View Full Version : Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery (HAA) 644 of the Royal artillery, Otley, Yorks, March '09

28-03-2009, 11:46 PM
Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery (HAA) 644 of the Royal artillery is just outside Otley, in a farmers field. A couple of miles away was the Avro factory, where Lancaster bombers were built, and west of here, RAF Yeadon, now Leeds/Bradford airport.

There are 4 gun emplacements with ammo stores and crew shelters in each.

From inside the crew shelter looking out towards the ammunition stores. Today sheep shelter in them. Today, the sheep were not on site.

I would guess this was a telegraph pole, but it may have been a flag pole. I don't know, sorry readers.

The predictor plinth. A tripod with a geared mechanism would be mounted on here to process a number of variables (wind direction, ballistics, angles etc) and improve the accuracy greatly.

The centre of the site has a command bunker. This is currently flooded to a depth of 4 feet. Here, two doors, lead off the main room into smaller rooms.

The main room. Ducting for the wiring can be seen clearly on the walls and the ceiling.

Looking towards a large internal window in the main command room.

A view looking back down the main room. The green is pond weed. There is a lot of frogspawn in the water, which I left alone as I swam back to the flooded steps.

For intersted readers, here is a quote from BBC People at war series about the Anti Aircraft battery in use. (Anthony Hodgetts via the BBC; Wartime Life in Old Bramhope.)

the night of 19 August 1940. A Heinkel 111 of Kampfgeschwader 53 dropped high explosive and incendiary bombs on the Chevin, near to the site now occupied by the Chevin Lodge Hotel. We all thought at the time that the target was RAF Yeadon and the Avro factory that was under construction nearby, but apparently the pilot was off course and thought he was bombing Leeds, according to post war studies of Luftwaffe records. It appears that he was so surprised at the reception he received when searchlights and the ack-ack battery at Carlton crossroads opened up, closely followed by the ack-ack at Adel, that he reported on his return that there must be something important in the area. So a week later they sent a Junkers 88, a much faster light bomber, which came up Wharfedafe and round the Chevin, and dropped some more bombs, roused the reception committee and fled."

28-03-2009, 11:58 PM
Cool stuff :thumb

29-03-2009, 12:01 AM
Great pics, love the algae ones of the flooded command bunker although its a shame its flooded. :thumb

29-03-2009, 12:19 AM
The command bunker pics are great :thumb

29-03-2009, 08:34 AM
Nice one mate, this is great little slice of local history.

30-03-2009, 10:13 AM
Great site, good photos. The crew shelters and stores look very similar to what we found at Weybourne, but the guns stood in a well.

beam assisted
05-10-2010, 07:30 PM
Sorry to dig up a old post.

I great report and great pics (love the B&W) - been on my list a while, its just getting time.