Panshanger Aerodrome 13/09/1943
Grid reference: TL264133 to TL279132
2018 NEWS FLASH! WE ARE CURRENTLY NEAR THE END OF THE 2018 LOCAL PLAN PUBLIC INSPECTION, THE EARLY INDICATIONS ARE THAT THE WHOLE AERODROME WILL BE BUILT ON AND A COMPLETE EXTRACTION OF GRAVEL WILL TAKE PLACE; HOWEVER THE LOCAL PLAN IS NOT FINISHED AND ALL THIS CAN CHANGE IN FAVOUR OF THE AERODROME. PANSHANGER AERODROME IS AN AUTHENTIC '3D DECOY AERODROME' FROM THE SECOND WORLD WAR; THE '3D STAR-FISH' IS MENTIONED IN THE LOCAL COUNCILS HERITAGE APPRAISAL IN CONNECTION TO THE SWITCH ROOM WHICH OPERATED THE BLACK OUT LEAKS AT NIGHT AND THE SMOKING CHIMNEYS DURING THE DAY. THE LAND THAT REMAINS IS THE ORIGINAL AND MAIN LANDING AREA USED FOR THE AIRCRAFT. THIS EXPLAINS WHY TO MOST LOCALS THE HISTORY IS IN THE DECOY FACTORY NOT THE AERODROME, AS IT WAS BELIEVED THE AERODROME CAME AFTER THE FACTORY WHEN INFACT THE AERODROME CAME FIRST!!!
THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE HAD A MAJOR HUB IN TEWIN AND IT IS STILL THERE TODAY WHICH CONNECTED ALL THE MANSION HOUSES IN THE AREA USING 3 UNDERGROUND LIGHT GAUGE RAILWAYS WHICH LINKED UP WITH THE PILGRIM TUNNELS; WHERE ALSO THE MAKING OF 'TORPEX' EXPLOSIVES TOOK PLACE AND IS BELIEVED IT WAS USED ON THE HEAVY WATER PLANT. SOE OPERATIVES WOULD FLY OUT FROM THE AERODROME FROM THE SOE HUB; THIS REVELATION NOW OVERTURNS THE COMMENTS IN THE HERITAGE APPARAISAL THAT THE AERODROME HAD NO NATIONAL CONNECTION! AWESOME UNKNOWN LOCAL HISTORY UNTIL NOW! THIS NEW EVIDENCE HAS BEEN INDEPENDENTLY CONFIRMED**2018 NEWS FLASH!
The Heritage Appraisal made it clear that the North Side & Farthest South Side outer fringes are worthy of protection, but the active aerodrome is not, this means that the Active Aerodrome is not designated as an area of special architectural or historic interest and that being the reason why the conservation area was not awarded to the active aerodrome.
Planning Listed Buildings & Conservation Act 1990, states the following:
'The Secretary of State may from time to time determine that any part of a local planning authority's area, which is not for the time being designated as a Conservation Area of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, the Character or Appearance of which it is Desirable to Preserve or Enhance, and if he so determines, he may designate that part as a Conservation Area'. 'I have asked the Secretary of State to Designate the Active Aerodrome (the unpettioned part) at Panshanger; also now modernly known as Panshanger Aerodrome as a Conservation Area'.
Tiger Moth Mosquito Gipsy Moth Chipmunk Glider
From the very beginning - to high in the sky
'ab-Initio - verimus calum'
This site is dedicated to the Heritage, Preservation & Remembrance of former RAF Station Holwell Hyde, The home of the Decoy Factory and a brilliant attempt to save Mosquito Production from German Bombers. After the initial threat was over, the station changed its call sign to RAF Station Panshanger, and the beginning of No1 Elementary Flying Training School, part of '50 Group'; formed at de Havilland in Hatfield with permanent residence at Panshanger. 4800 pilots, from all over the world, were trained at this RAF Station, and their dogged determination helped win the Second World War; the Lecture Block (which is now the cafe) is where the Flight Cadets took their exams and would go on to receive their wings; the Parade Ground is still there to this day. The majority would become Non-Commissioned Sergeant Pilots, those who were commissioned after qualifying for their wings, became Acting Pilot Officers for a probationary period. There were more sergeant pilots in the Battle of Britain than commissioned officers.
NEWS FLASH! 'Planning Listed Buildings & Conservation Act 1990 Qualifies Panshanger Aerodrome as a Conservation Area. On the 24th October 2014 Letters are being handed in to the Prime Minister at Downing Street regarding Panshanger Sewerage & History Crisis. IF YOU REMEMBER 1 THING FROM TODAY, REMEMBER THIS; PANSHANGER AERODROME IS THE OLDEST & RAREST DECOY AERODROME IN GREAT BRITAIN.
70 years ago, on the 16th & 17th of May 1943, 617 Squadron of Lancaster Bombers attacked the German Dams of the Mohne, Eder & Sorpe delivering Barns Wallis revolutionary Bouncing Bomb; Operation Chastise was a go, led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, a young talented leader of men successfully achieved the objectives. Originally the planes were to fly at 250 feet to reduce risk to life but the Raf decided to fly at 60 Feet for maximum impact.
Panshanger Aerodrome 70th Anniversary was in 2013, it was commissioned as Raf Station Panshanger on the 13th of September 1943, just 4 months afer the DamBusters Raid. 2013 had 2 milestones; the Dambusters 70th & Panshangers 70th.
There is more! Dehavilland at Hatfield made Mosquito Bombers, Holwell Hyde was the Decoy Factory at Panshanger to protect the production lines in Hatfield, Mosquitos were used in the training and as path finders, 617 Squadron Mosquitos NT202 & NT205 were used in particular (as many as 6 mossie's in total) came from Hatfield. Holwell Hyde / Panshanger Aerodrome was not seperate as people believe but a de Havilland Aerodrome; the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, flies the Lancaster - The Connection! This is a valid connection to the Dambusters, and the importance of this historical aerodrome at Panshanger.
‘It acted as a Training Ground for New Pilots who were Vital to Operations in a number of different theatres of war, including Aircraft and Glider Training’. ‘The site of panshanger is of particular local historic interest. The interest is based on its historic role during WWII and the rarity and architechtural and historic interest of a number of the historic assets that survive on site, in particular the decoy site control room, the mess block and the surviving Blister Hangars’. The 2013 Historic Environment now recognises the validity of Panshanger Aerodrome during the Second World War. Panshanger is officially on the map!
On the 13th September 1943 Holwell Hyde changed its name to RAF Station Panshanger
HOLWELL HYDE HERITAGE, now includes post war history at Panshanger Aerodrome. 15th February 2014. Dean McBride.
'Please note: This is a 'Not for Profit' WWII Heritage Website'
Holwell Hyde Heritage
Holwell Hyde Relief Landing Ground
(In memory of 'Captain Fox Johnston', who gave me these coordinates on this website for the aeronautic location of Panshanger Aerodrome).
Historical Artefact at Panshanger Aerodrome - News!!!
Received October 2015 from the landowners rep;
"Thanks for your email. The winch handle was removed a few weeks ago prior to the demolition starting and has been in safe storage. I am awaiting confirmation from the curator at the museum about acceptance and specialist restoration given the level of corrosion – I have sent them a photo to assess. If not, would the de Havilland Museum be a suitable alternative host, although this would take the artefact out of the Borough? If this goes ahead it would be nice to have a formal presentation to the museum and for you and Mike to attend". Since then, I have asked our local MP to become involved in its hopefull preservation. The Winch Handle controlled the huge curtain like blast doors on the blister hangars.