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RAF Stations in North Yorkshire

With its location in the East of England North Yorkshire has had a long history with the RAF. There are currently three active stations and twenty two that have closed.

Active Stations

The three active stations are:

  • RAF Fylingdales
  • RAF Leeming
  • RRH Staxton Wold

RAF Fylingdales

RAF Fylingdales Mug

Open - 1963
A non-flying station that provides ballistic missile early warning and space surveillance capability to both the UK and US governments. 

RAF Leeming

RAF Leeming Mug

Open - 1940
During the Second World War RAF Leeming was a bomber station. While the Handley Page Halifax was the main aircraft there were a variety of different bombers were based at the station. Bristol Blenheims, Short Stirlings, Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys, Vickers Wellingtons and Avro Lancasters were all based at RAF Leeming.

After the war the station received the Mosquito followed by the Meteor and Javelin as it became a night fighter station. Arriving in 1961 was the Jet Provost as RAF Leeming became home to 3 Flying Training School.

In 1988 RAF Leeming became a front line air defence station with the arrival of the Tornado F3 and this continued until 2008.

Alongside various deployable Wings and Units the station operates the Hawk 167 as a joint training squadron with the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

RRH Staxton Wold

RRH Staxton Wold

Open - 1937
A remote air defence radar station managed by RAF Boulmer

Closed Stations

There are twenty two former stations

  • RAF Acaster Malbis
  • RAF Binsoe
  • RAF Burn
  • RAF Catterick
  • RAF Church Fenton
  • RAF Clifton
  • RAF Dalton
  • RAF Dishforth
  • RAF Elvington
  • RAF Helperby
  • RAF Linton-on-Ouse
  • RAF Marston Moor
  • RAF Riccall
  • RAF Ripon
  • RAF Rufforth
  • RAF Scorton
  • RAF Sherburn-in-Elmet
  • RAF Skipton-on-Swale
  • RAF Thornaby
  • RAF Tholthorpe
  • RAF Topcliffe
  • RAF Wombleton

RAF Acaster Malbis

Open - 1942
Closed - 1957
A Second World War airfield that operated Bell Aircobras, Supermarine Spitfires, Airspeed Oxfords, Hanley Page Halifaxes and Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys. After the war it became a maintenance unit until it closed.

RAF Binsoe

Open - 1916
Closed - 1919
Used as a relief landing ground for RAF Ripon

RAF Burn

Open - 1942
Closed - 1945
A Second World War airfield that operated the Vickers Wellington and the Handley Page Halifax.

RAF Catterick

331 Squadron Spitfires at RAF Catterick in 1942

(331 Squadron Spitfires at RAF Catterick in 1942)

Open - 1914
Closed - 1994
Initially a Royal Flying Corps airfield it was used by the RAF as a Fighter Command airfield during the Second World War.

After the war the station become the RAF Regiment depot and the training centre for the RAF Fire Service.

In 1994 the station was transferred to the Army.

RAF Church Fenton

RAF Church Fenton Control Tower

Open - 1937
Closed - 2013
During the Second World War the station operated the Hawker Hurricane and the de Havilland Mosquito.

After the war it continued to be a fighter station, operating the Gloster Meteor and Hawker Hunter. Then in 1962 the role of the station changed to training with the arrival of the Jet Provost with the Short Tucano arriving in 1989.

The station closed in 2013 and is now Leeds East Airport.

RAF Clifton

Open - 1939
Closed - 1946
A civilian airfield that was requisitioned by the RAF during the Second World War. Westland Lysanders, Tomahawks, North American Mustangs and Taylorcraft Austers were all based at RAF Clifton.

Also known as RAF York and RAF Rawcliffe.

RAF Dalton

Open - 1941
Closed - 1945
Predominately a heavy bomber station that operated Royal Canadian Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, Handley Page Halifax and Vickers Wellington. Other aircraft stationed there were Miles Martinet, Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire.

RAF Dishforth

Open - 1936
Closed - 1992
Predominately during the Second World War the station operated bomber aircraft. Towards the end of the war and afterwards the station took on the training role for transport aircraft.

By 1962 the last unit had moved out and the airfield was only used as a relief landing ground for nearby RAF Lemming and RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Then in 192 it was handed over to the Army Air Corps.

RAF Elvington

Open - 1942
Closed - 1992
Initially operating Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys 77 Squadron were re-equipped with the Handley Page Halifax.

Free French Forces also flew the Handley Page Halifax from 1944.

