My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Many of the dioramas had a large amount of kit on show, so I've combined several photos from each group. I've tried to include all the displays in the attached pictures, but I know some have been missed or not shown in their entirety.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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The next few photos are of the gun battery and its associated buildings. On a Saturday evening walk, I also spotted a pill box on the edge of the beach at the far North of the site.

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The two 6 inch guns are replicas, fitted in 2019.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

A battle was held on the beach each day at noon. I didn't see the Saturday battle, but the last of the mist was still clearing at the time, so it wouldn't have been great for photos. I believe the Germans were attacking on Saturday.

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On Sunday, the sky was clear and it was the turn of the British to storm the beach and carry the fight into the dunes to capture the Germans. There were also firing demonstrations from some of the re-enactor groups.

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The event finished at 4pm, but I'd already got my tent and camping gear packed into the trailer by then. This allowed a fairly quick getaway for the hour trip home. It then took a couple of hours to get the Jeep out, empty the Dodge and trailer and put the trailer away, put the Jeep away, take the canvas, bows and crane off the Dodge and finally put that back in the garage.

For the full set of pictures, visit - https://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2023/blyth.htm
Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Dodge Working on the Railway - June 9th

The Dodge has already been put to work in the garden. On the 9th, it was put to work again. Part of the garden landscaping includes building a garden railway; a fullsize railway! It's only a small length as a garden feature, as there used to be a railway here in years gone by. The longest lengths of rail weigh close to 400 pounds and the railway was being built right at the bottom of the garden. There was no way I was going to be able to carry the rail there, but it would be light work for the Dodge.

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There were four rails to be moved. It took four and a half hours to rig them all on the crane, move them all to the build site and assemble the track. I need to order some ballast next. That's another delivery to the front of the house, so the Dodge will be working once more.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

It turned out a nice day after lunch and the colours in our mini-woodland looked fantastic in the bright sun. I thought it would make a great background for some pictures of the Dodge and since it was already on the lawn, took the opportunity.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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June 21st & 26th

The Dodge was back on duty hauling ballast for the railway on the 21st and 26th. Five 850Kg bags were delivered and each bag was divided into three loads, all of which were transported to the back garden.

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Most were delivered to the railway build site, while the last two were dumped by the workshop.

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The ballasting was almost completed by June 28th.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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The Dodge has been busy in the garden again over the first part of July. The last of the ballast was added to the track and the plants cut back so they don't drop plant matter into the gravel. The track area looks much more tidy now.

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The Dodge was back to hauling bulk bags during the first week of July, after we had around 10 tons of top soil delivered onto the driveway at the front of the house. So far, around 30 bulk bags have been filled up, most of which were transported to the back garden for the new lawn area next to the railway.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Fortunately June and the start of July have been quite dry, meaning the main lawn has been firm enough to drive the Dodge over again and again. Much of the bagged top soil was dumped either on the new lawn area, or on the existing lawn next to the new area, so I didn't have far to move it.

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I've lost count of the number of bags of soil that I've spread out to flatten the area, but finally on the 11th of July, the new lawn was finally seeded. There's still a lot more work for the Dodge to do as there's still more soil to be moved from the driveway, to build up the earth embankment to the right of the railway. That bank will eventually be covered in plants and wild flowers, but they probably won't be planted until early next year.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Events wise, early July was quiet for us. The Dodge was busy moving stuff in the garden, but that was about it. On the 23rd of July, we went on holiday to Normandy - sadly, without a Jeep. It was just going to be too expensive to add the trailer cost to the ferry. There's no way we could afford to drive the Dodge down from the North of England either!

The last time we were in Normandy was 2005, the first year we had the Jeep and we did 700 miles up and down the French coastline. So this time was without a Jeep, but with our daughter for the first time. We planned to visit a number of museums we'd previously visited, plus some that didn't exist on our last trip. We also have some non-WW2 places to see.

So we travelled down England on Sunday the 23rd, stayed overnight, then caught the ferry to Dieppe mid morning on the 24th. Next was a drive across the top of France to our cottage in a little village South of Bayeux, arriving that evening.

