Royal Air Force Bovingdon or more RAF Bovingdon is a former Royal Air Force station located near the village of Bovingdon, 2.5 miles south of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire and 2.5 miles southeast of Berkhamsted, England. During the Second World War, the airfield was used by the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force, it was assigned USAAF designation Station 112, station code "BV" changed to "BZ". Bovingdon was built in 1941/42 as a standard Class; the main NE/SW runway was 1,634 yards /4902 feet long and the two secondary runways were 1,433 yd /4299 feet long each. Over 30 dispersal hardstandings were built. On 15 June 1942, No. 7 Group, RAF Bomber Command took up residence at Bovingdon. Operational missions were flown in June and July by the RAF until the field was turned over to the USAAF in August. USAAF Station Units assigned to RAF Bovingdon were: 1st Combat Crew Replacement Group11th Combat Crew Replacement Unit328th Service Group 347th Service Squadron.
General Eisenhower's personal B-17 was housed on the base. During World War II, several film stars were assigned at one time or another to the base, including Clark Gable, James Stewart and William Holden. Among famous wartime visitors were Bob Hope, Frances Langford, Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt, Glenn Miller. A unique mission undertaken at Bovingdon was the training of United States journalists to cover the air war over Occupied Europe. A group of military journalists underwent training in February 1943 to fly high-altitude missions in bombers, to shoot the flexible machine guns, as well as parachute and life support training as aircrew; the group of journalists flew on a combat mission over Wilhelmshaven, Germany on 26 February 1943 to attack the German Naval submarine pens there. The mission saw heavy losses for the USAAF, the aircraft of Andy Rooney of the Stars and Stripes was damaged by flak and Robert Post of the New York Times was killed in action when his B-24 exploded; this ended the training of journalists to fly along with Eighth Air Force bomber crews.
Other journalists who underwent this training included Walter Cronkite, James Denton Scott, Homer Bigart, William Wade and Gladwin Hill. The first USAAF tenant at Bovingdon was the 92nd Bombardment Group, being deployed from Sarasota AAF, Florida; the group was known as "Fame's Favorite Few", it was assigned to the 4th Combat Wing at RAF Thurleigh. The group tail code was a "Triangle B", its operational squadrons were: 325th Bombardment Squadron 326th Bombardment Squadron 327th Bombardment Squadron 407th Bombardment Squadron The 92nd flew a few two combat missions in September and October 1942 was assigned the role of a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Combat Crew Replacement Unit. In January 1943, the 92nd was transferred to RAF Alconbury where it was reformed as an operational combat group. Although the 92nd Bomb Group departed for Alconbury, the 326th Bomb Squadron of the 92nd remained at Bovingdon to form the core of 11th Combat Crew Replacement Unit; the training was performed on the B-17E aircraft, most combat crews of 8th Air Force bombing units for the balance of the war received their introduction before moving on to their operational bases.
Although based at Bovingdon, the 326th remained under the operational control of the 92nd at Alconbury until May 1943. In September 1944 the 11th CCRU was disbanded and Bovingdon became the base for the European Air Transport Service. Many thousands of Americans returned to the States via the air terminal. At the end of the war, Bovingdon was returned to RAF control on 15 April 1947; the British Ministry of Civil Aviation obtained the airfield for civilian airline use. On 15 September 1949, Bovingdon was the start point for a successful record air speed attempt by a de Havilland Hornet to and from Gibraltar; because of its elevation, Bovingdon was clear when Heathrow Airport and RAF Northolt were fog-bound and, during the winter months Bovingdon was used by British European Airways. British Overseas Airways Corporation used Bovingdon as a maintenance facility and numerous other independent aircraft operators used the former technical site during the postwar years. During the 1950s both civilian and military organizations used Bovingdon.
