on Main Site a few aircraft remained and it was a very sad occasion.

Still, life goes on, and Kemble is now enjoying a new era with an established flying club and other operators. It is still owned by the MOD at the moment with all the tenants on leases.

Hunters can still be seen at Kemble with the Delta Jets fleet regularly taking to the air, appearing at airshows the length and breadth of the country. An amazing array of historic aircraft can now be seen at Kemble along with the newly opened Bristol Aero Collection Museum and with the very popular fly-ins that are held at regular intervals throughout the year.

 

There is now plans to sell off the airfield for housing development.



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#2

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"Tent City" with a members kit laid out on display



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#3

Three cheers for the history and of course the wonderful photos. Hey Pvt Puddles, some questions for you. How long have you been reenacting and how long with "Marion's boys"? :armata_PDT_01: How long did it take you to put together your uniform and collectables? I would love to hear some background from you and from the other gentlemen. Thanks in advance.

 

There is now plans to sell off the airfield for housing development.

 

Oh that would be so sad and very unfortunate! :pdt33:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#4

Three cheers for the history and of course the wonderful photos. Hey Pvt Puddles, some questions for you. How long have you been reenacting and how long with "Marion's boys"? :armata_PDT_01: How long did it take you to put together your uniform and collectables? I would love to hear some background from you and from the other gentlemen. Thanks in advance.

Oh that would be so sad and very unfortunate! :pdt33:

 

 

Hi Marion,

Sorry if it went on a bit, I have a habit of getting too involved and too detailed when I start writing, as you will see in the following.

 

As with all people who have had surgery or an illness and talk about it, the following will probably drag on and bore the reader.

 

Let me know if it does and I will edit it out.

 

In August 2005 I suffered an injury to my back resulting in a burst vertebral disc which had to be removed under emergency conditions as there was a possibility of damage to my spinal cord and possible paralysis if it was not attended to immediately.

In early 2006 I had major back surgery to replace the disc with a prosthetic (metal) disc. During the surgery I had a severe bleed in the main artery which runs down into my right leg. This ended with me losing a large amount of blood and in me having a very large thrombosis as a result of the surgery.

I was still recovering from the surgery and the thrombosis when in August 2006 I attended an event (Military Odyssey Show, Detling, Kent) with a friend of mine, Pvt Dolly, who had joined the group in July 2006.

 

Wow! What an event, the lads, along with other members of SARA, (Southern Allied Re-enactment Association (http://www.southernalliedreenactmentassociation.co.uk/)) put on such a great display that they won the trophy for the best display / diorama at the event.

I took many pictures of the event, some of which Moose has already posted or shown you.

Even as a guest and not even in uniform, I was welcomed and treated as one of the group.

That got me thinking, if they can do this at such a large event, they must be one of, if not the best group to join.

I joined the group at the following months meeting!

 

Apart from not being able to keep up with other members, some of whom are much older than myself, or do what or as much I want to do, I have not regretted a single minute of it!

 

I was not deeply involved in re-enacting prior to this, though I had a strong interest in WWII.

I started collecting the basic kit and equipment at the same time I joined the group and I am still collecting now, as and when finances allow that is.

 

Kit can be obtained from many sources, but prices can vary.

E-bay and other online auction sites are a good place to look. But as with all things, buyer beware!

Never trust the description, most reliable sellers will answer your questions about the item and even offer advice about identification, etc.

Don't forget to add the shipping charges to the purchase price before buying, does it still work out cheaper than waiting for the next event when you may be able to get one?

Do you really need it?

Shows and events are always a good place to pick up kit, at least you can see what you are buying and some stall holders offer discounts to re-enactor group members on production of group ID cards.

Some stall holders or dealers will even offer to locate that odd piece of kit for you. Most sellers at shows and events will accept an offer.

Uniforms and weapons are the most expensive pieces of kit.

The quality of reproduction uniforms is getting better, but again, buyer beware, there are as many poor quality reproductions as there are good ones.

 

The best advice I was given when I started with the group was do not buy kit without asking the opinion of another group member first and try and get kit at an event or show where you can see it up close and possible get another member to have a look at it as well. Don't buy on impulse! There is always another one out there, be patient, the next one could be better quality / cheaper and possible an original at reproduction prices.

I recently picked up some items from a stall for £4.00 each. On the next stall they were asking £8.00 each and they were of poor quality! On another stall they were asking £12 each, though they were better quality than the ones I purchased, I could not see the point in paying out that much for something that would not be on permanent display, they were good enough for my needs as they would only be part of my kit not a main display item.

It always pays to look around.

 

Many members will build up a collection over a period of time and occasionally offer for sale those items they do not need or have duplications of. These are usually good buys as they would have been checked out by the member before they bought them.

 

The thing to remember when looking for or buying kit is to ask a member, advice is free, try and do some research into the item first, find out how to identify the correct item, buying the wrong thing can be very expensive and occasionally embarrassing.

