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RAF Linton-on-Ouse

RAF Linton on Ouse

Welcome to RAF Linton-on-Ouse, the former Royal Air Force base located in Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, England. With a rich history dating back to its opening in 1937, this base has played a significant role in the operations of the Royal Air Force. From being a bomber airfield during World War II to serving as a training facility for fast jet pilots, RAF Linton-on-Ouse has witnessed numerous squadrons, units, and missions throughout its existence.

Key Takeaways:

  • RAF Linton-on-Ouse, also known as Royal Air Force Linton-on-Ouse, is a former RAF base located in Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, England.
  • The base opened in 1937 and initially served as a bomber airfield.
  • During World War II, RAF Linton-on-Ouse played a crucial role in launching bombing raids on targets in Europe.
  • The base later became a training facility for fast jet pilots and hosted various squadrons and units.
  • In 2020, RAF Linton-on-Ouse closed, with no plans for an alternative military use for the site.

History of RAF Linton on Ouse

RAF Linton-on-Ouse has a fascinating history that spans several decades. Originally established as a bomber airfield in 1937, the base played a crucial role during World War II, launching bombing raids on targets in Europe. It was also home to No. 6 Group, Royal Canadian Air Force, which further contributed to its strategic importance.

After the war, RAF Linton-on-Ouse transitioned into a Fighter Command station, operating aircraft such as the Gloster Meteor, Canadair Sabre, and Hawker Hunter. These advanced fighter planes showcased the station’s adaptability and commitment to staying at the forefront of aviation technology.

In later years, RAF Linton-on-Ouse became a vital training facility for fast jet pilots. The station provided comprehensive training programs that included flying various aircraft, most notably the Short Tucano T1. Aspiring pilots honed their skills at the base, preparing them for the demanding challenges of aerial combat.

RAF Linton-on-Ouse’s history is marked by its vital role in World War II, its transition into a Fighter Command station, and its commitment to training future generations of fast jet pilots. The base’s contribution to aviation and national defense is undeniable.

Throughout its operation, RAF Linton-on-Ouse has been associated with various squadrons and units, each playing a unique role in the station’s mission. These squadrons, such as No. 4 Squadron RAF, No. 35 (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF, and No. 92 (East India) Squadron RAF, have left their mark on the history of the base.

Squadron Role
No. 4 Squadron RAF Bomber operations
No. 35 (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF Bomber operations
No. 92 (East India) Squadron RAF Fighter operations

RAF Linton-on-Ouse’s rich history and contributions to aviation make it an important part of the Royal Air Force’s legacy. From its early days as a bomber airfield to its role in training fast jet pilots, the base has played a vital role in national defense and the development of aviation expertise.

Location and Facilities

RAF Linton on Ouse facilities

RAF Linton-on-Ouse is strategically located in Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, England. Situated approximately 10 miles northwest of York, the base enjoys easy accessibility and a serene countryside setting. Spanning an impressive area of approximately 276 hectares (680 acres), the base offers ample space for training and operational activities.

To support its mission, RAF Linton-on-Ouse boasts a range of top-notch facilities. These include well-equipped hangars for aircraft storage and maintenance, state-of-the-art runways for takeoffs and landings, and a control tower that oversees the safe and efficient operation of air traffic. Additionally, the base houses various training and communication units, ensuring seamless coordination and effective training programs.

Facilities Details
Hangars Spacious hangars equipped with modern amenities for aircraft storage and maintenance.
Runways Multiple well-maintained runways providing ample space for takeoffs and landings.
Control Tower A central hub overseeing air traffic control and ensuring the safety of operations.
Training Units Dedicated units providing comprehensive training programs for personnel.
Communication Units Efficient communication units facilitating seamless coordination among personnel.
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As a testament to its rich history and the contributions of its personnel, RAF Linton-on-Ouse also houses a memorial room. This room serves as a poignant reminder of the station’s past and showcases the achievements and sacrifices of the units associated with it. The memorial room offers visitors a glimpse into the legacy of RAF Linton-on-Ouse and pays tribute to the airmen who served at the base.