The proximity of the USAF Third Air Force Headquarters at RAF South Ruislip and HQ RAF Fighter Command at Bentley Priory made Bovingdon the ideal location for service aircraft. The USAF returned to Bovingdon on 25 May 1951, with the establishment of the 7531st Air Base Squadron. Douglas C-47 Skytrains were assigned to the unit, however many transitory USAF planes used the airfield routinely. In addition, the RAF operated the Fighter Command Communications Squadron on the base. In October 1962, the USAF departed from Bovingdon. During the 60s, RAF Transport Command operated Anson, Devon and latterly Basset aircraft from Bovingdon. In the 1960s the base was home to the last flight of Anson Mk 21 aircraft, descended from a World War II design; the Air Training Corps 617 Gliding School operated from Bovingdon between 1968 and 1970, the last flight by a milita
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain; the RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence, which are to "provide the capabilities needed to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories, including against terrorism. The RAF describes its mission statement as "... an agile and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission". The mission statement is supported by the RAF's definition of air power.
Air power is defined as "the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events". Today the Royal Air Force maintains an operational fleet of various types of aircraft, described by the RAF as being "leading-edge" in terms of technology; this consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft. The majority of the RAF's rotary-wing aircraft form part of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces. Most of the RAF's aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases. Although the RAF is the principal British air power arm, the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and the British Army's Army Air Corps deliver air power, integrated into the maritime and land environments. While the British were not the first to make use of heavier-than-air military aircraft, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force: that is, the first air force to become independent of army or navy control.
Following publication of the "Smuts report" prepared by Jan Smuts the RAF was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. At that time it was the largest air force in the world. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its inter-war years were quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the control of Iraq and executing a number of minor actions in other parts of the British Empire; the RAF's naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924 but handed over to Admiralty control on 24 May 1939. The RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War; the RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. Under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed "Article XV squadrons" for service with RAF formations.
Many individual personnel from these countries, exiles from occupied Europe served with RAF squadrons. By the end of the war the Royal Canadian Air Force had contributed more than 30 squadrons to serve in RAF formations approximately a quarter of Bomber Command's personnel were Canadian. Additionally, the Royal Australian Air Force represented around nine percent of all RAF personnel who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the numerically superior German Luftwaffe. In what is the most prolonged and complicated air campaign in history, the Battle of Britain contributed to the delay and subsequent indefinite postponement of Hitler's plans for an invasion of the United Kingdom. In the House of Commons on 20 August, prompted by the ongoing efforts of the RAF, Prime Minister Winston Churchill eloquently made a speech to the nation, where he said "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".
The largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command. While RAF bombing of Germany began immediately upon the outbreak of war, under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Harris, these attacks became devastating from 1942 onward as new technology and greater numbers of superior aircraft became available; the RAF adopted night-time area bombing on German cities such as Hamburg and Dresden, developed precision bombing techniques for specific operations, such as the "Dambusters" raid by No. 617 Squadron, or the Amiens prison raid known as Operation Jericho. Following victory in the Second World War, the RAF underwent significant re-organisation, as technological advances in air warfare saw the arrival of jet fighters and bombers. During the early stages of the Cold War, one of the first major operations undertaken by the Royal Air Force was in 1948 and the Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Between 26 June and the lifting of the Russian blockade of the city on 2 May, the RAF provided 17% of the total supplies delivered du
A hangar is a closed building structure to hold aircraft, or spacecraft. Hangars are built of metal and concrete; the word hangar comes from Middle French hanghart, of Germanic origin, from Frankish *haimgard, from *haim and gard. Hangars are used for protection from the weather, direct sunlight, repair, manufacture and storage of aircraft, aircraft carriers and ships; the Wright brothers stored and repaired their aircraft in a wooden hangar constructed in 1902 at Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina for their glider. After completing design and construction of the Wright Flyer in Ohio, the brothers returned to Kill Devil Hill only to find their hangar damaged, they repaired the structure and constructed a new workshop while they waited for the Flyer to be shipped. Carl Richard Nyberg used a hangar to store his 1908 Flugan in the early 20th century and in 1909, Louis Bleriot crash-landed on a northern French farm in Les Baraques and rolled his monoplane into the farmer's cattle pen. Bleriot was in a race to be the first man to cross the English Channel in a heavier-than-air aircraft and set up his headquarters in the unused shed.
