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Historic England Research Records

Starfish Bombing Decoy Sf11l

Hob Uid: 1468285
Location :
Wirral
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SJ1890087200
Summary : A Second World War bombing decoy site at Little Hilber. 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 associated with the northern end of the dockyards. The site is referenced as being in use until 1943. Aerial photography from 1978 does not show any features of the decoy present at the site. Little Hilber was one of fourteen civil bombing decoy sites for Liverpool, and one of fourteen 'Starfish' sites.
More information : A Second World War 'Permanent Starfish' bombing decoy located at Little Hilber (SJ 189 872). 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 Bootle docks. This is referenced as being in use between 02-OCT-1942 and 01-MAY-1943. The 'QL' decoy displayed lights to simulate the marshalling yards and factories associated with the northern end of Bootle 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), 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, Burton Marsh and Gayton. (1)

Aerial photography from 1978 does not show any conclusive evidence of remains of the decoy. (2)

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. (3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
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 : 2
Source : Twentieth century military recording project: World War Two bombing decoy sites
Source details :
Page(s) : 63
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Fields of deception: Britain's bombing decoys of World War II
Source details :
Page(s) : 86,135,213,278
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
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SJ 18 NE 24
External Cross Reference Notes :

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Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, LANDSCAPES OF WAR RECORDING PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31