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Thread: Bawdsey R3 ROTOR Bunker - September 2016

  1. #1
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    Default Bawdsey R3 ROTOR Bunker - September 2016


    During WW2, RAF Bawdsey was identified as a potential target and in September 1939 was protected by three 40mm Bofors guns and two .303 Lewis anti-aircraft guns. With an increased fear of a German invasion, these defences were supplement in 1940 by slit trenches, sandbag gun emplacements, a concrete gun post and at least ten type 24 pillboxes; nine of these still survive. There were several attacks on the station during 1940 which did little damage with no casualties and on 18th October 1940 anti-aircraft gunners shot down a German bomber. Sporadic attacks continued over the following three years with some loss of life; the last bombing raid near Bawdsey was on 30th June 1944. A V1 rocket crashed on the beach on 21st September 1944 and a V2 detonated over the sea on 9th October.


    In 1950 the station was chosen to participate in the ROTOR programme which involved the construction of a new underground operations room on a new 21 acre site on the north side of the Bawdsey Manor estate; this was planned to be operational by January 1952 as part of the ROTOR Plan Stage 1. Work on the R3 two level underground control centre at the northern end of the site began late in 1950.

    In August 1979 Bawdsey reopened as a Bloodhound Mk2 surface to air missile (SAM) site operated by C flight of No 85 Squadron. It was divided into 2 missile sections, each equipped with 6 launchers and a Type 87 fire control radar. The Type 84 modulator building (R17) was retained as a crew room and store for Bloodhound armament handling flight. A new control room was established in the R3 bunker to administer the missile control site. The new storage sheds and storage bays and protective wall are all of Bloodhound origin.

    From 1984 - 85 Strike Command's (UKAIR) Interim Alternative War HQ was established in the R3 operations block while a new Strike Command Bunker was being built at High Wycombe, during the construction period the bunker at Bawdsey was given a short new lease of life. The R3 was given a refit and much new (temporary) equipment was installed. At this time the central operations room was altered and a new control cabin installed above. When the new bunker at High Wycombe was ready the team pulled out of Bawdsey, their equipment was stripped and the bunker was abandoned.

    On 31st May 1990 the Bloodhound force ceased operations and in June all the missiles were withdrawn to RAF West Raynham. The RAF Ensign was lowered for the last time on the 25th March 1991 and the station closed on the 31st March.


    Visited with Rubex, I have been here before but only above ground and couldn't wait to see below. After being inside for a few minutes I realised i had forgotten my tripod so all pics were taken hand held. I wouldn't advise staying down here too long, after about an hour i started to feel a bit funny, also there's plenty of mould and would strongly advise wearing a mask.


    on with the photos

    1 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    2 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    3 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    4 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    5 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    6 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    7 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    8 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    9 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    10 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    11 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    12 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    13 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    14 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    15 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    16 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    17 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    18 by JSP 77, on Flickr

    19 by JSP 77, on Flickr



    thanks for looking

  2. Thanks given by: ajarb, Conrad, DirtyJigsaw, flyboys90, Hugh Jorgan, HughieD, Ipcre55, krela, Mearing, Mikeymutt, oldscrote, Rubex, SlimJim, tazong, The_Derp_Lane, thorfrun, trainman
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  4. #2
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    Never tire of seeing this place.

  5. Thanks given by: jsp77
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    Thats fantastic bud - really nice - thank you for sharing.

  7. Thanks given by: jsp77
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    Great set there mate considering you took it handheld.I did like it down there
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

  9. Thanks given by: jsp77
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    You forgot your tripod !! Mate,you must have the steadiest pair of hands in the business! Pics are great ! We stayed in here for about two hours and felt fine !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeymutt View Post
    Great set there mate considering you took it handheld.I did like it down there
    Ii loved it down here, was a bit challenging getting the pics, but got there in the end. Cheers Mikey

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    Quote Originally Posted by fluffy5518 View Post
    You forgot your tripod !! Mate,you must have the steadiest pair of hands in the business! Pics are great ! We stayed in here for about two hours and felt fine !
    I did take quite a few pics, trying different settings and extra light. thanks Fluffy


    Quote Originally Posted by tazong View Post
    Thats fantastic bud - really nice - thank you for sharing.
    Cheers Taz

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    Great pics jsp77! It was nice to explore this bunker again :)

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    You have taken some cracking shots there, tripod or not! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Thanks given by: jsp77
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