Mary Ann Site

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Record Site Plan of Mary Ann Site 1950

Mary Ann Site

Mary Ann site was named after a local wood called 'Mary Ann Wood'.... today called 'Mary Ann Meadows'. The wood was named after a local lady 'Mary Ann Perks' who lived in Rose Cottage, what is now Burtonwood Road in the late 1800's. The site was sited to the East close to Burtonwood Road near gate number 13.

Mary Ann Site was developed as part of B.R.D Site and was linked by taxi way to B.R.D. Site by crossing Burtonwood Road at Gate 12 into B.R.D. Sites Norther Entrance at Gate 11.

Mary Ann Site was occupied by 32 maintenance unit RAF between 1940 & 1942.

On the 11th of June 1942 the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) arrived on the site.

The 3 'C' type hangars were numbered AD4, AD5 & AD6 (AD meaning 'Aircraft Dock').

These hangars were manned by over 300 men in each hangar working day & night shifts 7 days a week.

Over 1,500 aircraft were modified, repaired and overhauled in each hangar each year in over 2 and a half years.

The personnel that worked in these hangars and workshops were very proud of their work.

Each hangar worked to produce more aircraft than its neighbours hangar in a given time period.

Books, similar to college year books were prepared by the personnel of some of the hangars and possibly 'all' of them.

On the 9th of June 1946 the USAAF returned control back to the RAF and number 276MU then occupied the site, its role being for long term aircraft storage, Inspection Repairs and Modification of Aircraft issued to the RAF.

Also in 1946 the Ministry of Supply (MOS) took over control of Mary Ann Site for covered storage.

In September 1948 the Americans were back, this time the Unites States Air Force (USAF).

The airfield was now being extensively used by Military Air Transport Services (MATS) as their UK base & for aircraft maintenance & servicing.

53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron with their Boeing WB29 & later WB50 Super Fortress used Mary Ann Site as their dispersal & maintenance facilities.

Armed Forces public open days were held on Mary Ann Site on the 15th of May 1954, the 21st of May 1955, the 19th of May 1956, the 18th of May 1957 and the 17th of May 1958 displaying both USAF & RAF aircraft of the period.

The USAF left in 1959 & the US Army arrived on the 2nd of January 1967.

They focused all their operations on the supply depot on Site 8 but had no use for Mary Ann Site.

Mary Ann Site was demolished in 1986.

 

Mary Ann Site Aerial Photo

Below is an aerial photo of the 3 'C' type hangars on Mary Ann site.

The top hangar on the photo is hangar AD6

The middle hangar on the photo is hangar AD5

The bottom hangar is AD4

(The Following Photos Were ALL Taken in 2016)

The remaining part of the apron in front of the 'C' type hangars looking East

Mary Ann site.

The curve of the apron (in the distance)
goes round to the right and follows the arc of the hangars.

The edge of Mary Ann Site Looking South West
(Fiddlers Ferry Power Station is in The Distance)

Edge of Mary Ann Site Looking West

Hangar AD5 was situated just beyond the concrete (in the foreground)

AD4 was on the left and AD6 was on the right as you view the photo.

Mary Ann site and its associated buildings extended back to the tree line

The gap in between the trees in the background was the actual
main road leading up to Mary Ann site and contained all 3 hangars..

The main road came from the main entrance and passed through in between the 2 large workshop warehouses building 225 and 226 (beyond the trees in the background) and continued through the gap (in the middle of the photo coming this way) and onto the Mary Ann hangar site.

Below (Photo) is the Gap between the trees
(as Described above) but Looking SOUTH

Below (Photo) is the Gap between the trees
(as Described above) but Looking NORTH

This Originally (During WW2) Was The Perimeter Track To/From Mary Ann Site,
but Later was Used as a Main Service Road To The Rear of Mary Ann Site.

This is the gap between the trees (crossing a drainage
ditch) that you can see in the photo above.

Looking Eastwards at part of the Remaining Apron.

The concrete we can see (as a road now) originally extended onto the grassed area that
you can see on the left & the 'C' Type hangars were on the Right of the concrete.

