Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The 3.7 Anti Aircraft Gun in Cookham.

Anti Aircraft Roving Battery.
On several occasions during the early years of the war and the London blitz a roving anti aircraft battery would turn up late in the afternoon and set up their guns in Maidenhead field. This field was an ideal site as it stands several feet higher than the marshy ground of Widbrook. Also it was mainly used as a grass field at that point in time. Of course a nosey ten year old would go over when he spotted that they had arrived from his home.

A 3.7" Anti Aircraft Gun.

One thing that intrigued me was their gun layering bearing, which was given the very odd name of "Porcupine Bearing." It was not till very much later that I found out that each time that they set up a different compass heading was used for the Gun Layers and the Range Finders to use. This was confuse any enemy agent that may be watching. During their several visits during that period of the war, they never fired a shot from Maidenhead field. Though on several occasions you could hear the gun fire from another site they used at Dropmore Park. Then by first light they had moved out. Sometimes they were back in a few days, then it would be weeks.

The ATS Range Finders.
These young ladies were a very important part of the Anti Aircaft Battery as their finding the range, height and direction were all important. Very similar in training as those members of the WAAF that manned the Plotting Rooms and Radar Stations on the coast.

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