Royal Air Force Balloon Barrage Memorial

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Reference WMO254050

Address:

National Memorial Arboretum

RAF Zone

Croxall Road

Alrewas

England

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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
Description: Pillar/column
Lettering: Inscribed on a plaque
About the memorial: A blue/grey granite plinth with sloping top holding black & white drawing of barrage balloon and dedication in gold lettering. On one side of the column is a text about the purpose of the balloon, on the other side a text about the people involved. See full inscription under Names tab and link to the organisation under Links tab. Dedicated in 2015
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[Front face]: IN MEMORY OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED/ WITH THE BALLOON BARRAGE SQUADRONS/ OF RAF BALLOON COMMAND DEFENDING THIS COUNTRY/ AND VITAL AREAS ABROAD DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR./ ERECTED IN 2015 BY THE BALLOON BARRAGE REUNION CLUB B.B.R.C./ [3 o'clock face]: R.A.F. BALLOON COMMAND WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1938/ TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL AIR DEFENCE/ OF IMPORTANT TARGETS AND CITIES IN GREAT BRITAIN./ DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR, BY 1940,/ THERE WERE OVER 1,400 BARRAGE BALLOONS IN SERVICE./ BY DECEMBER 1942, SOME 10,000 MEN HAD BEEN / RELEASED FOR OTHER DUTIES AND REPLACED BY OVER/ 15,000 W.A.A.F. BALLOON OPERATORS./ IN 1945, WHEN THE R.A.F. BALLOON COMMAND WAS DISBANDED,/ THERE WERE OVER 3,000 BALLOONS IN SERVICE/ WITH OVER 33,000 MEN AND WOMEN SERVING./ [9 o'clock face]: THE PURPOSE OF THE BALLOON BARRAGE/ WAS TO PREVENT ACCURATE BOMBING BY/ FORCING ENEMY AIRCRAFT TO FLY AT HIGHER ALTITUDE./ THIS WAS ACHIEVED BY STEEL CABLES HELD UP BY THE BALLOONS/ FLOWN UP TO 5,000 FT HEIGHT. AIRCRAFT WHICH FLEW INTO THE CABLES/ COULD BE SERIOUSLY DAMAGED OR BROUGHT DOWN./ THE BARRAGE BALLOONS, FILLED WITH HYDROGEN GAS,/ WERE FLOWN EITHER FROM FIXED OR MOBILE WINCHES/ EACH OPERATED BY 10 MEN OR 14 WOMEN, WITH TWO NCOS.

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