In Britain, the earliest aircraft hangars were known as aeroplane sheds and the oldest survivors of these are at Larkhill, Wiltshire. These are now Grade II * Listed buildings. British aviation pioneer Alliott Verdon Roe built one of the first aeroplane sheds in 1907 at Brooklands and full-size replicas of this and the 1908 Roe biplane are on display at Brooklands Museum; as aviation became established in Britain before World War I, standard designs of hangar appeared with military types too such as the Bessonneau hangar and the side-opening aeroplane shed of 1913, both of which were soon adopted by the Royal Flying Corps. Examples of the latter survive at Farnborough and Montrose airfields. During World War I, other standard designs included the RFC General Service Flight Shed and the Admiralty F-Type of 1916, the General Service Shed and the Handley Page aeroplane shed. Airship hangars or airship sheds are larger than conventional aircraft hangars in height. Most early airships used hydrogen gas to provide them with sufficient buoyancy for flight, so their hangars had to provide protection from stray sparks to keep the gas from exploding.
Hangars that held several airships were at risk from chain-reaction explosions. For this reason, most hangars for hydrogen-based airships were built to house only one or two such craft. During the "Golden Age" of airship travel from 1900, mooring masts and sheds were constructed to build and house airships; the British government built a shed in Karachi for the R101, the Brazilian government built one in Rio de Janeiro, the pt:Hangar do Zeppelin for the German Zeppelins and the US government constructed Moffett Field, Akron and Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey. Sheds built for rigid airships survive at California. Steel rigid airship hangars are some of the largest in the world. Hangar 1, Lakehurst, is located at New Jersey; the structure was completed in 1921 and is typical of airship hangar designs of World War I. The site is best known for the Hindenburg disaster, when on May 6, 1937, the German airship Hindenburg crashed and burned while landing. Hangar No. 1 at Lakehurst was used to store the American USS Shenandoah.
The hangar provided service and storage for the airships USS Los Angeles, Macon, as well as the Graf Zeppelin and the Hindenburg. The largest hangars built include the Goodyear Airdock measuring 1,175x325x211 feet and Hangar One measuring 1,133 ft × 308 ft × 198 ft; the Goodyear Airdock, is in Akron and the structure was completed on November 25, 1929. The Airdock was used for her sister ship, the USS Macon. Hangar One at Moffett Federal Field, is located in California; the structure was completed in 1931. It housed the USS Macon; the US Navy established more airship operations during WWII. As part of this, ten "lighter-than-air" bases across the United States were built as part of the coastal defense plan. Hangars at these bases are some of the world's largest freestanding timber structures. Bases with wooden hangars included: the Naval Air Stations at Massachusetts. Of the seventeen, only seven remain, Moffett Federal Field, California. A hangar for Cargolifter was built at Brand-Briesen Airfield 1,180 ft long, 705 ft wide and 348 ft high and is a free standing steel-dome "barrel-bowl" construction large enough to fit the Eiffel Tower on its side.
The company went into insolvency and in June 2003, the facil
Benghazi is the second-most populous city in Libya and the largest in Cyrenaica. A port on the Mediterranean Sea in the State of Libya, Benghazi had joint-capital status alongside Tripoli because the King and the Senussi royal family were associated with Cyrenaica rather than Tripolitania; the city was provisional capital of the National Transitional Council. Benghazi continues to hold institutions and organizations associated with a national capital city, such as the country's parliament, national library, the headquarters of Libyan Airlines, the national airline, of the National Oil Corporation; this creates a constant atmosphere of rivalry and sensitivities between Benghazi and Tripoli, between Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. The population was 670,797 at the 2006 census. On 15 February 2011, an uprising against the government of Muammar Gaddafi occurred in the city; the revolts spread by 17 February to Bayda, Ajdabya, Al Marj in the East and Zintan, Zawiya in the West, calling for the end of the Gaddafi Regime.
Benghazi was taken by Gaddafi opponents on 21 February, who founded the National Transitional Council. On 19 March, the city was the site of the turning point of the Libyan Civil War, when the Libyan Army attempted to score a decisive victory against the NTC by attacking Benghazi, but was forced back by local resistance and intervention from the French Air Force authorized by UNSC Resolution 1973 to protect civilians, allowing the rebellion to continue; the ancient Greek city that existed within the modern day boundaries of Benghazi was founded around 525 BC. Euesperides was most founded by people from Cyrene or Barce, located on the edge of a lagoon which opened from the sea. At the time, this area may have been deep enough to receive small sailing vessels; the name was attributed to the fertility of the neighborhood, which gave rise to the mythological associations of the garden of the Hesperides The ancient city existed on a raised piece of land opposite of what is now the Sidi-Abayd graveyard in the Northern Benghazi suburb of Sbikhat al-Salmani.
