Some war time views of Castle Archdale.

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by James S, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    James,

    An amazing report to read.
    It so easily could have resulted in tragedy.


    Regards
    Tom
     
  2. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    As Mr Gaunt said to me they were very lucky a fighter showing up off the Irish Coast on what they regarded as "their home ground" - a few seconds could have made all the difference had the JU got closer and got a good burst in at close range - the show could and would most likely have been over.
    The idea that the Sunderland was a flying porcupine was something of a myth .303's against a fast nimble and well handled cannon armed fighter....... they would have been at a disadvantage.
    Half an hour flying time to the South of the Blasket Islands .
     
  3. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Not sure where on the base this was taken , dated Sept 1942.
    ( Correct that - in the background a radio mast - one of those which where located in front of the Castle Archdale House).
    In the photo Art Mountford who at this time flew with Jack Sumner.
    Left to right P/O. Art Mountford , P/O De La Paulle and P/O Harris.

    De La Paulle was on P/422 when she force landed in Biscay in Sept. 1943 , the crew all got out in one piece and were picked up a few days later by a 228 Squadron Sunderland which landed to pick them up , the landing was photographed by another aircraft - photos to follow.
    In the meantime the report into the incident.
    De La Paulle was awarded a DFC in April 1944 and F/lt. Armstrong of 228 got one in the weeks following the rescue.
    Armstrong and some of his crew died when they crashed on the Bluestacks in Donegal in Jam 44 trying to get into castle Archdale having been diverted .
    (Some of his crew are buried in Irvinestown).

    The photos are from "Shot Down and In The Drink" published by the National Archives in 2005.
     

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  4. Savo

    Savo Senior Member

    Not sure where on the base this was taken , dated Sept 1942.
    ( Correct that - in the background a radio mast - one of those which where located in front of the Castle Archdale House).



    The slight incline and radio mast angle says that wonderful picture could be at Skunk Hollow. Thats my guess.
     
  5. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Could be , that or the walk way opposite it that which runs lower than but parallel to the lawn area below the old house.
    It was not until I scanned my copy that I noticed the mast and wires running along in the background.
    Somewhere , somehow over the past few years I have managed to mislay a set of site plans for Killadeas and its dispersed sites - I am a little pi**ed off with myself. :mad::(
     
  6. Savo

    Savo Senior Member

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    James. The before and after picture last week end. Up beside the butterfly garden as it is today.
     
  7. Savo

    Savo Senior Member

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    James S likes this.
  8. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    A fascinating thread. May be of interest to someone or it may have been covered on the forum but here's a War Grave Memorial for Catalina AH536 of 240 Squadron RAF Killadeas 7 May 1941. The memorial is located up at the Point at Castle Archdale over looking the Lough. Its a very popular public walk by due to easy access and the views are breath taking. You cannot see Gay Island from this location as another island is in front of it. Today it is out of bounds and a wild life sanctury and sits quite low in the water compared to the other surrounding islands.The memorial I've seen creates alot of interest and I wish I could tell folk more if the opportunity occurred but what one sees on the plaque is all most knows.

    Its special for me. Its my first port of call when heading to Archdale. Everytime I walk past it I read it and tap it before moving on.

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    Below a photo of AH536 P/240.
     

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  9. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    I thought I would bring this new book published in Canada up on this thread as well as mentioning it in the book section.
    I got a call last night from a friend of mine who lives in Gortin ( small village in the foothills of the Sperrins) , Gary being a mutual friend of Terry Reeves a crew member from "Cookies" crew Ex 423 and 422 RCAF, Gary had received in the post two copies of this book from Terry - one for each of us.

    Former crew member and life long friend of his Don Macfie has with the help of Neil McQuarrie produced a book on his war time service and the life of his family in WW2.
    Don was one of the few who kept a detailed diary of his wartime experiences - (I have a copy of this which is currently on loan) and a quite amazing journal it is, a real widow into the life of an aircrew stationed at Castle Archdale - "warts and all" , the ups and downs both in terms of operational life and what it was like to live on the base and be a part of what was going on.
    (Both on and off duty).

    This book published in soft back edition is on sale in Canada , no idea what the price is to be honest.
    The ISBN is 978-0-9784801-1-0. published by NJM Enterprises, Brandon Manitoba.
    The co-author can be contacted at nmcquarr@wcgwave.ca

    Hope this might be of interest to folks with webbed feet !
     

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  10. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Thanks for the information James
    I will have to pick up a copy of this book. I was in Parry Sound on Monday to do a little fishing and it is an area of Ontario with many connections to my family.
     
  11. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Glad to pass the word on this book , from a quick look it is one of those which a major publisher show have been taking up, good stuff. :)
     
  12. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    These photos belong to "escape and evasion" author Mr. Oliver Clutton-Brock
    see RAF Evaders: The Complete Story of RAF Escapees and Their Escape Lines, Western Europe, 1940-1945: Amazon.co.uk: Oliver Clutton-Brock: Books .