Looking West towards 'G' site from the Mary Ann Apron.

The large building in the background is the Royal Mail Depot and was
originally the site of one of the large warehouse workshops.

Looking West again (but further round) you can see the Royal Mail Depot that was 'G'
Site & Just to the right is the new Asda building which is built on Technical Site.

Note the cambered concrete and the grid.

These grids were spaced out at regular intervals.

This was to enable the surface water to drain away off the apron.

Heading Towards Gate 13

Gate 13

Please Note: Gate 13 Was Situated on Burtonwood Road (where the
roundabout is now) & Not Where The Gate is on the Photo Below.

It was (roughly speaking) where the trees are on
this photo past the gate you can see.

Looking North Westerly From Gate 13.

The Asda Building on the Left of the Photo was Where Technical Site & The Large Warehouse on the Right is 'E' Site and is on the Other side of the M62.

The M62 was the Actual Main Runway 09/27

The following photos (below) are from what remains of a small group
of buildings between Hangar 17 & the large Workshop Warehouse 2

A GPO (General Post Office) Underground Telephone Cable Line Marker

Note: The small rectangle you can see below the G.P.O. letters (typically)
had a metal plate inserted in it showing the depth of the cable stamped on it.

(A Reminder that All The Photos Were Taken in 2016)

Lead Sheathed Paper Insulated Multi Core Telephone Cable Encased
in a Steel Sleeve to Support it Crossing The Drainage Ditch

Drainage Man Hole

Below Ground Drainage Chamber

One of a few large concrete blocks close to one another.

Underground Electrical Cable 'Location Marker' Tile.

These type of tiles were connected together & laid 'along' the length
of the electrical cables to 'mark' that electrical cables were
present underneath them and also for protection

Mary Ann Site Had 2 Large Drainage Ditches & Each Drainage Ditch Had
Numerous Culverts Along the Lengths of Each One Along With
Many Discharge Pipes flowing into each ditch.

Below is a Large Culvert Outlet Flowing East Across Mary Ann Site.

This Then Flows Under Burtonwood Road & Through Mary Ann Woods.

After the culvert, this discharge pipe system remains.

The discharge pipe system is along the drainage ditch in front of demolished
building 2 and along the side of demolished buildings 40, 42, 37 and 39.

The system consists of 3 pipe ranges constructed of 1 inch
and 1/2" & 2" steel pipe with threaded pipe fittings.

The ranges are supported across the ditch with the
discharge outlets directed into the centre of the ditch.

The 1st pipe range has become detached on 1 side of the banking.

The 2nd pipe range has rusted and become detached
and lays in the bottom of the ditch.

The 3rd pipe range (Photo Below) is supported lower than
the other 2 and is connected to a 2" steel pipe main

The vertical section (going downwards) of
the 1" 1/2 pipe is the the discharge pipe.

(1st Photo Below is an Overall View of the Pipe Ranges)

The 1st Pipe Range

This 1st Pipe has Become Detached From the Opposite bank (Note the
three tree branches that have grown around the steel piping)

 This Next Photo of The 1st Pipe Range (Taken From the Opposite Bank)
Shows The Vertical Pipe Rising Out of The Ground That has Become
Detached From The Pipe Crossing The Ditch

This Photo Shows The 2nd Pipe Range (lying flat on
the ground going into the drainage ditch)

This Pipe Also Crossed the Drainage Ditch
Next to The 1st Pipe (around 3 Feet apart)

All 3 Pipe Ranges Can Be Seen From This Angle (1st Pipe Range in The Foreground,
2nd Pipe Range in the Drainage Ditch & the 3rd Pipe Range is in the Background)

The 3rd Pipe Range

This Pipe Range is the 2" Main

The Pipe Turning at a Right Angle is Following The Banking of The
Drainage Ditch Towards the Large Culvert (we showed at the beginning)
& Has Become Detached in Numerous Places.

