will be saturated up with the army. Group Captain Tony Keeling said: "Everyone at RAF Wittering and across the wider Royal Air Force will be deeply saddened by the disbandment of 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron. The device, estimated to have weighed up to 10,000 pounds, was discovered in a sand quarry less than 2000 metres from the village of Corfe Mullen. Over many years an increasingly sophisticated organisation has developed to deal with these weapons, to which all three services have contributed, together with government and civilian agencies. Two RAF bomb disposal specialists, Ted Costick and Alan Swan, each awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal, highlight some of this work. Wine accessories fitted inside box, including Cork Screw, pourer, and other anscilliaries for your wine. Discover our brand new green space in which to picnic and relax, When you need to refuel during your visit why not visit Claude's between Hangars 2 and 6? In August 1940 due to the increased workload generated by the war, twenty five more mobile bomb disposal squads were formed. and some elements with the navy. 5131 Squadron, explained how ‘We had a call-out responsibility for improvised explosive devices and conventional devices, so we had an area, a patch based around Wittering that we had to respond to, in 10 minutes and 30 minutes respectively for the teams.’. 6209 Bomb Disposal Flight. However, during the conflict in Afghanistan the RLC’s High-Threat IED course – the training course through which a bomb disposal operator became qualified to deal with the devices found in Iraq and Afghanistan – was opened to personnel from other branches of the armed forces and Dave Lowe, an armourer by trade, was the first member of the RAF to pass this highly demanding course. In recent years, bomb disposal within the UK has been divided between the Royal Navy, British Army and RAF on largely geographical lines, with the Metropolitan Police providing their own capability in London. It lived up to its motto 'to make the harmful harmless'. So, it's been around for a very long time, Norman Macmillan, a pilot serving with No. Our RAF team dealt with two live shells. ... RAF's only bomb disposal squad to be disbanded. Sit in our Mk16 Spitfire and receive a tour of its cockpit or try out our new virtual reality experience and pilot your own Spitfire. Flt Lt Alan Swan, commander of the team, was called on to deal with two unexploded bombs lodged in the hospital at Ajax Bay. A British World War II Tallboy bomb has exploded while being remotely defused underwater in northwestern Poland. When combined with the ZUS 40 anti-withdrawal device and the clockwork timer of the Type 17 fuze, all of which could be fitted to the same bomb, this created a complex problem for a bomb disposal operator to deal with. Specially created for visitors 3 - 8 by our Access and Learning Team, See what events are planned at our London site, Read the latest news from our London Museum, Iconic and fascinating objects from the Museum’s collection. You can watch our 2020 Conference as it is broadcast live from our London site from across the globe. Michael Haygarth, an RAF officer serving with No. Army bomb disposal experts at the site prior to Brimstone clearing the site of UXO. Examples were urgently wanted for examination and for use in training British bomb disposal personnel, and this was greatly facilitated when Flight Sergeant Handford discovered several bombs that had failed to arm after being dropped on RAF Harlaxton in Lincolnshire in August 1941. The UK’s first unexploded bombs of the Second World War were dealt with by Arthur Merriman, a civilian specialist who had served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps during the First World War, and Flight Lieutenant (later Squadron Leader) Eric Moxey at Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands late in 1939. RAF Harlaxton was a Royal Air Force station near the village of Harlaxton, 3 mi (4.8 km) south west of Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. In our final week of lockfdown we look at some of our highlights from the last 12 weeks. Thursday, 8th November 2018, 2:23 pm. I said “well, I would say no”, but, I said, just to put my money where my mouth is, I’ll sleep in that room and a) it was the only empty room, because it had an unexploded bomb in it and b) I was convinced it wasn’t going to go off. RAF bomb disposal teams have, from the Second World War onwards and alongside their British Army, Royal Navy and civilian colleagues, made a significant contribution to this work. RAF Bomb Disposal unfortunately has just been, it's just been announced as just being disbanded. Company Limited by Guarantee. So why not adopt this armband for a piece of RAF history? Although the devices produced by some groups, or by an individual acting alone, might have been relatively crude, the devices produced by the IRA in Northern Ireland during the Troubles often reached a high level of sophistication, and were dealt with by the very highly-trained Ammunition Technical Officers (ATOs) of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) and then of the Royal Logistics Corps (RLC) after the RAOC was absorbed into the newly-formed RLC in 1993. Posts: 12 Quote: Originally Posted by MPN11. Take part in the Lancaster Challenge and keep fit while helping the Museum during this difficult period. LONDON (AP) — It’s the end of an era for Britain’s Royal Air Force: Its