After the war the United States Air Force upgraded the runway but abandoned it in 1958. The RAF kept the airfield as a relief landing ground for nearby RAF Church Fenton and RAF Linton-on-Ouse until it closed in 1992.

RAF Helperby

Open - 1916
Closed - 1947
A First World War airfield that was used as an ammunition dump during the Second World War.

RAF Linton-on-Ouse

Short Tucano T1 at RAF Linton-on-Ouse

(Short Tucano T1 at RAF Linton-on-Ouse)

Open - 1937
Closed - 2020
A bomber airfield during the Second World War became a fighter station afterwards operating the Gloster Meteor, Canadair Sabre and the Hawker Hunter.

In 1957 the station became a flying training initially operating the Vampire T.11 alongside the Jet Provost. before switching in 1989 to the Shorts Tucano T1.

The station closed in 2020 and is in the process of being sold.

RAF Marston Moor

Open - 1941
Closed - 1949
Originally called RAF Tockwith but had to change name due to confusion with RAF Topcliffe. During the Second World War the station was used as a heavy bomber conversion unit to convert pilots from Whitley and Wellington bombers to the Hanley Page Halifax. After the war it was used a maintenance unit airfield.

RAF Riccall

Open - 1942
Closed - 1958
A satellite station to RAF Marston Moor as a heavy conversion unit during the Second World War. After the war the site was used for storage until eventually closing in 1958.

RAF Ripon

Open - 1916
Closed - 1919
A First World War airfield.

RAF Rufforth

Open - 1942
Closed - 1974
Mostly a conversion unit for nearby RAF Marston Moor the only operational aircraft operated was the Hanley Page Halifax. After the war the station became a maintenance unit with the airfield used as gliding school.

RAF Scorton

RAF Scorton 26 June 1941

(RAF Scorton 26 June 1941)

Open - 1939
Closed - 1952
Initially a satellite station for RAF Catterick it expanded in 1941. Bristol Beufighters, Hawker Typhoons, Supermarine Spitfires and the North American Mustang were all operated by the RAF during the Second World War alongside various Canadian and American aircraft.

The airfield closed in 1945 with the Station becoming a maintenance unit until it closed in 1952.

RAF Sherburn-in-Elmet

Open - 1940
Closed - 1945
A civilian airfield that was used in the Second World War to build the Fairey Swordfish. Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment moved in on 17th June 1942 to develop means to deploy airborne forces.

RAF Skipton-on-Swale

Open - 1942
Closed - 1945
Another Second World War airfield that operated the Vickers Wellington, Handley Page Halifax and Avro Lancaster.

RAF Thornaby

Open - 1929
Closed - 1958
The first aircraft based here were Wesland Waptis and Avro 504Ns which were both biplanes. In 1937 608 Squadron were re-equipped with Hawker Demons. Avro Ansons arrived in the same year with Fairey Battles and Handley Page Hampdens arriving in 1938.

During the Second World War lots of different aircraft were based at RAF Thornaby. 608 Squadron operated Lockheed Hudsons, Blackburn Bothas, Bristol Blenheims.

Other aircraft based at RAF Thornaby during the Second World War was de Havilland Tiger Moths, Hawker Henleys, Supermarine Spitfire, Vickers Wellingtons, Handley Page Halifax, Boeing Flying Fortress, Consolidated Liberator, Vickers Warwicks, Hadrian Gliders, Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle

After the Second World War Avro Lancasters, de Havilland Mosquitos, Airspeed Oxfords, dehavilland Vampirs, Gloster Meteor and North American Harvards were all based at RAF Thornaby. Bristol Sycamores arrive in 1954 with Hawker Hunters arriving in 1957.

RAF Tholthorpe

Open - 1940
Closed - 1945
A Bomber Command airfield during the Second World War that operated Hanley Page Halifax and Avro Lancasters.

RAF Topcliffe

Handley Page Hastings at Topcliffe in 1952

(Handley Page Hastings at Topcliffe in 1952)

Open - 1940
Closed - 1974
A bomber station during the Second World War that operated Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys, Vickers Wellingtons and the Handley Page Halifax.

Towards the end of the war up until it was transferred to the Army in 1974 the station the predominate focus was training.

RAF Wombleton

Open - 1943
Closed - 1949
Opened as a sub-station to RAF Topcliffe it was a heavy conversion unit operating the Hanley Page Halifaxes and Avro Lancasters.

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