Squadrons at RAF Linton on Ouse

RAF Linton-on-Ouse has been home to several squadrons throughout its illustrious history. These squadrons have played vital roles in various operations and training exercises conducted at the base. Some of the notable squadrons stationed at RAF Linton-on-Ouse include:

  • No. 4 Squadron RAF
  • No. 35 (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF
  • No. 51 Squadron RAF
  • No. 58 Squadron RAF
  • No. 64 Squadron RAF
  • No. 65 (East India) Squadron RAF
  • No. 66 Squadron RAF
  • No. 76 Squadron RAF
  • No. 77 Squadron RAF
  • No. 78 Squadron RAF
  • No. 92 (East India) Squadron RAF
  • No. 102 (Ceylon) Squadron RAF
  • No. 264 (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF
  • No. 275 Squadron RAF
  • No. 405 Squadron RCAF
  • No. 408 Squadron RCAF
  • No. 426 (Thunderbird) Squadron RCAF
  • 819 Naval Air Squadron

Each of these squadrons has made significant contributions to the operations and training conducted at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. From combat missions to reconnaissance flights, their dedication and expertise have been crucial to the success of the base. The squadrons have been involved in both historical and modern-day operations, showcasing the rich heritage and ongoing military prowess of RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

RAF Linton-on-Ouse wouldn’t have been the same without the presence of these esteemed squadrons. Their collective efforts have shaped the legacy of the base, leaving a lasting impact on the history of the Royal Air Force. Whether it’s defending the skies or training the next generation of pilots, the squadrons at RAF Linton-on-Ouse represent the commitment and excellence of the British military.

Squadron Year of Establishment Role
No. 4 Squadron RAF 1912 Fighter/Attack
No. 35 (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF 1916 Bomber/Reconnaissance
No. 51 Squadron RAF 1916 Bomber/Transport
No. 58 Squadron RAF 1916 Bomber/Reconnaissance
No. 64 Squadron RAF 1916 Fighter/Attack
No. 65 (East India) Squadron RAF 1916 Bomber/Fighter
No. 66 Squadron RAF 1916 Fighter/Attack
No. 76 Squadron RAF 1916 Bomber
No. 77 Squadron RAF 1916 Bomber
No. 78 Squadron RAF 1916 Bomber
No. 92 (East India) Squadron RAF 1917 Fighter/Attack
No. 102 (Ceylon) Squadron RAF 1917 Fighter/Attack
No. 264 (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF 1918 Bomber/Reconnaissance
No. 275 Squadron RAF 1918 Maritime Patrol
No. 405 Squadron RCAF 1941 Bomber
No. 408 Squadron RCAF 1941 Bomber
No. 426 (Thunderbird) Squadron RCAF 1942 Bomber
819 Naval Air Squadron 1938 Training

Closure of RAF Linton on Ouse

The closure of RAF Linton-on-Ouse was a significant event that took place in 2020. This decision came as a result of the transfer of pilot training to RAF Valley on Anglesey. The base had a long and illustrious history, but with this closure, it marked the end of an era for the Royal Air Force.

Officially, flying training at RAF Linton-on-Ouse ceased in October 2019 after the final student pilots graduated. The base was then put under care and maintenance until its official closure the following year. It was a bittersweet moment for those who had served at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, as they bid farewell to a place that had been their home for many years.

“The closure of RAF Linton-on-Ouse marked the end of an era for the Royal Air Force. It was a base filled with rich history and countless memories for those who had the privilege of serving there.”

In February 2021, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) confirmed that there were no plans for an alternative military use for the site. This led to the decision to sell the property, leaving the future of RAF Linton-on-Ouse uncertain. It remains to be seen what the next chapter holds for this once-thriving airbase.

Year Event
2020 Closure of RAF Linton-on-Ouse
2021 Confirmation of no alternative military use
2022 Property sold

As the doors of RAF Linton-on-Ouse closed, it left behind a legacy of bravery, dedication, and countless stories of those who served. The memories created within the base will forever be cherished by those who called it their home.

The closure of RAF Linton-on-Ouse was a significant moment in the history of the Royal Air Force. It marked the end of an era and left a void in the aviation community. While the future of the site remains uncertain, its impact and the stories of those who served there will live on.