In the Middle of the Pipe Going Across the Drainage Ditch There is 'T'
Pipe Fitting & This has a Discharge Pipe Directed Into The Drainage Ditch

Large Steel Water Main

Following The Drainage Ditch Eastwards This Culvert Passes
Underneath The Approach Road at the Rear of Mary Ann Site

The Approach Road Was Originally a Perimeter Track to BRD Site During WW2

The View Looking From After the Culvert (Still
Looking Eastwards) Along the Drainage Ditch

Slightly Further Along is An Older Type Pedestrian Bridge
Crossing Across the Drainage Ditch with Steps Down & Up

At the Bottom is the Remains of the Metal Frame
Work Which Once had a Wooden Platform

Located Close to the Demolished Headquarter Group Building (Building 7)

Just the the Right of the Metal Bridge is One of the Many
Surface Water Drains Flowing into The Drainage Ditch

After the pedestrian foot bridge are 2 reinforced concrete pipe supports.

The Next Pedestrian Footbridge (Constructed of
reinforced Concrete) is Partly Demolished (below)

View of The Bridge (above) From Below From One Side

View of The Bridge From Below From the Other Side

The 2nd Drainage Ditch on Mary Ann Site Flows out of
a Culvert on the South East Corner Near Site 2.

The Drainage ditch flows North Between Buildings 1 & 2 & Intercepts
the East West Drainage Ditch next to the Approach Road Culvert.

After the Culvert on the Banking of the Drainage Ditch
We Found This Aircraft Engine Fuel Pump

(CMC 329 GPH Aircraft Fuel Pump Designed by MC
Manufacturing Company Detroit Found at Burtonwood)

This is The Aircraft Fuel Pump (Above) After Cleaning



Next to the Drainage ditch are a Number of
Cylinder Type Concrete Ant-Tank Obstacles.

These Concrete cylinders were utilised at Road Junctions
& were painted white to indicate the Road exits.

The Ditch is aligned to Keep this large Pond Full Of Water & was
Probably Used as a Static Water Tank For Fire Fighting Purposes.

Rusting Remains (We found buried near the ditch) From WW2

Items Include: Ignition Leads, Rocker Valve Cover etc

Numerous Aircraft Cylinder Head Rocker Valve Covers

Drainage Ditch Teeing Into The Other Drainage Ditch (Above)

Drainage Ditch (Above)

A Short Culvert Passing Under a Walkway

Pierced Steel Planking

The remains of pierced steel planking (below) is alongside the
drainage ditch between buildings 1 & 2 warehouse workshops.

(Pierced Steel Plank, or PSP Mat, was developed by the US Army Corp in anticipation of
our involvement in World War II. ... The PSP mat was designed with holes to reduce
the weight, improve aircraft traction and facilitate drainage)

This is What Remains of the Inner Perimeter Fence
Close to Where Warehouse Workshop 2 Once Stood

It is Right Next to the Drainage Ditch

(Same as Above but Taken from a Different Angle)

Long Culvert Next to Perimeter Fence Post (Above)
Passing Under a Former Roadway

Man Hole Near The Culvert (Above)

Aircraft Aluminium Embedded in The Drainage Ditch

Reinforced Concrete Pedestrian Footbridge Located
Next To The Front of Demolished Warehouse Building 2

Closer View of the Footbridge

On the Footbridge

Under the Footbridge

Here is Where the 2nd Drainage Ditch
intercepts the East/West Drainage Ditch

The Remains of the Foundations of Building 69.

Administration Base POL (Petroleum Oil Lubricant) Office
Type 'W' Width 15 feet x 47 feet Long Area = 705 Sq feet

The Eastern Perimeter Fence in Mary Ann Wood Next
to Burtonwood Road and Close to Gate 13

Mary Ann Wood Meadows

Corner Post of the Perimeter Fence in Mary Ann Wood

 

'C' Type Hangars

The air ministry built 3 hangars on Mary Ann site called Type 'C' (protected Austerity design) to air ministry drawing numbers 8180/38 & 5533/39 1938 Type.

This type of hangar was built to be more economical in materials & enabled it to be built much quicker than the previous 1934 gable type.

This was achieved with a reduction of 5ft in clear height to 30ft & also another saving was the omission of the parapet wall hiding the roof trusses over the door bays.

