RAF Melksham

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1940 - 1964
Opened on 12 June 1944 as No.12 School of Technical Training. Most of the RAF's modern aircraft would be here used as training aids for young airmen to learn new skills. Nearly every form of aircraft repair was trained here and there was even a cooks school. The training was also shared with the Navy and several ratings did their time here too.

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RAF Melksham

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2014 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tangmere

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RAF Melksham

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Hawker Hunter WB188 was gate guard for as long as I remember, we would pass it by, every time we visited my grandmother in either Shaw and then Melksham. Its now at Tangmere Military Aviation Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was the Hunter in which Neville Duke flew to secure his world air speed record of 727 mph in 1953. This unique aircraft was ordered in June 1948 as one of three prototypes and first flown by Hawker’s Chief Test Pilot, Squadron Leader Neville Duke, in July 1951. In early 1953, WB188 was fitted with side-mounted air brakes, extra fuel tanks in the wings and a new reheated version of the Avon engine – at which point she became known as the sole Hunter Mk 3. On 7th September 1953, Neville Duke took off from Tangmere to set up a new world air speed record of 727.63 mph along a course between Bognor and Littlehampton. One month later, WB188 came to the end of its flying life and was transferred to RAF Halton as an instructional airframe. She was employed as the gate guardian at RAF Melksham and Abingdon from 1961 to 1964 and then displayed at a museum at RAF Colerne until 1975 when she moved to the RAF Museum at Cosford. The aircraft has been on loan to Tangmere since September 1992. And splendid she looks.
Tangmere Military Aviation Museum.



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Sqn Ldr Neville Duke, 85, flew 485 sorties achieving 28 air combat victories, including seven aircraft shot down in seven days. In 1953 he broke the then world air speed record achieving 727.63mph.

RAF Melksham

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RAF Melksham

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RAF Melksham

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1945/47

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RAF Melksham

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1 x Equipment Depot Store.
8 x Hanaidi hangars.

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WAAF's marching.

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RAF passing out parade at RAF Jurby.

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National Service men.

RAF Melksham

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Drawing No. MM503

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RAF Melksham

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Plan of the camp.
Left the four Hinaidi hangars and the gymnasium in the centre.
Parade square surrounded by barracks. To the right the communal, large canteens, institutes and mess's for sergeants and Officers. Rifle ranges. A full sick quarters (Hospital). In between the huts were air raid shelters (green). My plan has the numbers but not what they refer to. Thats missing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan of the wartime dispersed areas.
As the war progressed, more barracks were needed and this site was created. The communal, for institute and airmens canteen. Living sites, barracks. A grenade range, a new one for me with the RAF. I have seen army grenade ranges before.

RAF Melksham

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Internet

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Commemorating Stone.

RAF Melksham

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14 January 2024

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RAF Melksham

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The area that the camp took up.

RAF Melksham

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19 February 2006

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RAF Melksham

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Hinaidi hangar 1136/27.
These hangars were based on Admiralty F shed, side opening hangars. Re designed to end opening hangars. Their main use was to be built on airfields abroad. Some examples would have been in Iraq and Egypt. It then was found they could also be used on Technical Training Establishments here at Melksham, Hereford & RAF Chivenor in Devon had four.

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Plan.

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Hinaidi inside at RAF Hereford.

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Admiralty F shed RAF Pembrey.


RAF Melksham

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19 February 2006

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RAF Melksham

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Hinaidi hangars.

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Plan.

RAF Melksham

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Pepper Commercial

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RAF Melksham

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Hinaidi hangars.
Inside one of the hangars that was then being used for storage of car tyres.
The hangars were used as technical training on aircraft repair and would have had from full aircraft to individual parts.

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RAF Melksham

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19 February 2006

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RAF Melksham

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Lancaster Road.

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Yellow Lancaster Road.

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Avro Lancaster.

RAF Melksham

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19 February 2006

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RAF Melksham

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Tool hut? Crittall window frames.

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Plan.

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RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Tree lined road.
Trees were added to RAF stations to soften them and maybe a bit of camouflage. The RAF had, pre war, a nursery where trees were grown for airfields and camps. RAF Little Rissington has nearly all the old RAF buildings removed and new housing built. But the trees were listed and had to be preserved.

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Plan.

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A tree at RAF Little Rissington preserved..

RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Hinaidi hangars.

RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Hinaidi hangars.

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Plan.

RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Equipment Depot Store, used here as a training facility
The Christie Miller Sports Centre was constructed of brick with a corrugated iron roof. It has a rectangular footprint and consists of a central building orientated west to east, flanked on either side by five single story buildings orientated south to north. The gable end roofs terminate with raised sections with a shallow pitch and clerestory strip windows running its length. The central, two-story building has no clerestory windows. Internally, the building contains a gymnasium, squash courts, bowling green, ten pin bowling lanes, badminton courts, a crèche and a café.

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Photography is permitted on these premises ONLY with PRIOR written permission of the manager. Know wonder I cannot find pictures of inside.

RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Equipment Depot Store, used here as a training facility
Five buildings each side with clerestory roofs.
Post war the council used this building as a Gymnasium, but its true job. I am unsure of. At RAF Burtonwood. The Americans used several buildings of this style as aircraft repair shops.

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Plan.

RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Equipment Depot Store, used here as a training facility
The heating plant, originally it would have been a coke/coal fired. But later oil was used.

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Plan.

RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Equipment Depot Store, used here as a training facility
Heavy steel doors on the side.

RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Equipment Depot Store, used here as a training facility
The door knob. A typical WW1 onwards design used throughout the RAF.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two door handles to pull the heavy doors open.

RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Equipment Depot Store, used here as a training facility
More heavy steel doors.

RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Equipment Depot Store, used here as a training facility
External store cupboard.

RAF Melksham

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20 January 2019

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RAF Melksham

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Equipment Depot Store, used here as a training facility

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Plan.

RAF Melksham

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Google

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RAF Melksham

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As it is now on Google Earth. All gone.

RAF Melksham

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19 February 2006

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RAF Melksham

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Hinaidi hangars.

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Plan.

RAF Melksham

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Google

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RAF Melksham

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Hinaidi hangars.
Now re vamped for a new generation of business use.

RAF Melksham

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Johnathan Joyce

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RAF Melksham

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One of the wooden huts.

RAF Melksham

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RAF Melksham

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I would like to know who they were.
Inside one of the hangars.

RAF Melksham

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RAF Melksham

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Braithwaite high level water tower.

RAF Melksham

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RAF Melksham

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The view from the water tower over the camps N/W corner.
Far distance, hangars. Middle, barracks and air raid shelters.

RAF Melksham

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Google

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RAF Melksham

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This may be a remaining RAF building??? now a garage.

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RAF Melksham

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International Bomber Command Centre Digital Archive

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RAF Melksham

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Initial training at RAF Melksham.
Description:
60 personnel arranged in five five ranks, in front of hangar 4 door.
Details from the photo.

RAF Melksham

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Ebay

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RAF Melksham

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2331032 AC1 J Revel, Class B, Entry 287.
Hut 25, 1 Wing, Melksham.
2 x Practical & Theory. Unknown date.

RAF Melksham

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IWM HU 53754.

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RAF Melksham

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LILIAN BAILEY (third from the right, third row back) in an Instrument Repairs course at RAF Melksham.

RAF Melksham

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RAF Melksham

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