Terrington decoy airfield

Got a problem? need some help? Ask away, help on using this forum, consumer advice, computer problems.anything! Somebody out there just might be able to help.
Help with registration can also be found here.

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby Alastair » 12 Jan 2011, 20:16

What John and I are looking for is something like this one at Wormegay:


Originally this would have been buried under a mound of soil. The tin end was the operations room with the controls and a stove, the concrete end held the generators. Power and control wires would have lead out from here. Even if the original was demolished I'm hoping the enterprising residents of Terrington might have salvaged some of it that may live on as a coal store or chicken shed.

There was another design of control room that was entirely underground, but this type of design wasn't suitable in this part of the world due to the high water table - that's not to say a few might have been built before this unsuitability was discovered.

I think what's being described as cranks was a system called "hares and rabbits" which was a system of moving lights that simulated a plane landing quickly (the "hare") and then taxiing off to park-up more slowly (the "rabbit"). As far as I am aware this would only have operated at night, according to the information I have Terrington was a night only "Q" site and should not have had day-light dummy aircraft or buildings.
I choose to share some of my images with this forum, but please respect my wishes. View them where I display them and don't download, copy, print or use them to create other works without my written permission. I can provide prints if requested.
Posts: 968
Joined: 18 Oct 2008, 23:10

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby EWW » 13 Jan 2011, 00:03

Watched the Battle of Britain doc tonight and found one of the ruses used on grass strip
wartime airfields interesting. Black sand was used to mark out field shapes on the ground.
From the air the the bases looked just like any other farm, simple but brilliant. Anyone
else watch it?
I do not want thanks for any research I am able to help out with. I just love doing it.
User avatar
Posts: 12761
Joined: 30 Jun 2005, 09:13
Location: KINGS LYNN

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby Buffy » 13 Jan 2011, 00:31

Okay - here goes:

During World War 2 my Grandfather, Walter Buffham, joined the Terrington Home Guard and played an integral part in the capture of a crashed German Junkers (Ju88C) bomber aircraft on 10th March 1941. The following account is from a book called "Air Raid" by Michael Bowyer.

"Mainly over Lincolnshire roamed nine JU88C's of 1/NJG2, one of these providing the night's highlight when it crashed at Terrington St Clement, south of King's Lynn.

That unheralded arrival proved most exciting. Home Guard Corporal Buffham was on foot patrol at 23:40 and saw the silhouette of the Ju88 before it crashed near Hay Green. He quickly sent a colleague to telephone Platoon HQ for help as he and three others hurried to the crash site. There they were surprised to find an almost intact Ju88 and two Germans coming towards them, hands raised, calling 'Doc' and pointing to the aircraft. On reaching it they saw another of the crew was injured and carefully freed him, then two of them hurried off to find a gate to serve as a makeshift stretcher. They then noticed that one of the crew edging nearer to the aircraft had taken out a cigarette. Fumbling in his pocket for matches and furtively looking over his shoulder, he clearly had one intention so Corporal Buffham snatched the cigarette and ordered 'Hands up!' Then he told three of the patrol, bayonets fixed, to mount close guard until both prisoners were in police custody. The injured man was taken to the 'Plough' Inn."

This excerpt from the book is an excellent account of how my Grandfather recounted it. Apparently, whilst the Home Guard were guarding their almost intact trophy, complete with nose guns, they were visited by an array of ARP wardens, police, special constables and "the military" as well as the locals. However, they were ordered by the regulars to hand over their prize, which did not go down well and a complaint was lodged. Unfortunately the complaint was not upheld by the eschelons.

The crew of three were Oberleutnant Kurt Herrman, Unteroffizier Englebert Bottner and Feldwebel Wilhelm Ruppel.
Posts: 46
Joined: 23 Feb 2008, 23:14

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby supergt1971 » 13 Jan 2011, 07:40

Thanks for your help Buffy any information you can get would be really good,like Alastair said even if just a small part of it remains it would be something as it has proved to be most elusive.The information i received was that the small row of terraced houses that sit on the left of Rhoon road near the junction to the sea bank road were built late 60s and sit on the site of the control room but when cross referenced with an aeriel survey map from 1946 the building still could not be seen and your previous reference to the two cottages helped me to clear up the buildings i could see in that area. John
User avatar
Posts: 451
Joined: 26 Oct 2009, 19:39

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby Rob vW » 25 Jan 2012, 10:21

I used to live at Marsh Farm, which is on the left side of Rhoon Road. My dad was the farm manager until May 1968.