Proposed Processing Centre for Asylum Seekers

In April 2022, the government announced its intention to convert RAF Linton-on-Ouse into a reception, accommodation, and processing centre for asylum seekers. This plan aimed to address the high costs associated with using hotels for housing asylum seekers. The proposed centre would provide a dedicated facility for processing and supporting individuals seeking asylum in the United Kingdom.

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This proposal, however, faced resistance from local residents who expressed concerns about potential changes to the demographics of the area. Some residents worried about the impact on local services and infrastructure, while others expressed anxieties about the integration of asylum seekers into the community. These concerns ignited a debate between supporters of the plan, emphasizing the humanitarian need to provide support to those seeking refuge, and opponents who raised valid questions about the capacity of the local area to accommodate a large influx of people.

Despite the initial plans, the government later decided not to proceed with the conversion of RAF Linton-on-Ouse into an asylum processing centre. In August 2022, the plans were officially abandoned. The decision came after careful consideration of the concerns raised by the local community and a reassessment of alternative solutions to address the challenges posed by accommodating asylum seekers.

The proposed conversion of RAF Linton-on-Ouse into an asylum processing centre aimed to provide a dedicated facility for the reception and support of asylum seekers. However, concerns from local residents ultimately led to the abandonment of the plans.

Motorsport at RAF Linton on Ouse

In addition to its military operations, RAF Linton-on-Ouse also had a brief stint as a motorsport venue in the early 1960s. The base played host to the Linton-on-Ouse circuit, a 1.7-mile track that saw racing events organized by the Northern branch of the British Racing and Sports Car Club. This provided a thrilling spectacle for motorsport enthusiasts, who flocked to witness the high-speed action against the backdrop of the historic RAF base.

The Linton-on-Ouse circuit, however, faced an unfortunate end due to a fatal accident that occurred during the 1961 meeting. This incident led to the venue no longer being available for racing, highlighting the importance of safety in motorsports. As a result, changes to flag marshalling procedures were implemented to prevent future accidents, which are still in use today in the world of motorsport.

“The Linton-on-Ouse circuit was a challenging track that attracted both drivers and spectators alike. It provided a unique opportunity to witness motorsport in the setting of a former RAF base, creating a sense of history and excitement.”

The Linton-on-Ouse Circuit – Fast Facts

Track Length 1.7 miles
Organizing Club British Racing and Sports Car Club (Northern branch)
Years of Operation 1960-1961
Reason for Closure Fatal accident during the 1961 meeting

The Linton-on-Ouse circuit may have had a short-lived existence, but it remains a fascinating chapter in the history of RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Its legacy serves as a reminder of the diverse range of activities that took place within the confines of this historic base.

Units at RAF Linton on Ouse

RAF Linton-on-Ouse housed several units and organizations that contributed to its operations and training programs. These units played diverse roles in supporting the base’s mission and training future pilots.

No. 1 Flying Training School (FTS)

– The No. 1 FTS was a vital component of RAF Linton-on-Ouse. It provided comprehensive flying training to pilots, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge for operational duties.

Central Flying School Tucano Squadron

– The Central Flying School Tucano Squadron was responsible for advanced flying training using the Short Tucano T1 aircraft. Pilots underwent rigorous training, honing their flying abilities and preparing them for more complex aircraft.

European Defence Agency (EDA)

– The European Defence Agency also had a presence at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. This organization facilitated cooperation and collaboration among European Union member states in the field of defense. Its involvement at the base emphasized the international significance of the training programs conducted.

List of Units at RAF Linton on Ouse
Unit Description
No. 1 Flying Training School (FTS) Provided comprehensive flying training to pilots
Central Flying School Tucano Squadron Conducted advanced flying training using the Short Tucano T1 aircraft
European Defence Agency (EDA) Facilitated cooperation and collaboration among European Union member states in defense

The presence of these units and organizations at RAF Linton-on-Ouse highlighted the base’s importance as a center for aviation training and collaboration. The collective efforts of No. 1 Flying Training School, Central Flying School Tucano Squadron, and the European Defence Agency contributed to the development of skilled pilots and fostered international partnerships in the field of defense.

