Quote http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/a ... r-memorialAs Alan McKnight of Bombardier says, this did not detract from the Stirling’s role as a pioneer four engine bomber, but it ‘could have been a greater aircraft’. Nonetheless, 2,300 of them were built, of which 900 came from Belfast. All that survived the war also met their fate in Northern Ireland. As Eames ruefully recalls, once the war was over the disbanding of his squadron coincided with an operation in which Stirlings from all quarters were flown in to the airfield at Maghaberry and scrapped.
....but, it got me thinking about when forum member Sue,.. aka Johnnys daughter, mentioned that her father had said that "some Stirlings had been buried under concrete in Ireland" Now I very much doubt whole Stirlings were buried but, is it possible that a substantial amount of Stirling air frame wreckage and parts were buried hastily at the end of the scrapping process? Is it possible that they lie buried at the former RAF Maghaberry? Were Stirlings scrapped anywhere else?
A big problem with "a dig" at former RAF Maghaberry is that, some of the airfield site is now a prison.
So how did the salvage crew dispose of all this remaining scrap metal and parts before the airfield was sold off. Would they have been buried in the existing airfield dump or a new hole dug followed by rubble on top?
Are there any existing aerial photographs of RAF Maghaberry during the period before and after the Stirlings were scrapped that we could scrutinise for evidence? The Stirlings in the foreground are parked on the dispersal marked with an arrow on the map below. Note the two hangars in the distance in the photograph.
Quote http://www.ulsteraviationsociety.org/#/ ... 4544801416Meanwhile, the busiest chapter in Maghaberry’s history had begun on 15th November 1943 when it was handed over to the USAAF to become AAF Station 239. Four ferrying squadrons of the 8th Air Force’s 27th Transport Group were formed there to deliver numerous types of aircraft to and from American airfields in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including the air depot at Langford Lodge. In addition, it was used by casualty evacuation transports of the 9th Air Force’s Troop Carrier Command – a reflection of its proximity to the 79th Station Hospital at Moira. Although intensive in nature, this period of use was comparatively short-lived and Maghaberry was handed back to the RAF on 6th June 1944, by which time Stirling assembly work was diminishing. Six months later, as 101 Satellite Landing Ground, it was placed under the control of 23 Maintenance Unit at Aldergrove for storage and eventual scrapping of hundreds of redundant aircraft, including Stirlings, which process was completed in 1947.
Hopefully if this Stirling treasure trove exists .....and its not beyond the realms of possibility!, the site has not been bulldozed into oblivion when they built the new jail!
Now all somebody has to do is convince Tony Robinson of Time team,............ to tunnel into or under HMP Maghaberry