The city is first mentioned by ancient sources in Herodotus' account of the revolt of Barca and the Persian expedition to Cyrenaica in c. 515 BC, where it is stated that the punitive force sent by the satrap of Egypt conquered Cyrenaica as far west as Euesperides. The oldest coins minted in the city date back to 480 BC. One side of those coins has an engraving of Delphi; the other side is an engraving of a silphium plant, once the symbol of trade from Cyrenaica because of its use as a rich seasoning and as a medicine. The coinage suggests that the city must have enjoyed some autonomy from Cyrene in the early 5th century BC, when the issues of Euesperides had their own types with the legend EU, distinct from those of Cyrene; the city was surrounded by inhospitable tribes. The Greek historian Thucydides mentions a siege of the city in 414 BC, by Libyans who were the Nasamones: Euesperides was saved by the unexpected arrival of the Spartan general Gylippus and his fleet, who were blown to Libya by contrary winds on their way to Sicily.
One of the Cyrenean kings whose fate is connected with the city is Arcesilaus IV. The king used his chariot victory at the Pythian Games of 462 BC to attract new settlers to Euesperides, where Arcesilaus hoped to create a safe refuge for himself against the resentment of the people of Cyrene; this proved ineffective, since when the king fled to Euesperides during the anticipated revolution, he was assassinated, thus terminating the 200-year rule of the Battiad dynasty. An inscription found there and dated around the middle of the 4th century BC states that the city had a constitution similar to that of Cyrene, with a board of chief magistrates and a council of elders. In the 4th century BC, during the unsettled period which followed Alexander's death, the city backed the losing side in a revolt by the Spartan adventurer Thibron. After the marriage around the middle of the 3rd century BC of Ptolemy III to Berenice, daughter of the Cyrenean Governor Magas, many Cyrenaican cities were renamed to mark the occasion.
Euesperides became Berenice and the change of name involved a relocation. Its desertion was due to the silting up of the lagoons; the Greek colony had lasted from the 6th to the mid-3rd centuries BC. Modern Benghazi, on the Gulf of Sidra, lies a little southwest of the site of the ancient Greek city of Berenice or Berenicis or Bernici; that city was traditionally founded in 446 BC, by a brother of the king of Cyrene, but got the name Berenice only when it was refounded in the 3rd century BC under the patronage of Berenice, the daughter of Magas, king of Cyrene, wife of Ptolemy III Euergetes, the ruler of Egypt. The new city was given the name Hesperides, in reference to the Hesperides, the guardians of the mythic western paradise; the name may have referred to green oases in low-lying areas in the nearby coastal plain. Benghazi became a Roman city and prospered for 600 years; the city superseded Cyrene and Barca as the chief center of Cyrenaica after the 3rd century AD and during the Persian attacks.
In its more prosperous period, Berenice became a Christian bishopric. The first of its bishops whose name is recorded in extant documents is Ammon, to whom Dionysius
A taxiway is a path for aircraft at an airport connecting runways with aprons, hangars and other facilities. They have a hard surface such as asphalt or concrete, although smaller general aviation airports sometimes use gravel or grass. Busy airports construct high-speed or rapid-exit taxiways to allow aircraft to leave the runway at higher speeds; this allows the aircraft to vacate the runway quicker, permitting another to land or take off in a shorter interval of time. This is accomplished by making the exiting taxiway longer, thus giving the aircraft more space in which to slow down, before the taxiways' upcoming intersection with another taxiway, another runway, or the ramp/tarmac. Most airports do not have a specific speed limit for taxiing. There is a general rule on safe speed based on obstacles. Operators and aircraft manufacturers might have limits. Typical taxi speeds are 20-30 knots. Normal Centerline A single continuous yellow line, 15 centimetres to 30 centimetres in width. Enhanced Centerline The enhanced taxiway center line marking consists of a parallel line of yellow dashes on either side of the taxiway centerline.
