Review of North Weald Airfield Museum

The North Weald Airfield Museum is located close to the M11, about one hour’s drive northeast of London, close to Epping. Just follow the brown touristic signs towards ‘Memorial & Debt of Honour’. If you come from the M11, follow the signs for A414 Ongar. Make a right turn at ‘The Talbot’ pub and go straight on, all the way through North Weald village. You will find The North Weald Airfield Museum at the far end of this village on your right-hand side.

This website not only informs you about the museum and honors the volunteers who keep the museum up and running, but it also highlights other British Air Museums across the nation.

The North Weald Airfield Museum is a relatively small museum that displays artifacts, pictures, wall posters, and a lot more relating to its interesting past. Visiting this museum is an interesting way to spend your time and the volunteers are very knowledgeable.

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RAF Airfields WW2 Part 1

RAF Dishforth

RAF Dishforth is located 4 miles East of Ripon in the county of North Yorkshire, England, and just over 30 miles north of the City of Leeds. The station opened in 1936 as a bomber base with 7 groups and is still operational today flying helicopters for the British Army. Check also the following two TV clips from BBC Yorkshire and Yorkshire TV about the 1991 opening of the airfield with images of aircraft and personnel of the 657 Squadron Army Air Corps.

RAF Dishforth is located just south of where the A1 joins the A168 joins, slightly north of Boroughbridge, Yorkshire. In January 1937, the first No.10 Squadron arrived here with Heyfords and on September 8, 1939, the first mission was sent from Dishforth. Later in the war, Dishforth came under the wing of No.6 Group RCAF and the first squadron that was formed here was No.426 Sqn with Wellingtons. In 1943, hard runways were constructed which turned Dishforth into a class-A bomber airfield.

In November 1943, the No.1664 Heavy Conversion Unit was stationed at Dishforth here with Halifaxes. For the remainder of the war, RAF Dishforth continued to be an airfield for training purposes. The RAF ended flying from the airfield in 1988, the Army Air Corps took over.

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North Weald Airfield’s History

North Weald Airfield was established in 1916 to defend the UK and in particular the greater London area, against the WW I German Bomber raids and airship attacks. The following video highlights the arrival of Norwegian 331 Squadron, later followed by their 332 Squadron peers. The following is a video-edited version of the Streets Ahead Productions “North Weald Airfield/flying for freedom” DVD. The full DVD can be purchased through the company’s website.

The first squadron to be stationed at North Weald was in August 1916 the 39th Royal Flying Corps Squadron and the last was the RAF 111th Squadron which left North Weald Airfield in February of 1958. North Weald Historic Airfield stopped being an active airfield for the RAF on September 1, 1964.

Operational flying at North Weald came to an end 1919 but was resumed in1927 when the airfield, once again, became an operational station for RAF Fighter aircraft.

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Historic UK Airfields

The following is a list of all airfields that were used during World War 1 and World War 2 in the United Kingdom. All these fields have official listed status. Check also out this Bicester Air Show “Flying Highlights” video (The Pitts Special Stunt Plane)

RAF Bicester Airfield (Oxfordshire). Bicester Airfield is located some 15 miles north of Oxford.  The military airfield dates back to 1916 and this is where, in 1939, the first flight of the Handley Page Halifax prototype took place. Later, Bicester Airfield was the home of RAF maintenance until they left the site in 2004. The airfield was used from 1924 as a station for bomber aircraft and retains bomb stores, airfield defenses, a grass airfield, and perimeter hardstandings and perimeter track added in World War II.

RAF Biggin Hill Airfield (Bromley). This operational airport (now named London Biggin Hill Airport) is located only a few miles east-southeast of Croydon in the London Metropolitan area. It is really Britain’s best-celebrated fighter aircraft station that includes an original 1934 officers’ mess and some domestic and technical buildings of which most are dating back to the early 1930s. This important historic site also includes the nation’s best-preserved married living quarters.

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Midland Air Museum Review

The Midland Air Museum is located just outside of Baginton Village in Warwickshire, Great Britain, close to Coventry Airport. Not so many of the 20 or so founding members of the “Midland Aircraft Preservation Society” that were present at the inaugural meeting on May 24, 1967, would have thought that the Midland Air Museum they just had founded, would become the impressive exiting place it is more than 50 years on.

Now, the efforts of these and the members who followed them have resulted in a top-notch British independent air museum. That first meeting, brought about by a series of adverts in the Coventry Evening Telegraph, took place in a hired room at The Nugget Inn in Coventry.

The Society, or M.A.P.S. as it became known, began amassing a fine collection of photographs, books, aircraft bits, airframes, and engines, and although the latter were generally small and easily stored there was an attempt, in December/January of 1967/1968, to save the second prototype Hawker Hunter from the scrapman at Solihull. With little resources and nowhere to put it the attempt was unsuccessful.

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Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center-East Kirkby

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center is a privately operated and owned Museum that was established by two brothers, Harold and Fred Panton. The Museum was built as a memorial for and tribute to Bomber Command and their older brother Christopher who was killed during a British bombing raid over the German city of Nuremberg in March 1944.

The brothers wanted to visit their brother’s grave in Germany but father Panton told them not to do so as he wanted “nothing to do anymore with the bloody war”. It wasn’t until the 1970s that Mr. Panton asked his son Fred to “go to Germany and bring home a photograph of Christopher’s grave”. It goes without saying that Fred did so as soon as he had a chance.

These memorable days reignited Fred’s interest in all that had happened in War War II and when finally the Avro Lancaster NX611 Bomber was for sale, it was bought by the Panton brothers and brought back to their field in East Kirkby.

Initially, the brothers wanted to keep it just for private purposes, but later, suggestions were made that they should not keep it away from the public and turn it into a showpiece for all. So that’s how the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center was set up and the Lancaster NX611 “Just Jane” and the Control Tower became the centerpieces.

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RAF Polebrook-Northamptonshire

RAF Polebrook was built by George Wimpy and Co. 3/4 miles southeast of Oundle in Northamptonshire on farmland owned by the Rothchild Family. The airfield was first used by the RAF in the years 1940- 42 by 90th Squadron.

It had one J type hanger and 2 T2s and 30 hardstandings laid down. These were lengthened in 1942 as they were found to be unsuitable for heavy bombers. So they were made up to 1,900 yards main and two secondary ones were 1,400 yards each and twenty more hardstands were laid down to make RAF Polebrook a class A airfield.

This page is in memory of the 351st Combat Wing who was stationed here from 1943 to 1945. On January 15, 1943, the 305 Service Group arrived at RAFD Polebrook to begin preparations to receive the air and ground echelons of the 351st Bomber Group.

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