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TERN HILL AIRFIELD

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  RAF TERN HILL, TERNHILL AIRFIELD
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The site of a military airfield used in both World Wars and in the Post-War period. Tern Hill was an important training airfield during the First World War. It opened in 1916 and from 1916 to 1918 No. 34 and No. 43 Training (Ex Reserve) Squadrons were based there. In June 1917 an Australian Flying Corps (AFC) training facility was opened with No. 30 Training Squadron. In January 1918 this squadron became the No. 6 Training Squadron of the AFC. Tern Hill became the No. 13 Training Depot Station (later renamed No. 13 Training School in March 1919) flying a variety of aircraft including Avro 504s, DH6s and even Handley Pate 0/400s. This Training School was disbanded in March 1920 and the airfield closed in 1922.

Tern Hill reopened as part of the RAF Expansion Period in 1935. The World War Two phase of the airfield comprised two concrete and tarmac runways, with a range of aircraft hangars including Types C and D as well as Lamella, Bellman and Blister aircraft hangar designs. It had a 1936 pattern control tower, which was still extant in 2004. During the Battle of Britain the airfield played a supporting role as a part of 12 Group Royal Air Force Fighter Command. It was used to rest units and for training and maintenance purposes. During the Battle it also functioned as a relief landing ground and t served as a temporary base for nightfighters protecting Liverpool and cities in the north Midlands from attack. Among the units using the airfield in the Second World War were No 5 Pilots Advance Flying Unit, No 25 Group Communications Flight, No 25 Repair Depot Maintenance Unit. The military airfield closed in 1976. In 2004 it was used as a barracks for the British Army. For details of the surviving elements of the airfield including defences please see related records.

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