Taxiway centerlines are enhanced for 150 feet before a runway holding position marking. The enhanced taxiway centerline is standard at all FAR Part 139 certified airports in the USA. Taxiway Edge Markings Used to define the edge of the taxiway when the edge does not correspond with the edge of the pavement. Continuous markings consist of a continuous double yellow line, with each line being at least 15 centimetres in width, spaced 15 centimetres apart, they divide the taxiway edge from the shoulder or some other abutting paved surface not intended for use by aircraft. Dashed markings define the edge of a taxiway on a paved surface where the adjoining pavement to the taxiway edge is intended for use by aircraft, e.g. an apron. These markings consist of a broken double yellow line, with each line being at least 15 centimetres in width, spaced 15 centimetres apart; these lines are 15 feet in length with 25 foot gaps. Taxi Shoulder Markings Taxiways, holding bays, aprons are sometimes provided with paved shoulders to prevent blast and water erosion.
Shoulders are not intended for use by aircraft, may be unable to carry the aircraft load. Taxiway shoulder markings are yellow lines perpendicular to the taxiway edge, from taxiway edge to pavement edge, about 3 metres. Surface Painted Taxiway Direction Signs Yellow background with a black inscription, provided when it is not possible to provide taxiway direction signs at intersections, or when necessary to supplement such signs; these markings are located on either side of the taxiway. Surface Painted Location Signs Black background with a yellow inscription and yellow and black border. Where necessary, these markings supplement location signs located alongside the taxiway and assist the pilot in confirming the designation of the taxiway on which the aircraft is located; these markings are located on the right side of the centerline. Geographic Position Markings, they are positioned to the left of the taxiway centerline in the direction of taxiing. Black inscription centered on pink circle with white outer ring.
If the pavement is a light colour the border is white with a black outer ring. Runway Holding Position Markings These show where an aircraft should stop when approaching a runway from a taxiway, they consist of four yellow lines, two solid and two dashed, spaced six or twelve inches apart, extending across the width of the taxiway or runway. The solid lines are always on the side. There are three locations where runway holding position markings are encountered: Runway holding position markings on taxiways. Holding Position Markings for Instrument Landing System These consist of two yellow solid lines spaced two feet apart connected by pairs of solid lines spaced ten feet apart extending across the width of the taxiway. Holding Position Markings for Taxiway/Taxiway Intersections These consist of a single dashed line extending across the width of the taxiway. Surface Painted Holding Position Signs Red background signs with a white inscription to supplement the signs located at the holding position.
The taxiways are given alphanumeric identification. These taxiway IDs are shown on yellow signboards along the taxiways. Airport guidance signs provide information to taxiing aircraft and airport vehicles. Smaller airports may have few or no signs, relying instead on airport charts. There are two classes of signage at airports, with several types of each: Location signs – yellow on black background. Identifies the runway or taxiway the aircraft is on or is entering. Direction/Runway exit signs – black on yellow. Identifies the intersecting taxiways the aircraft is approaching, with an arrow indicating the direction to turn. Stop Bar signs – white on blue background; the designation consists of the letter S followed by designation of the taxiway on which the Stop Bar is positioned. This sign is not standard. Other – many airports use conventional traffic signs such as stop and yield signs throughout the airport. Mandatory instruction signs are white on red, they show entrances to critical areas. Vehicles and aircraft are required to stop at these signs until the control tower gives clearance to proceed.
Runway signs – White text on a red background. These signs identify a runway inte
William Clark Gable was an American film actor and military officer, at his height during the 1930s and 1940s and referred to as "The King of Hollywood". He began his career as an extra in Hollywood silent films between 1924 and 1926, progressed to supporting roles with a few films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1930, he landed his first leading role in 1931 and was a leading man in more than 60 motion pictures over the following three decades. Gable was best known for Gone With The Wind, as Rhett Butler opposite co-star Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Frank Capra's It Happened One Night, was nominated for his role in Mutiny on the Bounty. He found success commercially and critically with Red Dust, Manhattan Melodrama, San Francisco, Test Pilot, Boom Town, The Hucksters and The Misfits, his final screen appearance. Gable appeared opposite some of the most popular actresses of the time. Joan Crawford was his favorite actress to work with, he partnered with her in eight films.
