Local hand peat cutters were excluded from North-East Fenn’s Moss in 1940, when the Air Ministry created a bombing range. This was 700 yards in diameter, with a central 36 yard-wide white wooden triangular target and lights for night bombing. Before deployment, pilots from three local Flying Training Schools including RAF Shawbury and three fighter and bomber Operational Training Units (RAF Rednal, RAF Sleap and RAF Tilstock) practiced dropping MkI smoke incendiary bombs by day and MkIII flash bombs by night, from Wellington and Whitley bombers, Spitfires, Miles Masters and Mustangs.

Aluminium production, vital for aircraft manufacturing aircraft was relocated from Coventry to Fenn's Bank in 1940

Advanced Training Flights strafed the eight yard-wide circular white-outlined machine gun targets, set up on the galleries of the North-east Fenn’s WW1 ranges, and a life-sized outline of a train and carriages mounted on the narrow-gauge peat railway.

‘Starfish’ sites were secret large-scale night-time decoys created during the Blitz to simulate burning British cities. The aim was to divert night bombers from their intended targets to drop their ordnance over the countryside. In 1940 a few prototype fire baskets ‘the Fenn’s Wicket’ were deployed, followed in 1942 by the full Starfish configuration of sixty-five baskets. The baskets were to be ignited remotely along wires from the Battery Store near Moss Cottages. There is no clear evidence that this Starfish site was bombed

Whixall History

World War Two