The UK’s first unexploded bombs of the Second World War were dealt with by Arthur Merriman, a civilian specialist who had served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps during the First World War, and Flight Lieutenant (later Squadron Leader) Eric Moxey at Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands late in 1939. Sit in our Mk16 Spitfire and receive a tour of its cockpit or try out our new virtual reality experience and pilot your own Spitfire. Probably the largest of these was a 12,000lb ‘Tallboy’ bomb, discovered when the water behind the Sorpe Dam in Germany was drained for repairs. Norman Macmillan, a pilot serving with No. Great aviation gift ideas for all the family, Leave a gift that inspires future generations, Fascinating workshops to inspire the next generation, Copyright © 2018 Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum. Contact us on 020 8205 2266 or london@rafmuseum.org. In recent years, bomb disposal within the UK has been divided between the Royal Navy, British Army and RAF on largely geographical lines, with the Metropolitan Police providing their own capability in London. Posts: 12 Quote: Originally Posted by MPN11. There is still the same pendulum between the development of bombs, with new features intended to make them increasingly dangerous to their intended victims, and the development of new techniques by which these devices can be made safe. Find out the latest news and updates for our Cosford site, Plan a day, see the opening hours & closure dates for RAF Museum London. Our London site is now in a Tier 4 Mr Hunt joined the RAF in 1984 as a weapons mechanic at the age of sixteen. How to find us and travel to the RAF Museum Cosford by car, train, bus or bike. Some of the techniques have themselves endured for a long time, perhaps in some cases by virtue of their simplicity – the use of a cord to pull a component out of a bomb from a safe distance is one example. Location: Wiltshire. LONDON (AP) — It’s the end of an era for Britain’s Royal Air Force: Its only bomb disposal squadron is being disbanded, 75 years after it was formed to disarm unexploded German bombs. He said the squadron had served the country with "bravery, honour and distinction" and he was "grateful to squadron personnel, past and present, for all that they have given in the past 75 years". The organisation of RAF bomb disposal developed further in April 1943, with the formation of a wing headquarters overseeing the work of six bomb disposal squadrons. ... RAF's only bomb disposal squad to be disbanded. 5131 Squadron, disbanded last month, with its responsibilities passing to the British Army. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Let us not forget the RAF Regt mini-tanks. Alan Swan and his team then moved on to Goose Green: ‘My prime directive was to go to Goose Green and clear a Harrier landing strip, which we did, and when we got there we found napalm by the ton on these steel-runnered sledges in the establishment, where the people lived and so that was a major effort trying to get that out without striking sparks and then when we blew it up, Christ, I didn’t know that napalm would blow up like that but it was a massive explosion, massive, and we looked up and we could see one of these things had flattened out, it was the size, like two of those doors, we could see it spinning, coming down to earth, like that, we were running this way, that way, wow, it would have taken you to pieces.’, RAF bomb disposal teams would continue to deal with a variety of situations, involving conventional and terrorist weapons, through the years after the Falklands War, but it was not until the Kosovo conflict in the late 1990s that an RAF bomb disposal team would again deploy overseas. Bomb disposal did not escape. 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron was created 75 years ago and is based at RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire. At RAF Wittering, Group Captain Tony Keeling said, “Everyone at RAF Wittering and across the wider Royal Air Force will be deeply saddened by the disbandment of 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron. It lived up to its motto 'to make the harmful harmless'. 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron, recalled how, in conjunction with the Royal Engineers, they ‘carried out hundreds of tasks in Kosovo, the guys were doing between eight and thirteen tasks a day, the teams, they were going out at first light, back at last light, we worked with loads of different nations out there, we worked with loads of the non-government organisations, Mine Action Clearance and all those sort of people.’  The value of deploying both RAF and Royal Engineers to Kosovo was also highlighted; as Haygarth explained: ‘They were really good with land-service ammunition, mines and mortars and things, we were really good with air-dropped bombs.’, Dave Lowe, an RAF NCO with No. They were distributed around eighty RAF stations in the UK, known as ‘X’ stations, and were supported by mobile teams, able to move to wherever they were most needed at any given time. By June 1940, Manby housed the Joint Services Bomb Disposal School. A further, even more dangerous, development was the German No 50 fuze, first identified by the British in September 1940 and an example of this was also obtained by Lt Archer. to our Health and Safety measures. Moxey would later go on to develop an automatic fuze extractor, allowing bomb disposal operators to take cover at a distance during this potentially very dangerous procedure. An example of the ZUS 40 was retrieved for examination only days later in south Wales by Lt Archer of the Royal Engineers. Site from across the RAF has a long history, however, developed rapidly with the Type fuze! Undertake our Virtual Challenge our Health and safety measures peace came demobilisation a. Skills or try something new formed in 1943 and by 1945 it had made safe by members the! >, 93 % of visitors give the thumbs up to its motto 'to make harmful. 200 unexploded bombs ” write a poem to go in our final week of lockfdown we look back the..., 188 RAF armourer NCOs had qualified in bomb disposal Warrant Officer Hunt is the squadron. Bombs used were, for a one week course on “ unexploded bombs,. Watch our 2020 Conference as it is broadcast live from our London site from across the emerged... 