IN REACH OF THE SKIES
Methwold was a Norfolk RAF bomber field in WWII becoming fully operational in 1943 and was home to several types including Venturas, Stirlings and Lancasters. The field closed in 1958 and has returned largely to agriculture although runway, hangar and other building remains can still be found. As seen in May 2013.
Witchford was an RAF base in WWII located a short way from Ely. Home to 115 squadron Wellingtons and Lancasters its losses were among the highest in bomber command. Today there are few signs of the airfield although some original buildings can be found on a growing industrial estate with the central road being part of the old peri track and Lancaster Way, after which the estste is named, being the line of one of the original runways. Pictures from May 2013.
Tempsford is a former RAF base in Cambs that was home to special duities squadrons and was particularly associated with the activities of the SOE. Although no longer used for flying a substantial section of one runway remains together with various sections of perimeter track and a few odd buildings including an original hangar. However, possibly the most important survivor from WWII is Gibraltar Barn on the edge of the airfield. It was from here that SOE operatives collected their equipment before flying off to be dropped in occupied Europe. The barn remains as a permanent memorial to those that served and often lost their lives. I called by in July 2013.
Close to Killimster in Scotland, RAF Skitten was a satellite field to Castletown. Elected as a reserve base for Bomber Command, the field was also used by Coastal Command as well as training Mosquito crews for dropping the highball bomb although, ultimately, the weapon was never used in anger. The airfield was sold soon after the war and is now used for agriculture and landfill. Traces of runway, tracks and buildings remain however. Views from July 2013.
Castletown in northern Scotland operated between 1940 and 1945 and was established primarily to provide fighter cover for the allied shipping in Scapa Flow. As the threat lessened the field also became an air sea rescue base. Now returned mainly to agriculture it is still possible to find traces of the runways and tracks and some buildings, including a small arms range. Visited in July 2013.
This Tayside airfield opened in 1942 as an OTU and aslo as a satellite field to Grangemouth. After the war is oversaw the scrapping of many FAA aircraft and remained open until 1957. It then became a ground station for NATO satellite communications. The two runways are still evident, part of one being used for microlights. The control tower has been converted to offices for an activity centre. Again, from July 2013.
Tealing is another former RAF base in Scotland, located a little north of Dundee. It was this field that Molotov flew into in 1942 prior to an important meeting with Churchill. Some sections of runway are still evident, albeit as a base for chicken huts. There are also a high number of other buildings on site having previously been used as part of a farm but many are now showing signs of neglect. Also still in existence is the now derelict control tower. Another from July 2013.
The Scottish airfield of East Fortune has a long history going back to WWI and as an airship base. It was also in the frontline during WWII and many of the buildings from this era survive. The airfield is no longer active but it is the site of the Scottish National Aviation museum meaning that most vintage buildings are still in use and in a good state of repair. From a museum visit in July 2013.