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TOPIC: Turret Schools

Turret Schools 16 Aug 2010 09:02 #1

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PNK has sent me an interesting item.

From AIR 2/5050 there is a list, dated 28th July 1941, of Bomber Command Groups and their practice facilities. The following are Turret Ranges.
Romans Hole
Cherry Hinton
Barton Bendish
Sutton Bank
Casthorpe Lodge
Croydon
Devils Punchbowl
Unhill Bottom
Lossiemouth Dunes
Holbeach
Misson
I have no knowledge of what these might be - I wouldn't have though a live-round range in Croydon would be a good idea. And Croydon - what's that got to do with Bomber Command?

Any thoughts welcome.

Graham

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Turret Schools 16 Aug 2010 10:23 #2

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Another challenge! I have a few thoughts but need to get my head into the maps before venturing an opinion. Also, 'what's in a name'. You will be well aware of the tendency of the typists of the time typing what they heard or thought they heard so that (for example) Hall becomes Hole or the other way around!

I guessed PNK would not come back empty handed from his trip!

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Turret Schools 16 Aug 2010 11:09 #3

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Oh there is lots more!! Any many questions.

Romans Hole I have heard of but can't recall where. Misson and Holbeach might be a good point to start as they are known ranges. Croydon, I suspect is not the one with the airfield.
Devils Punchbowl I have also heard mention in an aviation context, again can't recall the context.

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Turret Schools 16 Aug 2010 11:36 #4

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Peter

The devils punch bowl is a natural amphitheatre here Devils punch bowl it's near Hindhead in Surrey & just off the A3.

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Turret Schools 16 Aug 2010 12:04 #5

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The Hindhead location would seem odd as well. I wonder if there is more than one punchbowl?

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Turret Schools 16 Aug 2010 12:43 #6

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PNK;51878 wrote: The Hindhead location would seem odd as well. I wonder if there is more than one punchbowl?


I recall a Devils Punch Bowl somewhere in the Breckland, cannot remember where exactly East Wretham rings a bell. So the term is probably common?

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Turret Schools 16 Aug 2010 17:17 #7

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Sutton bank is the steep hill on the A170 around 5.5 miles east of Thirsk, there is a gliding club airfield just south of it. My uncle who was an air gunner did his initial training at EAGS at Bridlington and they did skeet and trap shooting and weapon familiarisation there, before moving onto No2 air gunnery school at Dalcross for turret training flying in aircraft. No mention of ground based training?

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Turret Schools 16 Aug 2010 19:02 #8

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I bet all those sites are skeet ranges?

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Turret Schools 16 Aug 2010 21:28 #9

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A few seem to be in natural hollows, assuming the obvious locations, so they could be ranges for practice clay shoots. Did the RAF do the clay pigeon shooting thing then? I thought it was only the Americans.

The name Turret Schools implies the use of turrets but it may also mean ground schools where the practical use of turrent was taught before being let loose with live weapons.

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Turret Schools 16 Aug 2010 21:42 #10

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elementary deflection shooting using shotguns prior to 'proper' turret training on the ranges

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