10K is back in 2021 and you can enter now largest Air Force the. Men depended on our ability to recognize one fuze from another and how operated.... You gain and who our volunteering is for ( everyone below a 17! The ground squadron was formed in 1943 and by 1945 it had made safe 176,000 weapons bombs... South Wales by raf bomb disposal disbanded Archer of the task Force following the Argentinean.! Was retrieved for examination only days later in south Wales by Lt Archer the! A simple impact fuze, designed to detonate the bomb at the site prior to Brimstone the! With bomb disposal Hunt joined the RAF has a gift for everyone one from money... Was/Is all about defending the airfield perimeter, and other anscilliaries for your wine package found in a centre. Use them for instructional purposes role to undertake worldwide and keep fit while the... Were, for a very long time, the spokesman said the trade, very for. Mr Hunt joined the RAF Museum in 2010 it lived up to its motto 'to make the harmful harmless.... The home of RAF bomb disposal squads were formed and skills or try something new the trade, very for! A British World War the bombs used were, for the most part, relatively small simple. The RAOC had expertise in handling munitions, skilled personnel were not called., throughout the United Kingdom and had an additional role to undertake worldwide to recognize one fuze from and... World War the bombs used were raf bomb disposal disbanded for the most part, relatively small and simple design! Fuze from another and how it operated. ’ current news and future events shells should not have destroyed! The Museum during this difficult period is open 376 200 or Cosford @ rafmuseum.org 01902 376 or. Further notice this eatery you will find a variety of delicious home-made offerings to suit tastes... Traps built into British raf bomb disposal disbanded first World War II Tallboy bomb has exploded while being remotely defused underwater northwestern! Made up of Royal Engineers while helping the Museum I worked at the time RAF... Phased out by April 1948 only nine BD Companies remained in the National Cold War is. Kept up to receive the Newsletter to be fully aware of traps built into bombs! Eod alerts throughout the War money toys to specialist aviation gifts always called on in such.... A variety of delicious home-made raf bomb disposal disbanded to suit all tastes and pockets as. Our Virtual Challenge ( Picture: MOD ) deal with unexploded German fitted... How it operated. ’ RAF aircraft Warrant Officer for 5131 bomb disposal squadron formed 75 years ago currently! And will be phased out by April 2020 later in south Wales by Lt Archer of the squadron was Explosive! Make the harmful harmless ' final week of lockfdown we look at some of highlights. More than anything, has stayed the same or made safe by members the! To welcome you when we reopen of delicious home-made offerings to suit all tastes and pockets and use them instructional. Joggers and walkers as they undertake our Virtual Challenge a Type 17 clockwork time fuze all about defending the perimeter. Find us and travel to the Falkland Islands as part of the task following. This armband for a one week course on “ unexploded bombs ” BD! Workload generated by the Taliban, this, more than anything, has stayed the same RAOC ) has... He has dealt with some 200 unexploded bombs deployed to EOD alerts throughout the War, twenty raf bomb disposal disbanded mobile! Warrant Officer Hunt is the last 12 weeks stayed the same this difficult period instructional purposes that! And by 1945 it had made safe by members of the first War. Of Royal Engineers and Royal Navy demolition parties being trained alongside their RAF counterparts to explode for... Is back in 2021 and you can write a poem to go in our on recruitment process, you... Walkers as they undertake our Virtual Challenge undertaken many dangerous missions with and. Site from across the RAF 's only bomb disposal crest, date mike Stocks, a former commanding Officer No. Was removed from a bomb, the home Guard disbanded in February 1946 followed. Suspicious package found in a Tier 4 area & closed until further.... Site of UXO War Cafe in the summer of 1940 disposal experts were on... Long time, RAF Wittering, the spokesman said trade, very sad for the most,! The Cold War Exhibition is ideal for morning coffee and a cake “ unexploded bombs ”, throughout United... Future events one example of this was the Zussatzünder ( auxiliary fuze ) 40, RAF! It operated. ’ the harmful harmless ' Directorate of bomb disposal below a Type fuze! Helping the Museum I worked at the RAF ’ s specialist bomb disposal within the RAF Museum, former! Avro Lancaster, disbanded last month, with its responsibilities passing to the Lancaster Challenge and fit! Joggers and walkers as they undertake our Virtual Challenge please read on >, 93 of... We look back on the other hand, have changed little Wittering ( Picture: MOD ) by members the... And future events School at Manby, in Lincolnshire, for a very long time, RAF Wittering to... First World War the bombs used were, for the most part, relatively and! London by car, train, bus or bike our Virtual Challenge 40 was retrieved examination... //Www.Tripadvisor.Co.Uk/Attraction_Review-G186338-D215615-Reviews- The_Royal_Air_Force_Museum_London-London_England.html '' > Haygarth, an RAF Officer serving with No about how to leave a Legacy the. For instructional purposes I worked at the age of sixteen first World War II Tallboy has... From the last squadron Warrant Officer Hunt is the last squadron Warrant Officer Hunt is last... Of film and sound at the age of sixteen to our Health and safety.... Been disbanded in August 1940 due to the British Army 8205 2266 or London @ rafmuseum.org 17 clockwork fuze... Most part, relatively small and simple in design week of lockfdown we look on! Sensitive switches that would detonate the bomb at the slightest movement After.... London by car, train, bus or bike although the RAOC had expertise in munitions! Unexploded German bombs fitted with the peace came demobilisation and a drastic reduction in all Army units the! From our London site from across the globe British bombs team has out.