5 thoughts on “RAF Thornaby-on-Tees 1939-1945

  1. The V1 (Doodle-bug) mention was part of a force of 40 air-launched weapons , targeting Manchester and the N.E Dec 24th 1944 Of the 40, 6 of the aircraft exploded or crashed on take-off , 11 had to be released as the aircraft “Flew like a brick-outhouse”, others when ignited crashed into the sea only 12 crossed the coast , leaving a trail of fuel-starved crashes behind them only about 6 impacted anywhere near their target in Bury, Salford and Rochdale The Teesside Bug passed over Danby, Guisborough, Billingham, Wolviston 06-00hr. Over-shooting ICI by 2 minutes to impact on Tudhoe nr Spennymoor cricket ground 06-03 destroying the pavilion, local housing, where a number of people were injured and the C-of-E Vicarage

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  2. Yes Bob I remember very clearly the Barrage Ballons being struck by lightening in 1939. We had dug in the Anderson Shelter and lifted the lawn to plant veg: It was a spectacular sight seeing them struck one after another and people were certainly injured if not killed, by falling cable and debris. I think they had just been flown for about the first time! The worst raid I recall was the Newcastle train being caught in Middlesboro Station they had a bad pasting that day. They used to drop bombs in sticks not just one at a time so quite an area could be damaged. The worst bombs I recall were land mines a number were dropped on Teeside, and One Doddle Bug came over Teeside, which I heard the motor stop then the explosion. Fortunatly I think it fell in a field killing cows but too near for comfort. Once heard never forgoten!

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  3. Thanks for the memory Bob, of that first flight in the “Dominie”. If your flight took place in the November of 1944 then it is possible that we flew together during the War. A couple of heroes?? My flight took place at Thornaby after attending the Remembrance Day Church Parade at the Parish Church Stockton. I can not remember how we were transported to the Aerodrome, but that flight was absolutely wonderful. I do remember circling Captain Cook”s Monument on our way back to Thornaby. I have flown in many types of aircraft since then, both Military and Civil, but that first flight will never be forgotten. I feel that we may also have shared a flight in an Avro Anson in the following year.

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  4. I also had my first flight with 266 Squadron in 1944 aboard a De Havilland “Dominie” twin engine biplane My impression of that first flight was we appeared to drift into the air the ground falling away from us, not us leaving. Of the flight the Tees from Stockton to Redcar was almost invisible under a misty layer of smoke. It was Hartlepool before we could pick out any detail, we followed the coast to Whitby and then over the Moors to Thornaby. We couldn”t fly directly over Teesside as there were still barrage-balloons for air-defence, not as many as in 1939 as most were in the south deterrents to the V 1 “Doodle-Bug”. Re Balloons anybody remember the destruction of many local balloons during a thunder and lightning storm in 1939, which sent many down in flames around I C I Billingham ? .

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  5. I flew in an Avro Anson in 1942 when I was 16 years old.I was a member of stockton A.T.C.and was chosen with 5 other lads to go for a flight. It was a great experience for me, I sat next to the pilot and I had the job of winding the wheels up.

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