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Historic England Research Records

Starfish Bombing Decoy Sf11m

Hob Uid: 1467648
Location :
Cheshire West and Chester
Neston
Grid Ref : SJ2893975086
Summary : A Second World War bombing decoy site at Burton Marsh. 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 Garston Docks. The 'QL' decoy displayed lighting to simulate the railway marshalling yards and factories associated with the dockyard. The site is referenced as being in use up until 1943. Aerial photography from 1948 shows a series of structures, rectilinear features and associated trackway at the decoy site, although these seem to have gone by 1971. A control building, which would have housed an operations room and provided the decoy crew with shelter, is visible at SJ 295 793. This site is probably associated with the bomb craters to the immediate east (UID 1467612) and south (UID 1467968). The trackway element is still extant on the latest 1999 NMR oblique photography.
More information : A Second World War bombing decoy site and associated trackway are visible as a series of structures, centred at SJ 2881 7513. This site is probably associated with the bomb craters to the immediate east (UID 1467612) and south (UID 1467968). The trackway element is still extant on the latest 1999 NMR oblique photography. (1)

A Second World War 'Permanent Starfish' bombing decoy located at Little Hilber (SJ 286 749). It was constructed to deflect enemy bombing from Liverpool. It is referenced as being in use between 01-MAR-1942 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 Garston 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), Heswall (SJ 245 820), Little Hilber (SJ 189 872), 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, and Gayton. (2)

Aerial photography from 1948 shows a series of 50+ features at the decoy site ranging from the shore to SJ 294 749 (east to west) and SJ 297 744 to SJ 292 755 (north to south). Rectilinear features are also visible in the estuary, one small set at SJ 298 743, and a larger set centred on SJ 294 751. These features all do not appear on 1971 photography. However, a control building is visible at SJ 295 793. (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)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF S765 5054 14-FEB-1942
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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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
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Twentieth century military recording project: World War Two bombing decoy sites
Source details :
Page(s) : 64
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Fields of deception: Britain's bombing decoys of World War II
Source details :
Page(s) : 86,135,213,277
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Second World War
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1940
Monument Type : Bombing Decoy, Starfish Site, Decoy Site Shelter, Trackway
Evidence : Structure, Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cheshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 4226
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SJ 27 NE 84
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1463136
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1467612
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1414636
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468283
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1414633
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 : 1468332
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1467968
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1468214
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, 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