The layout & planning of the hangars line were built in arc's as apposed to straight lines. This was intended to make it more difficult for an enemy bomber to hit all 3 hangars with a single stick of bombs.

Also large windows ran full length of both sides of the hangars for natural light & to disperse the blast from a bomb if the hangar were to be hit. Also blast walls run down both sides of each of the hangar annexes.

The 3 hangars were sited between the ends of runways 04 and runway 33 & they shared 1 large apron.

The basic design structure of the 'C' type hangars is a steel shell.

Wall stanchions consisted of a pair of 15inches x 6inches as RSJ's joined together by riveted lattice bars. These have a total length of 41ft 3inches which gives a clear height of 30ft 4inches with 3ft 8inches allocated for foundations & the remainder connects with the roof girders.

The roof was a steel structural frame, comprising of a series of primary trusses at 25' centres, each with a clear span of 150'.

The primary trusses in turn support secondary trusses at 15' centres.

This structure forms the multi pitched roof arrangement with a primary truss aligned on each ridge. The secondary trusses span 25' between the supporting trusses.

The truss depth varies along its span having a depth of 16' 8" at the supports and 4' at mid span thus forming valley gutters.

The hangar is 11 bays long plus 2 half bays at each end.

Each end of the hangar provide a pitched cantilever roof above doors. Two Lateral Wind girders were fitted and spanned horizontally across the width of the hangar and are located in the last structural bay at each end of the hangar.  The roof was supported directly on the secondary trusses by roof timber sarking and purlins.

The roof covering being of either asbestos, cement, slates or sheeting.

The hangar walls were built of concrete or brick but only to the top of the windows, with asbestos cement cladding above windows to roof level.

Windows were fitted across 2 or 3 structural bays.

Runway Beams For 'C' Type Hangar Lifting Tackle

2 number 10" x 4 1/2" x 25 lb/ft RSJ runway beams traverse the width of the hangar. They span between the secondary trusses and support a safe working load of 1 and 1/2 tons.

Similarly 2 number 10" x 6" x 40lb/ft RSJ with an additional top flange plate provides for runway beams capable of supporting a safe working load of 6 tons.

Hangar Doors

There are 6 sliding and overlapping doors at each end of the hangar.

Each door measures approximately 10.7 metres high x 8 metres wide and weighs in the order of 12.5 tons.

They comprise of a series of 10' x 3" channels and 10' x 4 and a 1/2" RSJ's which are externally sheeted in steel plate of varying thickness .... as follows:

1/4" plate up to 6 metres high with an 1/8" plate above it.

The steel sheeting on both the front and rear faces of the door frames, are an integral part of the door structure.

The steel plates provide strength and stability to the door frame members, and in the case of the lower diagonal bracing members, act as the gusset connection plates.

The doors run on cast iron wheels in tracks set into a reinforced concrete footing. The tops of the doors run between guide rails which also provide lateral restraint.

The doors were filled with sand or gravel for protection against enemy air attack. The doors opened in 6 overlapping leaves, 3 each side out onto outrigger lattice frame gantries giving a full width opening of 150' into the hangar.

The length of the hangar is 300 feet and clear height of 30 feet with an open working area of 45,000 square feet.

Single Story Annexes

Single story annexes surrounded by a blast wall were built down the length of both sides of the hangars.

These provided accommodation for offices storage and workshops.

The 3 hangars were numbered 4, 5 & 6 during World War 2 the USAAF added the initial AD before the hangar numbers meaning 'Aircraft Dock' thus being AD4, AD5 & AD6.

Also on Mary Ann Site 2 large buildings were built as warehouses and workshops, numbered 225 & 226 and were built behind the 3 'C' type hangars.

The workshops were 700' long x 300' wide and were completed in May 1944.

This gave the site 408,000 sq feet of workshop area.

Also at this time 24, 450 sq yards of concrete was laid for additional aircraft parking.

Note: The Air Ministry Record Site Plan of 1955 shows these buildings numbered as 10, 20 & 27 for the 'C' type hangars & 1 and 2 for the warehouse workshops.