If you go along Rhoon Road, past the old school (which I attended) and keep going, you will get to Balaclava Farm. The road does a zig-zag through an old sea wall and round the farm. Go straight on until you get to a cross road junction. Bear left and eventually the road loops round to the left and re-crosses the old sea wall. The field bounded by this loop in the road was known to us as the "racecourse". My parents knew of the decoy airfield and are fairly certain that this was the location.
Rob vW
Posts: 1
Joined: 25 Jan 2012, 10:12

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby supergt1971 » 25 Jan 2012, 16:53

Thanks for that Rob it looks to be the same location as given on the Norfolk heritage explorer site.After much map work and a few scraps of info. it looks like there is nothing left now to indicate the exact location of the structure itself as the decoy field was ploughed over.
User avatar
Posts: 451
Joined: 26 Oct 2009, 19:39

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby Ruskin » 25 Jul 2015, 21:08

Hello my name is Laura.
I'm not sure if you have found what you were looking for as these posts seem fairly old, or if you are even still monitoring these posts. But I've been reading as I'm interested in History. You've described a row of terraced houses and that the control room was possibly here. However I know 4/5 bomb shelters and a lookout tower about a mile from where you are discussing. Could this be what you are looking for? A couple of the shelters are so covered in undergrowth I nearly walked past them!! I am wondering if maybe the control room could still be there as there is a lot of undergrowth and it could easily have been concealed alike the shelters. Plus if they are underground or under a mound like you said this would definately be a possibility. I hope that you have either found what you are looking for or this could really help you in your search...
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 Jul 2015, 21:02

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby supergt1971 » 26 Jul 2015, 11:34

Hi Laura,i do keep an eye on these posts from time to time but as such this little adventure came to an end after contacting the Terrington historical group.I attach a capture of the e-mail i received which basically put to bed what we already thought.Many thanks for your reply though.

User avatar
Posts: 451
Joined: 26 Oct 2009, 19:39

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby incony » 27 Jul 2015, 21:46

i was going to suggest the 1946 aerial map.. but they have now limited it to no longer include sutton bridge..] Which is sad.. and a loss for those interested in history..
Posts: 509
Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 17:16

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby supergt1971 » 27 Jul 2015, 23:11

The aeriel map has been done to death trying to find it but i think as soon as the war finished the control building was demolished.I myself spent many an hour on a nightshift scouring the 1946 maps and looking through info to find the area and narrow it down but as i said within a year of war's end and the map photos any large detail was gone.

User avatar
Posts: 451
Joined: 26 Oct 2009, 19:39

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby Ruskin » 28 Jul 2015, 08:33

Are you aware of the look out tower and bunkers that are still standing to this day, to the right of Ongar hill on your map? This is why I was wondering if you had been told the location because a mile from your red area there are World War Two buildings. Laura
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 Jul 2015, 21:02

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby supergt1971 » 28 Jul 2015, 20:34

Yes i am aware of that structure but it was the decoy itself that we were trying to find that would have looked like Alastairs photo.
User avatar
Posts: 451
Joined: 26 Oct 2009, 19:39

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby StuartWilkie » 16 Feb 2020, 01:03

My Mother, Margaret Spicer, was evacuated down from London, after her twin brothers were killed in Highbury, to her Auntie Ivy Butters, who lived in Manor Terrace, T.S.C. Mum recalled the Home Guard training on a small field behind her, towards the Chemist.
During one session the Chemist tripped and his tin hat rolled off with his wig inside. It all seemed very Dad's Army. However, Mum spoke to the Chemist and told him he was a hero (she was only ten) and he cheered up. Then she heard of the capture of Germans
and went round to say she was right, he was a hero. She wrote to her Mum, Lily, to say it was just as dangerous in Terrington, as in London, where she worked in radar factory.
The bombs found in October 2018, near to Balaclava Farm, show Germans targeting.
Posts: 1
Joined: 15 Feb 2020, 13:27

Re: Terrington decoy airfield - Ju.88.C (what bought it down

Postby Hornchurch » 18 Feb 2020, 09:49

I just wanted to say "thanks to all" for contributing to this fascinating thread.

Also, thanks to new-guy, Stuart.W, as although the thread may be nearing 10-years old, I'd doubt Id've seen it otherwise
Did make me laugh, seeing "that" book mentioned ('Air-Raid' M.J.Bowyer),
...as I know that both 'SpGt.1971' & myself both have that same book.

