The Shooting In Butt
This dramatic photograph of a Mosquito firing its cannon into a mound of earth illustrates the intended use of the shooting in butt and was NOT taken at Blakehill. RAF Blakehill was originally built and designed with its role intended as coming under 70 group that of 'Air Defence GB' ie; it was to house attacking/defensive aircraft. Its use was changed on 6th February 1944 to house transport aircraft from 46 group - so the need of a shooting in butt to zero the guns of aircraft was lost.
The butt structure remained however and can be shown here. It is positioned on the south side of the airfield, beyond runway 2 and was reached via the perry track and across a spectacle dispersal especially designed for the role. The structure is on PRIVATE LAND but can be seen from the road leading to Stoke Common via Purton Stoke. It is also a good opportunity for the first time visitor to the former airfield to understand how much damage has been caused to some of the original infrastructure in this example.
Pictured here from 400 feet, the shooting in mound is on the extreme left of picture situated behind the barn building, which was erected on the tip of the former dispersal pan.
The dotted line of trees in the middle of the picture marks the southern line of the perry track and the tractor in the centre of the plateu is on runway #2.
The red arrow marks roughly the corresponding position shown on the original airfield photo, and both arrow marks are indicated by the quad bike in the photo.
There is literally nothing left on the ground here and demonstrates why field walking is so important in research !!!