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  1. View Conversation
    A couple of years ago you were trying to locate a copy of "50 Years of Aeroplane and Armament Testing" Did you ever find it? If not and you are still interested I have a copy in front of me at the moment.
    Regards Paul
  2. No problem. Looking at Google Earth there doesn't appear to be anything left at the site now - seems to be in the middle of some sandy ranges.

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    Thanks Brian
    If I find anything else I'll give you a shout
  4. View Conversation
    Brian, I was searching the net for info and pix of the Hythe Kite Balloon Station when I came across your post on another forum.

    "Rather out of context for this forum I appreciate, but I'm trying to identify the location of the Hythe Kite Balloon Station in WW1 (circa 1918), and I have a sneaking suspicion that there's a passing reference to it in 'Kent Airfields' by Robin Brooks. I'd be grateful if anyone who has a copy could have a look please.

    I'm pretty sure it was on the ranges to the west of Hythe, there being no other obvious locality."

    I am just typing up the memoirs of my grandfather, John Wilson Reid, and thought that this extract might be of some use:

    "I still had a hankering to do my bit in the Army and by the Spring of 1918 the medical requirements were being relaxed and in June I was passed fit for service in the R.A.F. and became a Kite Balloon Telephonist in the 5th Operations Group based in Hythe in Kent. I never saw any active service but I did fly in the balloons and acted as the go-between air and land. The main function of the Group was anti-submarine patrol with seaplanes at Dunkirk, airships (blimps) at Dover and balloons at Hythe. The balloons were to be towed by P-boats and a few were, but the war ended before there was any very serious activity.

    The site of the balloon base had only very recently been chosen and when I arrived with about a hundred other ratings the equipment was pretty sketchy. We were housed in a row of houses in a Victorian terrace and spent much of our early days making concrete roads and erecting hangars for the balloons. The officers, N.C.O’s and men were a mixed bag of R.N.A.S., R.F.C. and R.A.F. for the R.A.F. had been founded in the spring of 1918 and had not really acquired its own identity. The C.O. and C.P.O. were naval types and naval procedures were in the main practised – for example, we kept “watches” and the time was recorded in “bells”.

    Even in those days I realised that my contribution to the war effort was virtually nil and I would have been of more service using the skills I had in agriculture. On the other hand the thirteen months I spent in the R.A.F. gave me a wide experience of men and matters which I would not otherwise have had, and on that score no doubt worthwhile. I quite enjoyed the experience and the comradeship of men from all walks of life.

    The war ended in November 1918 and by about March 1919 it was clear that the base would soon be run down, and everyone was looking forward to demobilisation."

    If you have any photographs of the station, past or present, I would be most grateful if you could pass them on.

    very best wishes

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17th October 2011 19:11
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