Myrna Loy worked with him seven times, he was paired with Jean Harlow in six productions. He starred with Lana Turner in four features, with Norma Shearer and Ava Gardner in three each; the Misfits united him with Marilyn Monroe in her last completed screen appearance. Gable is considered one of the most consistent box-office performers in history, appearing on Quigley Publishing's annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll 16 times, he was named the seventh-greatest male star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute. William Clark Gable was born in Cadiz, Ohio to William Henry "Will" Gable, an oil-well driller, his wife Adeline, his father was his mother a Roman Catholic. Gable was named William after his father, but he was always called Clark or sometimes Billy, he was listed as a female on his birth certificate. He is of Pennsylvania Dutch and German ancestry. Gable was six months old, when he was baptized at a Roman Catholic church in Ohio, his mother died when he was ten months old from a brain tumor, although the official cause of death was given as an epileptic fit.
His father refused to raise him Catholic. The dispute was resolved when his father agreed to allow him to spend time with his maternal uncle Charles Hershelman and his wife on their farm in Vernon Township, Pennsylvania. In April 1903, Gable's father married Jennie Dunlap, whose family came from the small neighboring town of Hopedale, Ohio; the marriage produced no children. Gable was a shy child with a loud voice, his stepmother raised him to be well-groomed. He took up brass instruments and was the only boy in the men's town band when he was 13, he was mechanically inclined and loved to repair cars with his father, who insisted that he do "manly" things such as hunting and hard physical work. Gable loved language, he would recite Shakespeare among trusted company the sonnets, his father agreed to buy a 72-volume set of The World's Greatest Literature to improve his son's education, but he claimed that he never saw him use it. His father had financial difficulties in 1917 and decided to try his hand at farming, the family moved to Ravenna, Ohio near Akron.
His father insisted that he work the farm, but Gable soon left to work in Akron for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. At 17, Gable was inspired to be an actor after seeing the play The Bird of Paradise, but he was not able to make a real start until he turned 21 and inherited some money, his stepmother had died, his father moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to go back to the oil business. Gable toured as well as working the oil fields and as a horse manager, he found work with several second-class theater companies, thus making his way across the Midwest to Seaside, Oregon working as a logger, to Portland, where he worked as a necktie salesman in the Meier & Frank department store. In Portland, he met Laura Hope Crews, a stage and film actress who encouraged him to return to the stage with another theater company. Twenty years Crews played Aunt Pittypat alongside Gable's Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind. Gable's acting coach Josephine Dillon was a theater manager in Portland, she paid to have his teeth repaired and his hair styled, guided him in building up his chronically undernourished body, taught him better body control and posture.
She spent considerable time training his high-pitched voice, which he managed to lower, to gain better resonance and tone. As his speech habits improved, his facial expressions became more convincing. After a long period of training, Dillon considered him ready to attempt a film career. Gable and Dillon went to Hollywood in 1924 with her financing, she became his manager and his wife though she was 17 years his senior, he changed his stage name from W. C. Gable to Clark Gable and found work as an extra in silent films such as Erich von Stroheim's The Merry Widow, The Plastic Age starring Clara Bow, Forbidden Paradise starring Pola Negri, a series of two-reel comedies called The Pacemakers, he appeared as an extra in Fox's The Johnstown Flood. A 17 year-old Carole Lombard appeared as an extra in that film, as well, although they were not in the same scene, he appeared as a bit player in a series of shorts. However, he was not offered any major film roles, he became lifelong friends with Lionel Barrymore, who initiall
Royal Air Force Bassingbourn or more RAF Bassingbourn is a former Royal Air Force station located in Cambridgeshire 3 mi north of Royston, Hertfordshire and 11 mi south west of Cambridge, England. During the Second World War it served first as an RAF station and as a bomber airfield of the Eighth Air Force, of the United States Army Air Forces, it remains the home of the Tower Museum Bassingbourn. RAF Bassingbourn was constructed by John Laing & Son between 1937 and 1939 in the parishes of Wendy and Bassingbourn to the west of the A14 road; the site selected was low ground between several tributaries of the River Cam. The area had been long cleared of forest and tended to be swampy and unstable, because the boggy ground produced a persistent mist over the large meadow the site was considered ideal for airfield camouflage; the project was begun in April 1937 under the direction of Sir Maurice Laing, with Reginald Silk as the site engineer and John Crowther the site surveyor. Four C Type hangars were erected by a sub-contractor in a semi-circle at the south edge of the airfield site one mile north of the hamlet of Kneesworth.
