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Starfish Bombing Decoy SF31C

Hob Uid: 912585
Location :
East Riding of Yorkshire
Paull
Grid Ref : TA1861024100
Summary : A Second World War bombing decoy located at Paull Holme. It was built as part of the 'N-series' of naval decoys to deflect enemy bombing from Royal Navy installations on the Humber estuary. It also functioned as a decoy for the city of Hull. The site operated a 'Permanent Starfish' decoy, where a series of controlled fires were lit during an air raid to replicate a military or urban area targeted by bombs. This served to protect both Hull Docks and the city of Hull. The site also functioned as a 'QL' night decoy for Hull Docks, where a grid of lights were set out around man-made ponds to resemble the glow of lights shining on water that would be present at a dockland. The site is referenced as being in use between August 1941 and April 1943. A site visit in 1992 revealed that ponds and concrete structures associated with the decoys remain, including a Command Post (see HOB UID 912566).Further bombing decoys for Hull were located at Bilton, Ganstead and Aldbrough. Further naval bombing decoys for the Humber estuary were located at Bilton, Ganstead, Little Humber, Thorney Crofts, Immingham Range, East Halton, Humberston and Grimsby.
More information : (TA 1861 2410) Bombing decoy.
(TA 1986 2365) Decoy command post.

This bombing decoy was positioned to draw fire away from the docks at Hull. It comprises a pond (TA 1861 2410), several rectangular concrete pads (TA 1860 2414, TA 1868 2412, TA 1871 2401, TA 1872 2393, TA 1901 2351, TA 1906 2346,TA 1945 2308, TA 1950 2305) and a number of small concrete structures (TA 1875 2392, TA 1876 2384, TA 1881 2378, TA 1886 2371). This decoy would have been used in conjunction with that at Auster Grange (TA 1910 2436) which emulated the city of Hull. The site was surveyed by the Fortress Studies Group and the buildings were found to be in good condition, but were considered to be under threat.

The Range Command Post would co-ordinate the setting of fires, and the lighting of the range to make it appear authentic. Fires would be set once the bombs began to fall, and the fires would emulate different types of explosion. The building is situated some way east of the decoy site. It is a concrete rendered brick structure which, in 1992 was in good condition, and not considered to be at risk. (1-3)

The surviving tanks of the decoy, lying in the SE area of the saltmarsh, were surveyed by RCHME in 1992. Full information is available in the NMR archive. (4)

The remains of Second WorldWar decoys built to protect Hull docks. These were 'QL' type decoys, designed to operate at night. Lights were directed to shine on water usually contained in specially constructed concrete ponds. When viewed from high altitude, this mimicked the docks around Hull and their lighting. The ponds all had a concrete base and side walls, while the lights were mounted on 3 metre high timber posts, most of which have since been removed or sawn off.
The easternmost decoy (TA 20532226) was that for King George V Dock, which was represented by 16 ponds. Next, a line of 3 ponds represented the Holderness Drain, while further to the north west, 8 ponds mimicked the landward half of Alexandra Dock. Victoria Dock was imitated by 5 ponds located at the foot of the sea wall.
West of Little Humber Farm (at TA 19272371) lie 2 drains which were dammed to flood the area between them in imitation of the River Hull.
The shelter from which the decoy was controlled lies south west of Little Humber Farm (at TA 19802361) and comprises a brick structure with a reinforced concrete roof, protected by an earthen bank. It contains 2 rooms; one of which originally housed the generators and switch gear for the lights; the other providing accommodation and acting as a bomb shelter. (5)

A Second World War 'QL' and 'Permanent Starfish' bombing decoy located at Paull (TA 188 240). It was constructed as part of the 'N-series' of naval decoys to deflect enemy bombing from Royal Navy installations on the Humber estuary. It also functioned as a decoy for the city of Hull. The naval decoy is referenced as being in use between 01-AUG-1941 and 12-MAR-1942. The decoy for Hull is referenced as being in use between 01-AUG-1941 and 08-APR-1943.
Further bombing decoys for the Humber were located at Ganstead (TA 139 340), Bilton (TA 161 317), Little Humber (TA 197 237), Thorney Crofts (TA 210 227), Immingham Range (TA 235 136), East Halton (TA 138 231), Humberston (TA 333 057) and Grimsby (TA 331 061). Further decoys for Hull were located at Ganstead, Bilton and Aldbrough (TA 258 373). (6)

NGR concords with that given in source 6. Reflective basins still survive at the decoy site, which were part of the 'QL' decoy for Humber docks. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : David Clarke/10-APR-1992/FSG,RCHME:Holderness Survey
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Roger Thomas/13-APR-1992/FSG,RCHME:Holderness Survey
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Aerial Photograph: 3101-3102 Sortie CPE/UK 1748
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Keith Blood and Colin Lofthouse/21-OCT-1992/RCHME: Outstray Survey
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Source Number : 5
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 18-Sep-01
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Source Number : 6
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 3. Bombing decoys of WWII : England's passive air defences, 1939-45
Source details :
Page(s) : 115,146,151
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Source Number : 7
Source : Fields of deception: Britain's bombing decoys of World War II
Source details :
Page(s) : 222,270
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Operational from 1941 to 1945
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1941
Monument Type : Bombing Decoy, Pond, Building, Air Raid Shelter
Evidence : Structure, Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Built in 1941
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1941
Monument Type : Starfish Site, Pond, Building, Air Raid Shelter, Bombing Decoy, Decoy Site Shelter
Evidence : Structure, Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 34704
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TA 12 SE 13
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 912566
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 912862
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 915160
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1459683
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1459684
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1459685
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1459686
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1459687
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1469551
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1459701
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1469999
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FSG/RCHME: HOLDERNESS SURVEY
Activity type : THEMATIC SURVEY
Start Date : 1992-04-09
End Date : 1992-04-13
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: OUTSTRAY SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1992-09-16
End Date : 1992-09-30
Associated Activities : Primary, LANDSCAPES OF WAR RECORDING PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31