(I met 'superGT' in person last year & by chance, noticed he had the same book as me, on his desk)

Buffy wrote:Okay - here goes:

During World War 2 my Grandfather, Walter Buffham, joined the Terrington Home Guard and played an integral part in the capture of a crashed German Junkers (Ju88C) Bomber aircraft on 10th March 1941. The following account is from a book called "Air Raid" by Michael Bowyer.

"Mainly over Lincolnshire roamed nine JU88C's of 1/NJG2,


Buffy, am chuffed you related that tale (even if it is from the book, itself) as it makes interesting reading.

Raised a few points for me, plus, a very minor trivial correction.... (anorak-wise :lol: )

The Ju.88 involved here, isn't a "Bomber" (like they usually were), but instead, a dedicated "NightFighter"

NJG stands for "Nacht Jagd Geschwader" which (very) roughly translated means "Night Fighter/Hunter Unit"

The Ju.88 "Bomber" versions were mainly 'A.1's, A.5's' (1940), then A.4's thereafter, plus the later 'S' & Ju.188 versions

A.1's & A.5's are the common Ju.88's you'd expect to see during "The Battle of Britain" & the A.4's came after
(out of sequence)

The Ju.88.C's were either 'Heavy Fighters'....
(As used by KG.40 & the shoot-down of 'IBIS', the "Lesley Howard/Lisbon " Douglas DC.3, as a single example)

Or of course, in this instance, used as dedicated Night-Fighters, clearly looking for RAF Hampdens, Whitleys & Wellingtons.

I was pretty surprised they were using them this early AND sending so many across, in 'one-hit'
(A tactic they shoulda used more often)

Usually, you only ever hear about 'Operation Gisella', which was like a repetition of the above, but on a much grander-scale
(much later-on, too)

It's very fascinating to note, that there actually IS a surviving wartime Ju.88.C , here, in England, with an amazing story behind it.

I'll save that for another time, but for those of you who've ever been to the RAF Museum, in London (Hendon), woulda seen it....

As of today, 2020, I have a dreadful suspicion, that it was one of those airframes that got shifted (wasted), to Cosford **

** some mental-mad decision to close-down the (purpose-built) "Battle of Britain" hall & turn it into a conference centre :roll:
Thereby some (many) of the fantastic & totally unique exhibits, got "shunted-off" to Cosford, to make way for corporate-greed.
(Hey, corporate business takes precedence, over some few lousy unique airframes - Like there aren't already enough 'Halls' in London :roll: )

Makes ya laugh, how this nation's "National Museum" can have it's deliberate purpose built aircraft hall closed & "re-purposed"

Anyways, as far as I can tell, the ONLY place nowadays, that you (or anyone), can go & see an "intact" Ju.88.C, is at Cosford.

Fascinating then, that it's THE aircraft type/version that's involved in this wartime Terrington 'crash-landing'.

Lastly, they talk of the plane coming-down, BUT, they don't say WHAT bought it down ?

Was it bought-down by a British Nightfighter (Beaufighter or Defiant?), or, more likely, from Anti-Aircraft fire..?

Anyone know ?
User avatar
Posts: 94
Joined: 28 Mar 2017, 04:36

Re: Terrington decoy airfield

Postby Scotty » 18 Jun 2020, 10:20

This is a very interesting thread.

I’ve spent most of my adult life on airfields of varying vintages and I now live in the vicinity of the likely location of the decoy airfield at TSC.

When you travel north along Rhoon Road and just before you reach the turning to Ongar Hill, there are a cluster of farm buildings off to your left. The long whitewashed building to the north of this group look quite distinctive to me and it wouldn’t be our of place on an airfield of the 1939-45 era. It’s position is on the eastern boundary of what is thought to be the location of the decoy airfield.


Posts: 6
Joined: 18 Jun 2020, 08:59


Return to Help!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Terms of use.
Local Links
Trues Yard - Museum
Downham - Town Council
Swaffham - info
King's Lynn OnLine - Local news and info for King's Lynn
Hunstanton - Town Council
KLCC - King's Lynn and District Camera Club
H M Coastguard - Hunstanton 20
KLARC - King's Lynn Amateur Radio Club
klwnbug.co.uk - The Norfolk & Fens Cycling Campaign
Norfolk Mills - Historical and genealogical data
pe30.com - local info guide for Kings Lynn
NFHS - Norfolk Family History Society
Reffley - Community Association
Local Gov - West Norfolk
Norfolk Broads - The Broads authority
Burnham - info
RSPB - Sellect County
Dersingham - Parish Council
Local Link Suggestions?


Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group