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Airfield Bombing Decoy Q43a

Hob Uid: 1464974
Location :
Thurrock
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TQ6525986117
Summary : A Second World War bombing decoy at Bulphan that was built to deflect enemy bombing from Royal Air Force Hornchurch airfield. This was both a 'K-type' day decoy and a 'Q-type' night decoy. The 'K-type' decoy consisted of a replica airfield equipped with dummy Hurricane aircraft, and a simulated bomb dump. The 'Q-type' decoy displayed a series of lights, which when seen at night resembled two active runways. The site contained two control buildings: an underground bunker and a later, above-ground shelter, which housed the generators and provided crew shelter. Both of these buildings still stand on the site in good condition. The decoy site was operational from early 1940. The 'K-type' ceased operating on 27 June 1941 as it had been identified as a decoy by the German military, however, the 'Q-type' decoy continued operating until at least 1942. In July 1940 the site is referenced as being used as a 'QF' decoy, where controlled fires were lit to simulate an airfield targeted by bombs. By the 1980s the Balpham decoy site had been given over to agricultural use and, apart from the two standing structures, no other features of the decoy survive.
More information : A Second World War 'Q-type' and 'K-type' bombing decoy located at Bulphan (TQ 656 857). It was constructed to deflect enemy bombing from RAF Hornchurch. The 'Q-type' decoy is referenced as being active between 19-JUN-1940 and 12-AUG-1942, and the 'K-type' decoy from 13-MAR-1940 until its closure on 27-JUN-1941. (1)

Aerial photography shows that by 1981 the decoy site has been used for agricultural use. (2)

The 'K-type' day decoy at Bulphan was equipped with dummy Hurricane aircraft developed by the Green Brothers' company. The 'K-type' decoy ceased operating as it had become identified as a decoy by the German military. In July 1940 the decoy is referenced as being used as a 'QF' fire decoy to simulate an attacked target. NGR concords with that given in source 1. (3)

Aerial photograph showing agricultural use of decoy site. (4)

Essex HER number for site is 16682. Two 'night shelters' or control buildings survive on the site in good condition, an underground bunker at TQ 6526 8612 and an above-ground building at TQ TQ 6258 8612. The 'K-type' decoy featured grass runways, and the 'Q-type' decoy lit two 'runways' at night. The site is known to have attracted bombing on at least one occassion. (5)

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) : 93,104
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Source Number : 2
Source : Twentieth century military recording project: World War Two bombing decoy sites
Source details :
Page(s) : 123
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Source Number : 3
Source : Fields of deception: Britain's bombing decoys of World War II
Source details :
Page(s) : 40,71,126,247
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Source Number : 4
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : MAL/81004/160
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Source Number : 5
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Essex County Council, 2007. Unlocking Essex's Past <> [Accessed 08-FEB-2008]
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Built in 1940
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1940
Monument Type : Bombing Decoy, Decoy Site Shelter
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Essex)
External Cross Reference Number : 16682
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 32467
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 68 NE 19
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1393680
Relationship type : General association

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