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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation.

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Opened in 1926 - Closed 1969.
When up graded to 'A' class bomber station, the amounts of fuel that were needed to be stored was immense. About 72,000gal each. When the Jet age started, even more fuel was needed to feed these hungry brutes and extra bladder tank house was added.

Here in this section I am covering just the Aviation Petrol Installation.

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Scammell or Bedford articulated road tankers would deliver fuel to the API’s and stopping at the Picket Post first to sign in and then show their dips. When emptied, the dips would be taken again and checked that ALL the fuel was delivered and signed for.

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Albion bowser’s in the early part of the war would have been used or a trailer tanker towed by a tractor.

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AEC Matador was another bowser that gradually took over as quantities increased. Americans even used their large articulated bowser’s.

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RAF Weston Zoyland

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AIR 4049/45

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RAF Weston Zoyland 1945 plan

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The three API's placed around the airfield.
1 & 2 can be seen but 3 has completely vanished.

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API 1.

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API 2. On the 1945 plan, there is no sign of the API or the pillboxes, but here today they can be seen easily.

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API 3.

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19 August 2012

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Control Tower

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There are many extant buildings around the airfield and it makes a very good drive & walk to search for them.

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Parachute store.

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Gas Clothing & Respirator Store.

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Bus shelter.

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02 Aug 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1

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This is the entrance to the first of the API's.
255 - Aviation Petrol Installation (72,000gal) Type 'E' - 9846/41.

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Aviation Petrol Installation.

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Plan.

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19 August 2012

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1

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With a link to the perimeter track and to the road outside, delivery tankers could arrive without having to use the airfield. In the south west of England the petrol came via the railways to fuel depots where they would be trans shipped by POOL tankers to the airfield.

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Plan.

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But sending fuel via the roads and rail made the precious fuel far too vulnerable to aerial attack. The solution was to bury a pipeline – safe from enemy bombers. A Government Pipelines and Storage System (GPSS), was carried out with the utmost secrecy; the pipeline channels were even dug at night so that enemy reconnaissance aircraft could not see any interesting activity. Stephen Dowling 13th May 2016 BBC.
But I think at RAF Weston Zoyland that the fuel came directly from Avonmouth docks by articulated tankers.

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Bedford POOL tanker. POOL was a generic name for all the petrol companies, amalgamated in wartime.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1 Picket Post

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With a path running from the road is a picket post, where anybody arriving at the fuel installation would book in with the corporal in charge.
257 - Picket Post - (type 'B') - N - 12404/41 now this is quite interesting as there is no N - Nissen hut. So the Picket post must have been replaced in the late 1940's/50's with the one you see.

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RAF Police.

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Spitfire.

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Hurricanes

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19 August 2012

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1 Picket Post

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Picket Post inside.

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Mosquito.

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Anson.

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Miles Master.

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27 September 2019

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1

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Picket Post rear.

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Dakota.

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Dakota.

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Dakota.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1 Bladder Tank building

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Bulk Fuel for Bladder Tanks, is a later building probably from the time of jets when they were stationed here and held pumps in one end and a large fuel bladder tank in the other.

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The only picture I could find of a bladder tank.

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Meteor.

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Derwent engine.

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07 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1 Bladder Tank building

Details

Looking inside the bladder tank room, it was protected by a thick concrete roof and had channels running through the floor for fuel pipes.

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Canberra.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1 Bladder Tank building

Details

This is the pump room and you can see the channel in the floor on the right and the rear door.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1 Bladder Tank building

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Looking through a door at the main pump house.

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27 September 2019

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1 M&E plinth

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Behind is an M&E plinth.

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Plan.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1 M&E plinth

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M&E plinth.

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Gates.

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Gate hinge.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1 M&E plinth

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M&E Plinth (mechanical & electrical) this would have converted the electricity from its higher voltage down to the voltage used by the fuel pumps here. We could not get inside to see if any fittings were left here.

