Haskard Target Range

The Haskard Target Range was first introduced at RAF Hawkinge in 1934. It was a hessian sheet on rollers with terrain sewn onto it and was moved to simulate flying over a landscape. It was surrounded on an upper level with a viewing platform and trainees would use this to practice bomb-aiming.

The inventor was a Lt Col Dudley Haskard RA who patented the design in 1943* with the UK Patent Office, Application Number: GB19430013456 19430818, which covered ‘Improvements in and relating to landscape and seascape models and the like’. Dated 18 August 1943, it was granted on 16 March 1945 as Publication Number 568083(A).

That said, the Annual Army Co-operation Report for 1934 (TNA AIR10/1914) notes that a Haskard trainer, which permitted model tanks and the like to be moved about by operators under the table using magnets, had been installed at Old Sarum.

The Haskard Target building at Hawkinge was situated between the classroom block and the gym and air operations for the Dunkirk evacuation were run from this building.