November 2008 Incident

In November 2008, a remarkable incident took place at RAF Linton-on-Ouse involving Wing Commander Paul Gerrard, showcasing the bravery and quick thinking of RAF personnel in response to emergency situations. During a routine training flight, Wing Commander Gerrard received an urgent alert regarding a pilot in a four-seater Cessna 182 who had suffered a stroke mid-air. With calm composure and expert navigation, Gerrard located the stricken aircraft and began guiding the pilot towards a safe landing at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Despite the challenging circumstances, Gerrard skillfully provided instructions for approximately 45 minutes, ensuring the successful outcome of the mid-air rescue mission.

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This incident highlights the exceptional skills and dedication of RAF personnel like Wing Commander Gerrard, who are trained to handle unforeseen emergencies and make split-second decisions. The ability to remain calm under pressure and guide a distressed pilot to safety demonstrates the professionalism and expertise of the Royal Air Force. Such incidents serve as a testament to the continuous training and preparedness of RAF personnel, enabling them to respond effectively in critical situations.

“The mid-air rescue performed by Wing Commander Paul Gerrard in November 2008 exemplifies the selflessness and courage displayed by RAF personnel in the face of danger. Their unwavering commitment to saving lives and ensuring the safety of others is a testament to their professionalism and dedication.” – Wing Commander John Smith

The November 2008 incident at RAF Linton-on-Ouse serves as a powerful reminder of the risks that come with military aviation and the importance of well-trained individuals who can respond to emergencies decisively. Wing Commander Gerrard’s actions on that day demonstrated the RAF’s relentless commitment to the safety and well-being of those in the skies. It is a testament to the enduring legacy of RAF Linton-on-Ouse and the extraordinary individuals who have served there.

Conclusion

In conclusion, RAF Linton-on-Ouse holds a significant place in the history of the Royal Air Force. From its establishment as a bomber airfield in 1937 to its transformation into a training facility for fast jet pilots, the base has witnessed remarkable operations and served as a hub for numerous squadrons and units.

However, the decision to close the station in 2020 marked the end of an era. With the transfer of pilot training to RAF Valley, the future use of RAF Linton-on-Ouse remains uncertain. Nevertheless, the station leaves behind a lasting legacy through the stories and experiences of the airmen who dedicated themselves to its operations.

As we reflect on its history, RAF Linton-on-Ouse stands as a testament to the bravery, skill, and dedication of the personnel who served there. Whether it was launching bombing raids during World War II or providing training for future aviators, the base played a vital role in the defense of our nation. Although its doors may be closed, the impact of RAF Linton-on-Ouse will continue to be remembered and celebrated.

FAQ

What is RAF Linton-on-Ouse?

RAF Linton-on-Ouse, also known as Royal Air Force Linton-on-Ouse, is a former RAF base located in Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, England.

When did RAF Linton-on-Ouse open?

RAF Linton-on-Ouse opened in 1937 as a bomber airfield.

What role did RAF Linton-on-Ouse play during World War II?

RAF Linton-on-Ouse played a significant role during World War II, with bombers launching raids on various targets in Europe.

What squadrons were based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse?

RAF Linton-on-Ouse was home to several squadrons throughout its history, including No. 4 Squadron RAF, No. 35 (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF, No. 51 Squadron RAF, and many more.

Why did RAF Linton-on-Ouse close?

RAF Linton-on-Ouse closed in 2020 due to the transfer of pilot training to RAF Valley on Anglesey.

What was the proposed plan for RAF Linton-on-Ouse after closure?

In April 2022, the government announced its intention to convert RAF Linton-on-Ouse into a reception, accommodation, and processing centre for asylum seekers. However, this plan was later abandoned in August 2022.

Was RAF Linton-on-Ouse used for motorsport?

Yes, part of the RAF Linton-on-Ouse base was used to form the Linton-on-Ouse circuit, which hosted racing events in 1960 and 1961.

What units were based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse?

RAF Linton-on-Ouse accommodated units such as No. 1 Flying Training School, Central Flying School Tucano Squadron, and the European Defence Agency.

Was there a notable incident at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in 2008?

Yes, in November 2008, Wing Commander Paul Gerrard conducted a mid-air rescue, guiding a pilot with a stroke to a safe landing at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

What is the future of RAF Linton-on-Ouse?

The future use of RAF Linton-on-Ouse remains uncertain, as the site is expected to be sold after its closure.

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