only bomb disposal squadron is being disbanded, 75 years after it was formed to disarm unexploded German bombs. In 1982 an RAF bomb disposal team was sent to the Falkland Islands as part of the task force following the Argentinean invasion. but we hope to welcome you when we reopen. Like every airman of his generation, basic training was completed at RAF Swinderby before trade training at RAF … 42 (Expeditionary Support) Wing (42 ESW). Methods were, however, developed by which Type 17 fuzes could be made safe, including the use of powerful magnets or the injection of viscous liquids to stop the clockwork mechanism. Bomb disposal has developed a great deal since 1939, when Arthur Merriman and Eric Moxey approached the UK’s first unexploded bombs of the Second World War. A further, even more dangerous, development was the German No 50 fuze, first identified by the British in September 1940 and an example of this was also obtained by Lt Archer. And finally, there is the courage of the bomb disposal operator, making the ‘long walk’ to a bomb with the intention of making it safe. 5131 (BD) Squadron is the Royal Air Force’s explosive ordnance disposal … The Royal Air Force Museum Shop has a gift for everyone one from pocket money toys to specialist aviation gifts. Join the Royal Air Force Museum as we remember all those who have lost their lives in conflict, and have made the ultimate sacrifice during tours of duty. Contact us on 020 8205 2266 or london@rafmuseum.org. I think twelve of those were IEDs or something, I can’t remember but it was just the sheer work, I was finishing one, doing the next, doing the next, doing the next, doing the next so it was just continual, catch a bit of sleep and as soon as I could, do some more.’. Both by day and night, during recent months, he has dealt with some 200 unexploded bombs. In addition, considerations such as climate, terrain and the threat of Taliban attack made the use of robots and protective ‘bomb suits’ impractical on many occasions. RAF Wittering Bomb Disposal Warrant Officer Retires. [18][19]Between 1970 and 1987, 5131 used Orford Nessas a site to … 233480. 5131 Squadron, disbanded last month, with its responsibilities passing to the British Army. It had been dropped during an attack on the dam in October 1944, and was made safe by a German specialist, Walter Mitzke, working with Flt Lt J M Waters, officer commanding the RAF’s No. Bomb disposal did not escape. The JSBDS was made up of Royal Engineers and Royal Navy demolition parties being trained alongside their RAF counterparts. If the fuzes could be recovered intact they would provide valuable information, essential for operators dealing with similar bombs in future. As Alan Swan remembered: ‘It was a bomb in the roof, a bomb in the fridge; the bomb in the fridge had a fuze that I think, they made it up, just welded this on, welded that on, and we had no kit that we could [use] to get at it, and I spoke to the colonel and he said ‘well, we’re going to Stanley shortly, so is it going to go off? Even so, weapons such as this could cause a great deal of disruption simply by their presence, and introduced a greater degree of danger and uncertainty to the bomb disposal operator’s work; this was even more the case when used in conjunction with other types of fuze, such as those designed to detonate the bomb if it was moved or tampered with. 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron is based at RAF Wittering. How to find us and travel to the RAF Museum London by car, train, bus or bike. By the start of the Second World War, the RAF had developed the armourer’s trade to a much higher level of sophistication, and it naturally fell to these servicemen, with their training and expertise in air weapons, to deal with the RAF’s share of unexploded bombs during the conflict and, more specifically, bombs that fell on RAF airfields or those found in crashed aircraft. The RAF's only bomb disposal squadron, formed 75 years ago to deal with unexploded German bombs, is to be disbanded, with the Army taking over its duties. Although the RAOC had expertise in handling munitions, skilled personnel were not always called on in such situations. One example of this was the Zussatzünder (auxiliary fuze) 40, an anti-withdrawal device fitted below a Type 17 fuze. Eric Chadwick recalled how the “No 37 pistol” – a fuse fitted to some British bombs – had been designed to catch out an unwary German who might try to dismantle it. With the peace came demobilisation and a drastic reduction in all army units. Nevertheless, when, a few days after the blitz on Ford, two holes in the ground were discovered, obviously containing unexploded bombs, “Fish” sent for me and said: “You’ve just done the unexploded bomb course at Manby, so go and dig ‘em up”.’