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Starfish Bombing Decoy Sf11g

Hob Uid: 1414633
Location :
Wirral
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SJ2448282642
Summary : A Second World War bombing decoy site located at Heswall. The site is visible as a series of structures on air photographs. It was built as a 'Permanent Starfish' site to deflect enemy bombing from the city of Liverpool. The 'Starfish' decoy operated by lighting a series of controlled fires during an air raid to replicate an urban area targeted by bombs. It is first referenced as being in use in 1942, and was possibly commissioned in response to the Luftwaffe's Baedeker Raids. Also in 1942 a 'QL' decoy was incorporated into the site as part of the 'C-series' of civil decoys to protect Bootle docks. The 'QL' decoy displayed lighting to simulate the railway marshalling yards and factories of the southern end of the docks. The site is referenced as being in use until 1943. Aerial photography from 1975 shows that the site had been given over to agricultural use and no features of the decoy survive. Heswall was one of fourteen civil bombing decoy sites for Liverpool, and one of fourteen 'Starfish' sites. This site is probably associated with the bomb craters to the immediate north (UID 1468660). No surface features are visible on the latest 1992 Ordnance Survey vertical photography.
More information : BOMBING DECOY SITE. SRF. QL / SF. Heswall. Recorder- R. Thomas. (1)

A Second World War 'Permanent Starfish' bombing decoy located at Heswall (SJ 245 820). It was constructed to deflect enemy bombing from Liverpool. It is referenced as being in use between 01-AUG-1941 and 08-APR-1943. It was also the site of a 'QL' decoy, which was built as part of the 'C-series' of civil decoys for Liverpool to protect the southern end of Bootle docks. This is referenced as being in use between 02-OCT-1942 and 01-MAY-1943. The 'QL' decoy displayed lighting to simulate the marshalling yard and factories associated with the docks.
Further civil bombing decoy sites for Liverpool were located at Formby (SD 284 048), Little Crosby (SD 307 017), Lydiate (SD 347 038), Knowsley (SJ 421 955), Halewood (SJ 461 866), Hale (SJ 454 833), Ince (SJ 472 767), Brimstage (SJ 297 833), Moreton (SJ 247 909), Hoylake (SJ 229 882), Little Hilber (SJ 189 872), Burton Marsh (SJ 286 749) and Gayton (SJ 269 796).
Further 'Starfish' bombing decoy sites for Liverpool were located at Formby, Hale, Ince, Brimstage, Wallasey (exact position not traced), Little Crosby, Heswall, Moreton, Llandegla, Llanasa, Fenn's Moss, Little Hilber, Burton Marsh and Gayton. (2)

Aerial photography shows that by 1975 the site had been given over to agricultural use and no features of the decoy survive. (3)

NGR concords with that given in source 1. 'Starfish' sites for Liverpool were commissioned in December 1940. The first civil decoys for Liverpool were in place by the summer of 1941. The bombing decoys for Liverpool had limited success, possibly because the decoys were positioned too far out from their intended targets. (4)

Aerial photograph referenced in source 3 showing agricultural use of site. (5)

A Second World War bombing decoy site is visible as a series of structures on air photographs, centred at SJ 2440 8260. This site is probably associated with the bomb craters to the immediate north (UID 1468660). No surface features are visible on the latest 1992 Ordnance Survey vertical photography.
(6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Migrated Defence of Britain Project database record originally compiled from various sources
Source details : The two databases developed by the Project can be searched on-line through the Archaeology Data Service at http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/dob/index.cfm
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Source Number : 2
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 3. Bombing decoys of WWII : England's passive air defences, 1939-45
Source details :
Page(s) : 126,133,149,160
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Source Number : 3
Source : Twentieth century military recording project: World War Two bombing decoy sites
Source details :
Page(s) : 63
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Source Number : 4
Source : Fields of deception: Britain's bombing decoys of World War II
Source details :
Page(s) : 86,135,213,278
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Source Number : 5
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : MAL/75057/153 21-SEP-1975
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Source Number : 6
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF S765 5078 14-FEB-1942
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Built by 1941
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1940
Monument Type : Bombing Decoy Site, Starfish Site, Bombing Decoy
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Non Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : 4067
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Non Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : 4068
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SJ 28 SW 19
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1463136
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1414636
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468283
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468285
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468266
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468276
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1467648
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468332
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468214
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468660
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468245
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468251
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468254
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468260
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, THE DEFENCE OF BRITAIN PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-04-01
End Date : 2002-03-01
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE:NORTH WEST COAST NMP RAPID COASTAL ZONE ASSESSMENT SURVEY
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-11-26
End Date : 2009-05-22
Associated Activities : Primary, LANDSCAPES OF WAR RECORDING PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31