Decoy Airfield

A “Q Site” is a decoy airfield used to deflect attention away from real airfields. They were designed to be bombed and as such often had decoy armoury, buildings, tanks etc.

“Q40A, ESSEX” was a Second World War bombing decoy at Stambourne that was built to deflect enemy bombing from Royal Air Force Debden airfield. It was later used as a decoy for Royal Air Force Ridgewell airfield. This was a ‘Q-type’ night decoy, which displayed a sequence of lights to simulate an active airfield. The site included an earth-covered bunker that housed the generator and provided shelter for the crew who manned the decoy. The site is referenced as being in use between June 1940 and August 1942. By the 1980s the site had been given over to agricultural use and no features of the decoy survive. A further bombing decoy site for Royal Air Force Ridgewell was located at Poslingford.

The blue cross on the right-hand map below shows its location.

Stambourne Decoy Airfield