WW2 Wartime Memories, Hamble-le-Rice


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Reference WMO257141

Address:

Foreshore

The Quay

Hamble-le-Rice

England

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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Roadside
Description: Composite
Materials:
  • Metal Metal (any)
  • Stone Stone (any)
Lettering: Inscribed on a plaque
Conflicts:
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: Large laminated tablet set in a grey metal frame , covered with protective plastic , on supporting pillars set into the ground . On the tablet is printed a lengthy and discursive history of Hamble during WW2, included are two photographic reproductions one showing Hamble airfield and the other the US base on Hamble Foreshore . Also shown are the logos of Hampshire County Council BP and Eastleigh Department of Leisure and Tourism
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WARTIME MEMORIES /HAMBLE -LE-RICE / Early in the war Hamble Aerodrome was under the command of the 15 Ferry Pilots Pool who were /part of the Air Taxi Association . Quite a stir was caused when the first woman pilot arrived on the / unit ,but the novelty soon wore off when Miss W M Gore became the Commanding Officer and the /camp was female run after 1941 /Because of its location Hamble did suffer from air raids . One night in 1942 an attempt was made to/mine Southampton Water with three parachute mines ,Unfortunately these blew ashore over/Hamble -Le-Rice . The first exploded and demolished Grantham House , the second did not explode ,but was found swinging between two tanks at the ShellMex and BP depot , The third was found unexploded on the mud flats of the River next to Luke's Yard/During 1943 one morning a J U 88 flew low up The Hamble River spraying machine gun bullets /everywhere ,killing a man on the Aerodrome , The village also received a daylight raid during the early war/years when a Heinkel dropped a stick of H E Bombs over the /village centre ./In the build up to D-Day and the invasion of France , in early/1944 a US Army Water Transport Maintenance organisation /set up base on the Hamble foreshore.For seven days a week /they brought in lorry loads of rubble obtained from the Blitz/on Southampton to form two slipways with a large hangar /workshop on the shore. Tugs and barges were hauled up on/the slipways for repair but the slipways were prone to subsidence since no piling had been used /Larger US crafts were brought into the River for repairs and maintenance whilst afloat . These vessels /included tankers which were used to carry fuel, along with British coastal tankers , from Hamble /ShellMex and BP jetty to Port-en-Bessin , France ,following its /liberation . One of these US tanker ships was the 600 ton Y-17 /which is believed to have hit a mine , soon after its repair, and /sunk of the coast of France .A wall plaque in remembrance of/her crew can be found in St Andrews Church ,Hamble-Le -Rice/ Today on the foreshore an anchor and plaque has been erected to/commemorate the US naval forces in Hamble-Le-Rice/The Shipyards along the banks of the Hamble river from /Hamble-Le-Rice to Warsash and up river to Burlesdon all gave magnificent support during the war/years with construction and repair facilities . One of the more unusual repairs carried out was on a /Landing Craft Infantry (Small) vessel ,LCI(S) 506 which returned to the river for repair with a tree /trunk sticking up through her bilges , a souvenir of the beach obstructions on the Normandy beach/just after D Day. PLUTO Lines (Pipe Lines Under The Ocean)were laid across the Channel from Hamble-Le_Rice's BP terminal to Cherbourg via Lepe and the Isle of Wight to get fuel to the Allied/forces . The pipelines were laid by means of giant drums fitted to the sterns of converted barges /These strange vessels could be seen at work from the shore at Hamble/We would like to thank Mr Kenneth Scott (author of HMS Tormentor 1940-1946). The Southampton/Hall of Aviation , Mr Nicholas Robinson of Hamble and Mr Terrence Gittoes of Swanwick for their/kind help in supplying information and photographs .Supported by Hampshire County Council, BP/and Eastleigh Borough Council's /Department of Leisure and Tourism/

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