    He very kindly sent them to me so I would like to say thank you for Oliver for showing me the base as she once was and never will be again.
    Arn't these simply fantastic photos - that shot of Castle Archdale from the air with the large water tanks beside the courtyard wall , that is such a jump back in time.
    I remember climbing to the top of these tanks in 1980 just before they were demolished, I must admit today I would think 30 times before trying that stunt and would " rip the a**e out of" any youngster game enough "to give it a go".
    I was really delighted and excited to see this photo, perhaps I should be taking more medication . :)

    The first photo a great view of the courtyard and HQ - I must try and find that structure in the bottom right - it looks interesting - now in thick shrub and woodland I wonder if it is still there ?
    The second photo a view from the opposite side shot on the same day - amazing view over Archdale and its hard standings which have two Sunderlands pulled up on for servicing.
    The Fourth photo - perhaps the most interesting of them all , this has to be in 1941 - Archdale being build - absolutely amazing everything you see in 1 and 2 has yet to be built - "better than sex" . :) :) ( Well almost).
    What you are seeing is history raw in the making.

    The third - Killadeas 131 (C) OTU , the wooded headland in the top left now home of Lough Erne Yacht Club.
    Fifth - Lough Erne Catalinas in 1941 most likely 240 Squadron aircraft.

    I am totally delighted to see these photos.

    The last two 131 at Killadeas , and what I think is a 202 Catalina , boy she looks mean .........

    Some views of what is today - the back of the court yard , if you look at photo 2 you can pick it out and see what has gone.
    The shoulder of Magho - from the shore walk and meanwhile in the bomb dumps "Hogg" is still looking for her last stick . :)
    (Will have to resize these, will post tomorrow).
     

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  13. skyhawk

    skyhawk Senior Member

    Truly amazing photos James. Really brings the base back to life again. Thanks for sharing.
     
  14. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Looking at the fourth photo again , somewhat disorientated when looking at it , I could not understand why there was so much ground between the "Castle" and the hardstandings / shore line - I was reading it all wrong, but having said that the maintenance area seems to be under construction, must be the summer of 41 at my guess.

    Look at the huts at the base of the tree line and pick out the pathway to the Castle / Courtyard which is under construction, the trees felled to make way for this are still on the ground, this is a fantastic photograph.
     
  15. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Truly excellent photographs.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  16. Savo

    Savo Senior Member

    The first photo a great view of the courtyard and HQ - I must try and find that structure in the bottom right - it looks interesting - now in thick shrub and woodland I wonder if it is still there ?


    Whats that piece of cylinderical equipment positioned on top of the of the Archdale house ?. And whats the piece of kit located ot the right of it ?

    Remarkable images. Was thinking the same thing James. The whole area in the bottom right today has alot of old earth works in it and very over grown over but would be walkable at this time of the year. It must connected with the water tanks. Thats the area with the woodland walk in it. Reckon it has been filled in as that looks a real health and safety death trap nowadays. All the images are awesome. The tightly grouped camouflage nissan like structures and the series of paths and tracks is doing my head in as a try to find my bearings. The construction lads looked blessed with good weather.
     
  17. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Savo , it looks like a searchlight to me.
    "Sandra" lights shopw up on the site plan , I wonder if this might have been put in before the "Sandra" system ?

    That framework to the right - a very good question at present I have no idea.

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    The top photo dates from 1941 , the "flight control hut" is in situ , but the ? searchlight and frame work are yet to make an appearance, to the best of my knowledge (which is not 100%) the photo above dates from 1942.
     
  18. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    [​IMG]
    From 423 ORB - Archdale's workshop and slipway area in May 1944, the "Shetland Dock" has not yet been started on and the base is working flat out.
    Today this area is a mass of holiday mobile homes, jet skis, boats and holiday makers few of whom have any inkling of what was there before them.

    From Canadian war artist and photographer Carl Schaefer.
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    A view of Castle Archdale manor House , the structure on the roof Savo pointed out is visible.

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    423's first "kill".

    The above from "With Eagle Wings - 423 A Canadian Squadron in Peace and War" ( Edited by John L.Orr. ( 423 Squadron 60th Anniversary History Project).
     
  19. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Slightly beyond Archdale but related to it so will pop them in here.

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    The photos below show the wonderful view over the Lough, from Archdale on the far right out over the river Erne to Donegal Bay.....next stop a convoy , Iceland ,Biscay or Gibralter !

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    When you look across this view you see the locations / "crashsites" of from a quick count of approx. 8 aircaft , Sunderlands, Lerwick and Catalinas.
     
  20. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Robert,

    Great photographs as usual.

    The poem by Helene Turner is wonderful.

    Regards
    Tom
     

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