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RAF HIGH ERCALL

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A World War Two military airfield with post war civilian use of the site. Construction of the airfield began in 1938, it was partly complete by 1940, though work on the airfield buildings continued into 1941. From 1940 the airfield was operated by Maintenance Command, particularly by 29 Maintenance Unit. Civilians from the Ministry of Aircraft Production were also worked at the base. From 1941-1942 the airfield was taken over by Fighter Command, and it was used by 68, 255 and 257 Squadrons, also 1456 Flight. These were mainly night fighter units. From 1942 the base was also used by the United States Army 8th Air Force's 309 Fighter Squadron. The role of the site changed in 1943 to training: it was used mainly by 60 Operational Training Unit for this purpose. By the end of the war High Ercall had a variety of hangars including the initial J and K types, with added L, T2, Robin and Blister type aircaft hangars: none of the last three types have survived. Most of these were grouped around the south and western edge of the flying fields, with two additional sites further to the west and dispersals to the east side. Living quarters were to the south of the flying field. There were a range of permanent technical buildings at the main unit site and the technical site. The site was used post-war by the Royal Air Force for storage and scrapping of aircraft and from 1968 by the Road Transport Industry Training Board. By the late 1990s the main flying field had been destroyed, but a number of buildings survived including J, K and B1 type hangars, stores, office and workshops mostly at the main unit site- please see SJ 61 NW 30 for further details. Sub site number 2 has been used as a museum by a local "Wartime Aircraft Recovery Group", please see SJ 51 NE 34 for further details. A number of defensive installations have also been noted, please see SJ 61 NW 31 to SJ 61 NW 34 and SJ 51 NE 35 to SJ 51 NE 38.

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