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TOPIC: 705 Mobile Signals Unit

705 Mobile Signals Unit 27 Jul 2010 22:57 #1

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Back in the early 1960s I used to cycle across the airfield at RAF Hendon en route to Cadet nights. At the eastern end of the short runway was a collection of cabins, caravans & vehicles, lit at night by sodium lamps, powered by a Meadows genny, or similar. I often wondered what it was, &, apart from knowing it was 705MSU - zilch. One day, it disappeared.

Forward to 1965, & I arrived at RAF Kenley in April to find 705MSU ensconced in a couple of the old aircraft pens on the peri-track. One day, they were ordered to do a mobility exercise, so they hitched everything up & went. Because their vehicles so seldom moved, & were quite ancient, they managed to get down Whyteleafe Hill & on to the A22, where they began to break down at intervals. Hours later, they'd all been brought back to Kenley, & I don't think bugging out was tried again. I was posted at the end of '66, & Kenley shut as a station a little later.

Forward again to 1979 & there I was at Coningsby. Imagine my surprise to discover that 705MSU was parked in a field a few miles away!

Questions: What was the function of 705, & what was its history? I doubt it still exists, but I wouldn't put money on it!

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Last edit: by netcompsys.

705 Mobile Signals Unit 28 Jul 2010 05:39 #2

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Are you sure it was 705 and not 735? 735 SU was the Tumby bomb plot (near Coningby), basically it was an electronic range. It moved from Coningsby to Gutersloh round about 1980. When I first got to Gutersloh they were located about 100 miles away at a place called IIRC Anhausen, and because of the distance from Gutersloh they range was only open two weeks a month. They subsequently moved to a location near Detmold.

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705 Mobile Signals Unit 28 Jul 2010 07:04 #3

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Mobile Radar Bomb Score Signals Unit - MRBSSU. The unit in Germany was 735 MRBSSU and I think 705 was the correct designation for the one near Coningsby - don't have my book to hand. 735 was moved to Germany (Auenhausen) from Dunkeswell in March 1972 and used the radio call-sign 'Eastern Bomb Plot'. From September 1980 it used a number of ex-Army AA7 Mk 4 gun-laying radars modified to act as threat emmitters to simulate WARPAC systems, to provide the RAF Germany Airborne Electronic Warfare Training Facility. The move of the radars to Hollandskopk was accomplished as underslung loads using Chinook helicopters of 18 Sqn. The RBSU equipment of the unit was mounted in cabins on AEC Mammoth Major prime movers and these were perched on platforms about 20 ft high to help improve the radar horizon of the equipment. Not sure of the disbandment date.
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705 Mobile Signals Unit 28 Jul 2010 08:26 #4

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Yup, pretty sure 705 was right. After all, what would a bomb-plot radar be doing in Greater London? Their aerials seemed to be more in the radio line than radar.
As a supplier I used to see vouchers, inventory paperwork & so on for the unit at both Kenley & Coningsby. My one-time next-door neighbour at Coningsby, Neil Sagar, was the SAC Clerk with 705 in 1980.

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705 Mobile Signals Unit 28 Jul 2010 10:17 #5

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Tone: I think the aerials are more likely to have been radio in nature rather than radar 'dishes'. I think the location in Greater london would have been necessary when massed bomber formation would make dummy attack on London - presumably in practice for attacks on Moscow! I will check my notes tonight, but I think you are right ref 705 near Coningsby. My notes on 735 give locations at Ouston and Dunkeswell before going to Germany.

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705 Mobile Signals Unit 28 Jul 2010 10:35 #6

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WJT;50298 wrote: My notes on 735 ...

Just wondered Bill if these are 'your notes', or a document which sounds extremely useful !

Graham
Plan A is always more effective when the problem you are working on understands that Plan B will involve the use of dynamite :twisted:.

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705 Mobile Signals Unit 28 Jul 2010 11:06 #7

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Graham: I was copying some bits from the Appendix in my Germany book. I took a lot of notes from HQ RAF Germany and other HQ ORBs, plus some useful info (including a pic of the AEC lorry on its plinth) from 'Zeitung 47', the Gutersloh Station Magazine! So really the info is a compilation from various sources rather than from a single document.

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705 Mobile Signals Unit 28 Jul 2010 18:58 #8

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As it was an electronic bombing range then it could be located anywhere! And to show how much we at Gutersloh used it, in my two and a bit years on four squadron only once did one of our aircraft use it. And instead of giving the usual sixty feet at two oclock they gave some weird codes. The pilot then had to look in a book to get his actual score. Incidentally their was an interview with the OC of 735 in RAF news in 83, turned out he was one of last officers serving whod actaully been trained as an Air Gunner.

So what exactly was 705 SU at Coningsby? Must admit to never having heard of them.

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705 Mobile Signals Unit 28 Jul 2010 20:06 #9

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C: 705 had the same role as 735 - Mobile Radar Bomb Scoring Signals Unit. It moved to Tattershall Thorpe from Kenley in Feb 66. It ceased operations on 8 May 1981.

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705 Mobile Signals Unit 29 Jul 2010 16:14 #10

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So was 705 the Tumby bomb plot?

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