. Put simply, if the Type 17 fuze was removed from a bomb, the ZUS 40 would cause it to explode. LONDON (AP) — It's the end of an era for Britain's Royal Air Force: Its only bomb disposal squadron is being disbanded, 75 years after it was formed to disarm unexploded German bombs. The squadron deployed to EOD alerts throughout the United Kingdom and had an additional role to undertake worldwide. Mervyn Base, an RAF armourer who trained in bomb disposal at RAF Melksham in 1940, similarly remembered how ‘This course was largely based on the practical knowledge gained by Army personnel in the field, and as a result was somewhat limited’ and that at the end of the course the officer in charge said ‘Well chaps, that’s all we know to date, the rest I’m afraid you will have to find out for yourselves’. An RAF bomb disposal team has carried out a controlled explosion of a suspicious package found in a town centre. He recalled how: ‘For the most part the course at Melksham gave us a good grounding on bombs and fuzes, on how they acted, on safety precautions, and on some of the methods of bomb disposal such as the use of special machines to cut out discs of metal by remote control. Join other runners, joggers and walkers as they undertake our virtual challenge. No. which is very sad for the trade, very sad for the air force. By June 1940, Manby housed the Joint Services Bomb Disposal School. Want to know more about how to leave a Legacy to the RAF Museum? There are dated photographs that show that the airfield was already in use for flying training by Royal Naval pilots in the summer of 1917, although no documents supporting this have ever been found. The first action of the war leading to the award of a George Cross (although not the first medals to be awarded) was that of Flight Lieutenant (later Squadron Leader) John Dowland and Mr Len Harrison (an ex-RAF civilian armaments instructor) for their actions in dealing with an unexploded bomb in a steamship at Immingham Docks near Grimsby in February 1940. Here, we look back on the history of RAF bomb disposal. This did not, however, remove all risk, as the device had to be fitted to the bomb, someone had to approach the bomb to confirm that the fuze had been extracted and it would not, in any case, always work as intended. Some things, on the other hand, have changed little. He screwed them back by hand into the fuzes enabling the bomb disposal scientists to dismantle them and use them for instructional purposes. Properly, as it was in farm land, it should have been referred to civpol, the fields would have been evacuated, a main road closed and the Army called. This was more amusing than instructive because, at the first lecture, the instructor began by saying: “Of course we know nothing about German bombs yet, so we will give you this brief course on our own bombs and pyrotechnics”. The clockwork mechanism could be set to detonate a bomb after an interval of anything up to more than eighty hours after being dropped, and there was no way of knowing how any particular bomb had been set; from the point of view of the bomb disposal teams, they could potentially go off at any moment. 5131 (BD) Squadron was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) squadron of the Royal Air Force. The RAF’s only bomb disposal squadron is to be disbanded with the Army taking over its duties. While the weapons used by the armed forces of nation states are likely to have been produced by a known manufacturer and to conform to identifiable patterns, the unpredictable nature and highly variable quality and complexity of IEDs have made them particularly difficult to deal with. 5131 Squadron, disbanded last month, with its responsibilities passing to the British Army. Find out the latest news and updates for our Cosford site, Plan a day, see the opening hours & closure dates for RAF Museum London. Charges apply. RAF Bomb Disposal to be disbanded. In Afghanistan, the IEDs found were not necessarily very complex in their design, but the sheer number of devices planted by the Taliban caused a significant problem for western forces in the country. Let us not forget the RAF Regt mini-tanks. Bomb disposal specialists also had to be fully aware of traps built into British bombs. An RAF bomb disposal team has carried out a controlled explosion of a suspicious package found in a town centre. Join the RAF Museum as a volunteer and create a unique experience for yourself and our visitors. Experience, however, developed rapidly with the rising tempo of German air raids on the UK. Mr Hunt joined the RAF in 1984 as a weapons mechanic at the age of sixteen. The Cold War Cafe in the National Cold War Exhibition is ideal for morning coffee and a cake. Whilst dealing with eight that had fallen on RAF Harlaxton and failed to explode, Flight Sergeant Hanford of RAF Bomb Disposal from nearby RAF Digby noticed that the arming rods had not fully withdrawn. If it did not explode on impact it was likely to be due to a fault of some description; it was not designed to catch out anyone attempting to make it safe, but such weapons would not be long in coming. By The Newsroom. These bombs featured a simple impact fuze, designed to detonate the bomb when it hit the ground. The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force.Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. From his own experience, Lowe recalled how: ‘There was a big clearance of a road and there was basically an IED belt along this highway, if you want to call it that, it wasn’t tarmacked or anything but we needed to clear that road to link up forces and it was a huge operation and in two kilometres of road in about 48 hours I think I probably did nineteen tasks. A Royal Air Force bomb disposal squadron formed 75 years ago and currently based at RAF Wittering is to be disbanded. Engraved wooden box, with Bomb Disposal crest, date. An example of the ZUS 40 was retrieved for examination only days later in south Wales by Lt Archer of the Royal Engineers. Courses in bomb disposal were run at various locations during the Second World War, including the RAF Armament School at RAF Manby in Lincolnshire. 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