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RAF Cark. A remarkable collection of WW2 structures


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I've split Cark off from my Surviving Fortifications thread as it is a truly impressive relic of the Second World war. We initially went to get the two WW" pillboxes guarding the shoreline and were totally unaware of the rest of infrastrucure set out on the airfiled itself. this will be a long thread!

 

So.

Some background

 

Cark airfield lies on a flat tongue of land immediately north of Morecambe Bay and is flanked by marshes on its south west and south east sides. It was constructed early in 1941 and the site was laid out to support fighter operations in the north west by No.9 Group, Fighter Command, based at Barton Hall, Preston. However, on completion Cark was occupied initially by `F' Flight of No.1 Anti-aircraft Cooperation Unit who used Hawker Henleys and Westland Lysanders for target towing around Morecambe Bay to help train RAF and army gunners. In March 1942 the airfield passed to No.25 Group, Flying Training Command, and became No.1 Staff Pilot Training Unit, in order to train operational aircrews as instructors, with the Avro Anson being used for this task. By mid-1942 `R' flight of No.1 Anti-aircraft Cooperation Unit 1614 Flight was also operating from Cark using Henleys and Bolton Paul Defiants. In December 1942 `F' and `R' Flights were disbanded and immediately reformed as 650 Squadron, re-equipped with Miles Martinets as target tugs and Hawker Hurricane MK IV's. In November 1944 650 Squadron finally left Cark after which the airfield primarily became associated with test flying and the development of remote control target drones. During 1945 the recently formed Mountain Rescue Team moved to Cark. RAF Cark closed on December 31st 1945.

 

The ugly looking Miles Martinet

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Miles_Martinet.jpg

 

Fitted with the somewhat scary wind operated target winch

 

http://burtonstatherheritage.org/image/photo/wind-prop.jpg

 

So we might as well go anti clockwise around the site starting with the two shore line pillboxes

 

This is a typical FW22 one set very low into the shoreline with commanding views over the mudflats. It is very prone to flooding during high tides though

 

large.928044636_FW22pillbox.jpg.63a0b749dd0d3a9bf6fbe447fc1dd490.jpg

 

 

More soon

 

Kev

 

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The area covered by the first two pillboxes wouild make a good area for an amphibious landing

 

large.1839183995_MorecambebayfromRAFCark.jpg.d0e6962e4bc9e11e564c8f9ebddee6ec.jpg

 

So just 50 yards from the FW 22 was this variant pattern one. this has been altered over the years 

 

large.1318255662_Coastaldefencepiillbox-Variantpattern.jpg.ebf56342c7da06f25f4170420d9b2d4f.jpg

 

So these two are quite distinguishable from the satellite views but the next one I knew about but could not work out what it looked like

 

This is an FC Type Pillbox, usually known as a mushroom type.

 

large.1979794996_FCtypepillbox.jpg.a37fcb566df8ab67efc06c155ce8bcb9.jpg

 

It has a 360 degree arc of fire with the 'lid' supported on a central brick built pier.

 

Just behind it was this which required some research when we got back home

 

large.1238297572_Southernmoststantonshelter.jpg.89750d6590d7b01898635e0b0f94f688.jpg

 

It is a Stanton Shelter made from precast concrete sections cast in iron moulds and then assembled before being covered in earth to absorb bomb blasts. More of these will crop up shortly

 

The perimeter road is in quite good condition as is the main runway

 

large.2049130165_RAFCarkperimeterroad.jpg.abd12e58ca51185cd3922cfd47ce183a.jpg

 

 

More soon

 

 

 

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These are not in Chronolgical order and it was only on our third visit we started to look for these

 

large.950046405_RAFCarkHurricaneShelter001.jpg.db9cd7bac240ccbb933c63e4f6f91c3e.jpg

 

Now that is what I call archeology!

 

So, Hawker Hurricane dispersal points are arranged around the perimeter along with their associated buildings. High summer is not the best time to photograph these as the vegitation is too lush but they are still here

 

large.1617341864_Hurricanedispersalpoint.jpg.609d12302ba10591117e87a5dca66e24.jpg

 

 

Mid winter we are going to get these again

 

Flight office for the disperal point

 

large.1296462799_Hurricanedispersalpointflightoffice.jpg.d80deb69ef67e1a092074ba74ed82c71.jpg

 

A convenient Stanton Shelter within easy running distance

 

large.1567356610_StantonshelterontheeastsideofRAFCark.jpg.a8608000ecca5a9f26cf736d1117b7fc.jpg

 

Even the most mundane building have their mysteries. This was either a Transformer base or the Latrines. Another one to check in winter

 

large.828942662_RAFCarkmysterystructure.jpg.cc895378860e5ab6ad8de2d5672842c4.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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One last one for today. I know what this is but haven't got close up to it yet

large.879717913_MachineGunBay.jpg.a748770674ae1e06b6a71dce29976815.jpg

 

On my list for tomorrow if the weather is O.K

 

Kev

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Lucked out on the weather front so...

 

Still going anti clockwise The 'Gas Building' this stored anti gas equipment and also a Gas training facility which gives me the shudders thinking about it

 

large.1250015430_Gasbuilding.jpg.05ba334d5619b16eed6eaced208d788e.jpg

 

The Control tower, now a private house

 

large.1243425233_Controltower.jpg.368681e3624a44889d911e0d78e073e1.jpg

 

Fighter watch office

 

large.1215069141_Fighterwatchoffice.jpg.200a3a1a4da55e3d6c1a230ae6f448b0.jpg

 

Ambulance bay

 

large.142287605_Ambulancebay.jpg.f328fa7a5f32bc29f7af8227c9f4363f.jpg

 

And the MT Bay, Basically the garage where the lorries etc were maintained

 

large.1804340042_MTBay.jpg.57bd60339d014ce1795f5fae85152c63.jpg

 

One of the hangers, extensively rebuilt.

large.269616114_Muchrebuilthanger.jpg.cbf6939fec7f77133ba6fb6f966b4f9f.jpg

 

More soon

 

 

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