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Broken glass set into the top of the wall. It is only on M&E plinths that I have seen this on old RAF station.

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The glass that was used in the top of the walls I am sure sometimes was from bottles of beer the builders drank whilst building them.

 

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19 August 2012

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1


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Inside

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The cabling around an airfield.

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3.3kv oil immersed transformer.

 

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19 August 2012

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1

Details

255 - Aviation Petrol Installation - 9846/41. The concrete is level to allow tankers to park and have their tanks dipped before and after delivery. This would be recorded by the man in charge of the fuel installation or the picket post corporal. Also concrete because if tarmac, the fuel would react to it and damage the surface.

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Checking the dips. I have done this hundreds of times in our garage in Wiltshire.

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27 September 2019

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1

Details

255 - Aviation Petrol Installation - 9846/41.
Pump house with pipes still in place.

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Albion tanker pre war.

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900gal Brockhouse Mk2 trailer.

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Bedford.

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15425/40 Pump house ARG

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1

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The plan of a 15425/40 Pump house showing the inside workings.

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27 September 2019

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1

Details

255 - Aviation Petrol Installation - 984641.

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An American tanker. They also could tow a tanker trailer.

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27 September 2019

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1

Details

255 - Aviation Petrol Installation - 984641.
Inside the pump room.

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RAF Thruxton's fuel pumps.

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RAF Thruxton's fuel pumps.

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RAF Thruxton's fuel pump meter.

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19 September 2012

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 1

Details

255 - Aviation Petrol Installation - 9846/41.
Why is it round. This allows tanker delivery lorries to drive in, off load, and drive around and out. It also allows fuel bowsers to come off the perimeter track, fill up and drive around back onto the airfield.

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Fuel tanks.

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B17 being filled up by an RAF tanker, an AEC.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
N/S runway.

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We are now over the other side of the airfield.

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Plan.

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Vampire.

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19 August 2012

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 2

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This is the view from the runway/perimeter track.

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Type 24 pillbox.

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 2

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No details on the 1945 plan of this API. It may have been added later post war, when jets started to use the airfield.

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Meteors T7 two seat trainers.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 2

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PB - Pillbox.
PH - Pump house.

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Plan.

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19 August 2012

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 2 defence

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Left - 13962, Vickers machine gun pillbox.
Right - 13961 A thick-walled type 24 pillbox. 

On its own - 13960 thick-walled type 24 pillbox. 

Contemporary sources show that the pillboxes were authorised late in 1940:
Letter from HQ 8 Corps to Southern Command "Defence works at Yeovilton and Westonzoyland aerodromes is of such urgency that it must proceed without delay (bullet proof PBs only)" (4/10/1940).
Southern Command letter SC z/6049 RE "[works] Service at Yeovilton and WZ estimated at £21,000. Difference between shell proof and bullet proof PBs several thousand pounds.
Somerset Historic Environmental Record.

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Somerset HER image 57882. Photo by Chris Perry on 26 May 2018.

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Turnbull mount.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 2

Details

To pump houses here, one each side with sunken tanks below ground. Note the two semi armoured doors and the external pipework.

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Plan from the air.

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Plan.

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POOL delivery tanker.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland

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Main runway.

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Plan.

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Gloster Gladiator.

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Bridgewater Mercury

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RAF Weston Zoyland

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Meteors refuling.

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Gloster Meteor.

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02 October 2005

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RAF Weston Zoyland

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Control tower.

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12779/41 - 4097/43 - it was built in 1943.

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12779/41.

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Somerset Historic Environment Record RAF aerial 1946

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RAF Weston Zoyland
Aviation Petrol Installation 3

Details

This is the third API on the airfield.
281 - Aviation Petrol Installation (72000galls) Type 'E' - 9846/41.
280 - Transformer Plinth.
279 - Picket Post (type 'B') - N - 12404/41. This was a Nissen hut.
Nothing remains of this one.

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Plan.

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Plan.

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Nissen hut.

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Mine

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RAF Weston Zoyland

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