They were numbered this way for the 'legend' on the plan, but the proper numbers were:
 

Building number on Legend on Plan

Correct Building number

Hangar 10 AD4 ('C' Type Hangar)
Hangar 20 AD5 ('C' Type Hangar)
Hangar 27 AD6 ('C' Type Hangar)
Building 1 226 (Warehouse Workshop)
Building 2 225 (Warehouse Workshop)

Workshop Warehouses

During WW2 in 1943 work began on the construction of 2 large warehouse workshops & each one had 210,000 square feet of floor space, was 300 feet wide, 700 feet long & was built to Air Ministry drawing number 7073/43

Also, building 2A was a smaller storage warehouse with a width of 50 feet & was 90 feet long & covered 4,500 Square feet of flooring area & was built to Air Ministry drawing number 1376A/43

B17 Outside one of the 'C' Type Hangars on Mary Ann Site WW2

Photo outside hangar AD6 of the 'DAY' shift on Mary Ann Site celebrating the
1,000th B17 through it's doors on the 9th of September 1944.

The aircraft is 48257 of the 482nd bomb group.

(Note: The personnel are raising 1 finger to indicate
that this aircraft was the 1,000th through hangar AD6)

(Photo by Jim Varroza)

Same Photo outside hangar AD6 of the 'NIGHT' shift on Mary Ann Site
celebrating the 1,000th B17 through it's doors on the 9th of September 1944.

A Busy Day at Burtonwood - The Aircraft in the Foreground is a C47

In the Background You Can See 1 of the 'C' Type Hangars on Mary Ann Site WW2

B24 Liberator 1944 inside One of the 'C' Type Hangars on Mary Ann Site

Below is a Douglas C47's & the Large Aircraft in the Background is a Douglas C124 Globemaster Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft on Mary Ann Site Apron.

'A' Site can be seen in the Background with the 2 'K' Type Hangars.

'C' Type Hangar 6 Can be Seen on the Right of the Photo Just Behind the Car.

The Aircraft were operated by Military Air Transport Services.

The 'C' Type Hangar AD6 on Mary Ann Site

One of the 'C' Type Hangars
(Note the Blast Wall Running Down the Side)

Mary Ann Site Looking Across Towards Technical Site August 1987.

(Note:  Bold power station in the background - now demolished)

A Cross Section of the Excavated Apron on Mary Ann Site November 1987 Looking Towards Technical Site in the Process of Hangar 'J' Being Demolished.

A Close Up View of the Demolition of the 'J' type
Hangar (above) on Technical Site November 1987.

1st Control Tower WW2

1st Control Tower - to be built was a 'Fort' type on Mary Ann Site and this was to air ministry drawing number 207/36 concrete, as building of the airfield progressed it became apparent that the view of the main runway became obscured and therefore the 1st control tower was demolished.

Burtonwood - Flying Control personnel - 1 May 1943 Cpl
Snellinger & S Sgt Zimmerman by original control tower

(Photo From The American Air Museum in Britain -
Ray Zimmerman Collection via Aldon Ferguson)

Burtonwood Flying Control original control tower, 20th
April 1943. L-R Pfc Roser, Pfc Demos, S/Sgt Howard Fitch

(Photo From The American Air Museum in Britain -
Ray Zimmerman Collection via Aldon Ferguson)

Burtonwood Flying Control 1943 inside original tower Mary Ann Site

(Photo From The American Air Museum in Britain -
Ray Zimmerman Collection via Aldon Ferguson)

Below is a plan (from out of the programme) of Armed Forces
Day on Mary Ann Site on the 17th of May 1958.

Boeing WB-50 9275 of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at the Open Day on the 19th of May 1956 on Mary Ann Site with Type 'C' Hangars in the Background.

AD5 is on the Left in the Background & AD6 is on the Right.

The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron was a Resident Unit at Burtonwood & Maintained & Operated their Aircraft From Mary Ann Site (These Hangars Above)

FTS Vampire T.11 XK584 66 17th of  May 1958 open day.

(Please note the distinctive multi pitched roof of one of the
'C' Type hangars can clearly be seen on this photo below)

Meteor of 264 Squadron NF.14.WS810B Open House May the 18th 1957

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