July 25th - Gold Beach, Arromanches, Battery at Longues-sur-Mer & Advanced Landing Ground B12 Ellon

The first location on our tour was the new Arromanches Museum on the sea front. We had a quick look at the halftrack and field gun outside before going into the museum where an audio guide took us through the story and museum.

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Once back out, we went right to the sea front to see the remains of the Mulbury Harbour, a section of the pontoon bridge and harbour anchor.

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Further up the hill was the Royal Engineers Memorial, two more sections of pontoon bridge and a Sherman tank overlooking the bay.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Battery at Longues-sur-Mer

Next on the list and a little West along the coast, was the Gun Battery at Longues-sur-Mer. We visited this battery back in 2005. The battery of four 150mm guns overlooks the coast from a 200 feet high cliff.

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The guns were silenced on D-Day by the Allied Fleet and the Garrison surrendered to the British the following day. As can be seen, the guns survive to this day.

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The memorial stone, located closer to the car park, is for Advanced Landing Ground B11, Longues sur Mer, and reads...

"300 meters to the East, was the operational B11 aerodrome of Longues sur Mer, from June 21th 1944 to September 4th 1944. During this period, J. Aubertin P. Clostermann and J. Remlinger, heroes of the F.A.F.L, were in this place within 602 "City of Glasgow" Squadron. Units also present 132 "City of Bombay" Squadron and 453 Squadron R.A.A.F. 441 Squadron R.C.A.F."

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Advanced Landing Ground B12, Ellon

After Longues sur Mer, we went back to our cottage to eat. Before heading to France, I had noticed that about a mile down the road from our cottage, was the location of A.L.G B12 Ellon, so planned to visit it. We did it that evening. Sadly, it is quite over-grown with algae growning on many of the information panels.

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The airfield map did provide an orientation, so I was able to take photos each way, approximately along the line of the old runway.

Looking North East
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Looking South West
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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July 26th - Pegasus Bridge & Museum

This was another museum that we visited on our 2005 trip. In general, the museum hasn't changed a great deal over the last 18 years, although smaller displays have changed or been added to.

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It was still nice to revisit this part of the story, as on this trip, we had more time to spend at each location. When viewed from the other side of the hedge, the Horsa glider probably looks very similar to glider 1 after landing in the early hours of D-Day.

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The first men on the ground on June 6th were the 5th Parachutist Brigade in charge of capturing the bridges over the Orne river and canal. Landing their gliders within yards of the bridges, they captured them and held them until Lord Lovat's Cammandos Brigade arrived to reinforce the positions. After the canal was widened, a new bridge was built and the original bridge became part of the museum located close by.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Battery at Merville-Franceville

This was another museum we'd been to before, but this one had changed quite a bit. Back in 2005, there were the concrete gun emplacements with the museum displays inside and a circular car park. Now there's a larger car park, a shop and visitors centre, a hangar and Douglas C-47 Skytrain.

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This C-47 was a first for me, as it had the fairings and mountings for the under-belly cargo canisters, something I've never seen before.

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This museum was another with an audio tour to guide visitors around the site, telling the story.

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The 9th Parachutists Battalion landed under cover of darkness to capture the battery in the early hours of June 6th. Many para's drowned in the nearby marshes but the battery is under Allied control by 5:00am.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Sword Beach

From Merville, we headed a little West and took a sea front walk along Sword Beach, taking in the memorials along the way.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Centaur Memorial at La Breche D'hermanville

After an ice cream, we drove a little further West along Sword Beach to visit the Centaur Tank, another small memorial we visited back in 2005. Back then, the paintwork looked quite fresh, but looking at the markings, it doesn't appear that it has been repainted in the last 18 years.

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Around 400 feet away, on the edge of the beach, was another memorial, this one to the Royal and Merchant Navy.

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Churchill Memorial at Lion-sur-Mer

About another mile further West was the Churchill Tank and sun dial memorial. Three metal plaques on the side of the tank show dates of restoration. Back in 2005 when we visited, the Churchill appeared in a realistic dark khaki green.

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This time, it was in a rather unconvincing pale green. It hasn't faded to that colour, as I've found pictures on the internet of it freshly painted. A Youtube video shows the body restoration has been done with wood and plastic, pop-riveted together. It really deserves a proper rebuild. We headed back to the cottage after this, finishing our second day.

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