Laing began work pouring concrete foundations for the technical site buildings, communal sites and barracks. Roadway cores were built of unusual thickness to prevent crumbling of the pavement; the technical site was landscaped. Treeless, Bassingbourn was made one of the most attractive RAF stations by the planting of hundreds of plum trees as part of the project; the runways were grass. The Bristol Blenheim light bombers that first used the field were able to operate under the existing conditions, although landings produced pronounced water splashes, but the weight of heavier bombers tore ruts in the grass surface and limited take-off speeds. W & C French Ltd. constructed three concrete runways surfaced with asphalt during the winter of 1941–1942: a 1,097 m runway aligned southwest to northeast, one of853 m crossing it north–south, a 3,300 ft 1,006 m runway connecting the northeast ends of the first two. The Class A airfield standard was promulgated by the Air Ministry in August 1942 and the runways at Bassingbourn were extended.
The main runway was lengthened to 1,825 m by extending it west, with the use of extensive tile drainage, across a moat off the Mill River. The north–south runway was extended 400 m south, the third runway lengthened 305 m to the northwest. Additional perimeter track was added around the bomb store site, doubled in area, to reach the west end of the main runway. Seven miles of taxiway were paved. Four dispersal areas were built. Dispersal A was placed in a large field between the technical site and the hamlet of Bassingbourn-North End. Dispersal B was located west of the bomb store. Dispersal C was next to the A14 north of the runways and Dispersal D was built in the grand avenue of Wimpole Park, the tree-lined entrance to Wimpole Hall across the A14 from the station. Bombers using this dispersal had to cross the road to marshal for take-off. 35 "pan" hardstands and 16 loop hardstands were constructed, able to accommodate 67 bombers. Bassingbourn made extensive use of camouflage to disguise the location of its runways.
Prior to the building of the concrete runways, the strips were painted to blend them into the surrounding pattern of fields and drainage areas. After conversion to Class A standards, which required extensive clearing and grading of the airfield area, the areas between the runways were camouflaged to resemble agricultural crops. RAF personnel first arrived at Bassingbourn from RAF Uxbridge in March 1938, followed by No. 108 Squadron from RAF Cranfield in April. The first aircraft, a Hawker Hind, landed on the airfield on 2 May 1938, the station became an Operational Training Unit as well as a staging post for operational aircraft as part of 2 Group, RAF Bomber Command; the first Station Commander was a local man from Royston. No 108 Squadron operated Hinds until the end of June 1938, when it converted to the Bristol Blenheim I. Bassingbourn retained its OTU role following the outbreak of the Second World War, although No. 108 Squadron was transferred to RAF Bicester and replaced by 215 Squadron.
On 8 April 1940, No. 11 Operational Training Unit was formed at Bassingbourn as part of No. 6 Group from the Station HQ and No 215 Squadron. Equipped with Vickers Wellingtons, its role was to train night bomber crews. From December 1941 to February 1942 the OTU operated from RAF Tempsford while runways were constructed at Bassingbourn; the station was attacked on 5 April 1940 by an isolated German raider that dropped 10 bombs, causing damage to the direction finding equipment and WT huts, in August 1940 by a single bomb dropped on the barrack block situated south of the parade ground, which killed 11 and injured 15. At the end of May 1942 aircraft from Bassingbourn participated in the "Thousand Bomber" raid on Cologne. In order to raise this number, Bomber Command employed every aircraft capable of taking to the air, including 20 Wellington bombers from No. 11 OTU. Subsequently aircraft from here contributed to major raids until the group moved in October 1942 to RAF Westcott. Plans for locating United States Army Air Forces heavy bomber groups dated back to before America's entry into the war, when RAF Thurleigh w