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RFC Joyce Green, Dartford Marshes, Kent


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#1 Neil Clark

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 08:08 AM

Now that the weather has improved (and is improving)... I thought it would be nice to annoy the other half and suggest a "run out" to the country. Where better to visit than the former WW1 airfield at Joyce Green?

The last time I was in the area I found a long road in Dartford called Joyce Green Lane. I followed this lane for a couple of miles only to find a gate blocking further progress. I didn't have the time to carry on walking.

Would any of you "fly boy" enthusiasts be able and prepared to tell me exactly where the airfield was located? Jimmy McCudden's book "Flying Fury" states the airfield (where he and the likes of Mannock VC spent much time) was below sea level at the side of the Thames.

I have had a look on "Google Earth" of the general area. Herewith a couple of stills showing the area. I have noticed a few old marks in the fields and have attached a yellow pin where I think the airfield might have been located.

The airfield's Eastings and Northings would be helpful. Is anyone able to impart this information so that I can stand in the middle of the airfield and imagine that I'm back in 1917/18? (You see I'm a bit sad like that)...

Thanking you all in anticipation...

Neil

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#2 MartinWills

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 08:19 AM

I believe that there were in effect two parts to Joyce Green, RFC and the Wireless Experimental establishment. The latter sought to move in 1917 and spent some time looking for possible sites south of London until they spotted a nice farmers field near the viillage of Biggin Hill - the rest is history.

#3 mickdavis

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:58 AM

The MS Word table format of my aerodrome file doesn't apply itself well to this page, but you should be able to pick the bones out of this lot


JOYCE GREEN 2 miles from Dartford railway station and 1˝ miles from Erith railway station

171/177 : (51) TQ) 542774 : Kent : 121 acres : 1200 x 1000 yards : slightly below sea level.
Manufacturer’s aerodrome for Vickers Ltd 1911 – 1919 : HD NLG RNAS 10.1914 : HD Advanced Base RFC 10.1914 – 1915 : HD NLG 1st for 39 (HD) Sqn, 50 (HD) Sqn and 112 (HD) Sqn RFC/RAF 1916 – 1919 : Training Squadron Station RFC/RAF 7.1915 – 10.1918 : Wireless Testing Park RFC 10.1916 – 1.1917 : Pilots’ Pool RAF 10.1918 – 12.1919.
Three aeroplane sheds, 80 x 60 feet, as a treble unit plus three aeroplane sheds, 80 x 50 feet, as a treble unit.

1 Sqn HD detachment 10.1914 from Brooklands 11.1914 to Brooklands
1 RAS HD detachment 19.12.1914 Farnborough 12.1914 Farnborough
7 Sqn HD detachment 22.12.1914 Netheravon 12.1914 Netheravon
2 RAS HD detachment 7.1915 Brooklands 1.9.1915 absorbed into 10 RAS
10 RAS/RS/TS 1.9.1915 formed ex 2 RAS nucleus 1.6.1917 Ternhill
5th Wing HD detachment 8.9.1915 Gosport & 23 Sqn 1.2.1916 attached to 19 RS Hounslow
10 RAS HD detachment 31.1.1916 detached from parent unit 31.1.1916 Farningham
10 RAS HD detachment 1.2.1916 Farningham 1.2.1916 re-joined parent unit
22 RS B Flt nucleus 6.1916 formed, attached to 10 RS 24.8.1916 en-route for Egypt
Wireless Testing Park 21.10.1916 Brooklands 1.1.1917 Biggin Hill
63 TS 1.6.1917 Ternhill 5.10.1918 Redcar
10 TDS B Flt nucleus 15.10.1917 formed, attached to 63 TS 1.11.1917 Feltwell
8th Aero Sqn USAAS HQ* 24.12.1917 Flower Down* 1.5.1918 Thetford
8th Aero Sqn USAAS flights* 24.12.1917 Flower Down* 12.1917 Northolt, Thetford and Wyton
Pool of Pilots 5.10.1918 Manston 12.1919 disbanded


Note – the Wireless Testing Park had arrived as a nucleus from Brooklands and was an out-station of the Signals Experimental Establishment at Woolwich. 63 TS was given temporary HD duty during the summer of 1917. The Pool of Pilots comprised a concentration of pilots awaiting posting to units at home and overseas.

6th Wing 9.1915 : 18th Wing from 12.4.1916 : 6th Wing 1.1917 : 58th Wing, 1 (Training) Group, SE Area 1918 : 18th Wing, SE Area 1919 : 49th Wing, HD Group, SE Area, VI Brigade 1918

#4 Jonathan Saunders

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 01:02 PM

Has anyone of the Forum ever positively identified the location of Joyce Green aerodrome and if so, where is it in relation to Neil's yellow pins above?

Thanks and regards,

Jonathan S

#5 Terry_Reeves

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 04:24 PM

Jon

The users of this forum apparently know its location. It might well be worth a post to confirm Neil's yellow pin:

http://forum.keypubl...ad.php?t=107411

TR

#6 Jonathan Saunders

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:26 PM

Thanks Terry - I'll give that a go.

Regards,

Jonathan S

#7 Jonathan Saunders

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:47 AM

For anyone interested, I have been informed that the pin in Neil's map marks just about the middle of the old aerodrome.

Regards,

Jonathan S

#8 mickdavis

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:54 PM

The Autumn 1918 site plan attached.

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#9 Jonathan Saunders

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 07:37 PM

Excellent Mick. Thanks very much.

#10 Neil Clark

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:18 PM

Interesting BUT I think the buildings on the map MAY actually relate to the large Joyce Green HOSPITAL located nearby? If you look on Google Earth using the historical imagy you will clearly see how close the hospital was to the airfield.

 

You can compare 1940, 1960 and recent images.

 

The most recent images clearly show the remants of the many buildings shown on the above map. I suppose it's possible these buildings were connected to the airfield in some way but the buildings look like me to be hospital buildings?

 

I am still pretty confident that my yellow marker is accurate where the landing strips were located.

 

I have an interest in this important WW1 airfield and would welcome any information in this regard.

 

It would be nice to solve exactly where the airfield was....



#11 mickdavis

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 01:32 PM

The dashed line on the plan indicates the aerodrome bounaries - as it does on all the plans in TNA AIR1 452 and 453. Yes, the building in the SE corner of the plan were the hospital - the RFC/RAF buildings were mainly on the northern boundary, near Long Reach Taver.

#12 mickdavis

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:17 PM

Just to clarify - the plans in the RAF Quarterly Survey of Stations were drawn on existing 25 mile to the inch OS maps, so existing surrounding buildings still showed, e.g. the Joyce Green hospital.