If you are looking for a specific item, ask for advice, do some research, make notes on how to identify it, find out what is the average price to pay and look around before buying. Don't buy on impulse, unless it is something that you have been after for a long time or you just HAVE to have it!

 

Many of the group will tell you, you will never stop collection, you will either see something you have not got or something better than you already have and most, though they will not admit it, will have a shopping list in there pocket, just in case there is an opportunity to pick something up at an event or show.

 

 

Pvt Puddles

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#5

Very well said! :armata_PDT_37:

 

Eventhough I am no re-enactor - just a researcher and collector - I can tell you it is advisable to look at wartime photos first if you want to do a really convincing combat re-enactment.

Take one of several photos and try to build your kit around them.

 

There are several re-enactment associations who have their own website.

You can e-mail them and ask information or look the necessary information up on their site.

 

Erwin

Reply
#6

Very well said! :armata_PDT_37:

 

Eventhough I am no re-enactor - just a researcher and collector - I can tell you it is advisable to look at wartime photos first if you want to do a really convincing combat re-enactment.

Take one of several photos and try to build your kit around them.

 

There are several re-enactment associations who have their own website.

You can e-mail them and ask information or look the necessary information up on their site.

 

Erwin

 

Thank you Erwin,

I agree with you regarding wartime photos.

 

One thing we have noticed when researching using photo's found in books, etc. do not trust colour photo's or prints, they are not always accurate. Many times we have noticed incorrect colours of kit, incorect allocation of kit, etc.

Also some prints may not be 100% accurate as they may include, in some form or another, some artistic impression of what they believe to be correct.

 

If you have the chance to take pictures of kit on display, take as many as possible and talk to the owner, make notes, they will be pleased that you are showing an interest and will, most of the time, give good advice.

 

You raised a good point regarding re-enactment associations, they are also a good source of information and most offer advice freely.

 

Always ask before buying!

 

Pvt Puddles.

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#7

Forgot to mention that clothing tends to fade differently under different conditions (ETO compared to PTO for example).

 

As for color wartime photos - eh, wartime color photos that is - a lot of those are colorized afterwards.

And mostly done by studios who don't have the faintest ideas how a certain uniform looked like.

 

Even the real color photos are sometimes not really accurate as the technique wasn't as good as now.

 

I meant by looking at photos of that time the way equipment was (not) carried, how mixed the uniforms can be depending on the time period (late war), weapons carried, insignia worn or not worn, etc.

 

If, for example, I would re-enact a company commander, I would not have the shiny bars on my shoulder straps and white insignia on my helmet ...... don't want to re-enact sniper bait.

Unless I am re-enacting a company commander at some base in England or the USA of on parade.

 

Erwin

Reply
#8

Forgot to mention that clothing tends to fade differently under different conditions (ETO compared to PTO for example).

 

As for color wartime photos - eh, wartime color photos that is - a lot of those are colorized afterwards.

And mostly done by studios who don't have the faintest ideas how a certain uniform looked like.

 

Even the real color photos are sometimes not really accurate as the technique wasn't as good as now.

 

I meant by looking at photos of that time the way equipment was (not) carried, how mixed the uniforms can be depending on the time period (late war), weapons carried, insignia worn or not worn, etc.

 

If, for example, I would re-enact a company commander, I would not have the shiny bars on my shoulder straps and white insignia on my helmet ...... don't want to re-enact sniper bait.

Unless I am re-enacting a company commander at some base in England or the USA of on parade.

 

Erwin

 

 

 

I REMEMBER READING A LIGHT HEARTED STORY FROM D-DAY 6TH JUNE 1944. AFTER DROPPING INTO NORMANDY THAT NIGHT AND LIKE MOST

 

OTHERS LOSING HIS HELMET AND OTHER ITEMS, A US CORRESPONDENT, LOST, ALONE AND SCARED TO DEATH WAS CREEPING AROUND THE

 

HEDGEROWS. HE CAME ACROSS A US PARA HELMET LAYING ON THE GROUND, RELIEVED HE PUT IT ON AND CONTINUED HIS JOURNEY.

 

SUDDENLY HE HEARD MOVEMENT BEHIND HIM, AS HE QUICKENED HIS STRIDE, SO DID THE MOVEMENT BEHIND HIM. AT LAST THE TERRIFED MAN

 

TURNED AROUND TO FACE HIS PURSUERS, FACING HIM WERE HALF A DOZEN US PARATROOPERS. APPARENTLY HE HAD PICKED UP A HELMET

 

WITH AN OFFICERS STRIPE UPON IT, THE LOST TROOPERS HAD SPOTTED IT IN THE DARK AND TAGGED ON BEHIND THE TERRIFED MAN.

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#9
:armata_PDT_23::pdt12::pdt34: That is a roar! Just read this out loud to Lee. We are stilll chuckling...
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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