PDA

View Full Version : Millisle



hugoj_air
13-05-2009, 22:24
Mill Isle aerodrome
at Killaghy Millisle Co Down
owner/operator: for the USAAF
4.5k W of Millisle
54.3650N 05.3500W
15/J560755
link below shows partially completed runway N/S-crossing the Moss Road
and partly finished technical area shows to the NE
http://www1.getmapping.com/Webshop/Web/ ... earchType= (http://www1.getmapping.com/Webshop/Web/CommonPages/Main/preview.aspx?srid=29900&x=356000&y=375500&searchType=)

http://maps.osni.gov.uk/MapConsoleAddress.aspx

(I cannot supply a large scale map-osni will not allow downloadable copies)
you have to register to use (free) click on green map. Then type in "200" "Moss Road"
and scroll E.
4.5k inland due W of Millisle
site was destined for the USAAF, but instead became the only unfinished military UK airfield
of WWII.
Two of the three runways were partially completed. As was a section of taxiway and part
of the technical area.
Occasional use by liaison aircraft noted during 1945. An oblique aerial photograph appeared
in Flypast Feb 1996 p.49 showing site preparation work on the runways and technical area.

pic dates 27.08.2008 Moss Road Killaghy Millisle BT22 2DU
There isn't much to see in the photos below. Plenty of signs warning you not to trespass. Must be the local farmers are fed up with visitors crossing their land in search of the bits that were actually constructed. I believe this is the longest stretch of partially completed runway of over 1500m (1600yds) N/S. It's narrow at this point, but sections to the N are the full 45m (50yds)
wide. It crosses the public road at about the midway point and although in the first photo facing S it looks like it finishes just passed the caravan, when in fact it continues on for at least another 725m (790yds).
http://i491.photobucket.com/albums/rr278/hugoj_air/776229b0.jpg

This photo I took looking N shows a longer run which continues on for around 750m (820yds).
http://i491.photobucket.com/albums/rr278/hugoj_air/9d5a26ce.jpg

Hugo.

archielindsay
27-08-2009, 18:03
Nice pix, HugoJ.
Millisle is written as one word and is the coastal village three miles to the east. I knew the airfield by its townland name of Killaughey and lived there for many years from mid-60s, in the cottage by the caravan on the left. The cottage was at least 200 yrs old and survived only because it was used as the site office. Everything else was demolished.
I was told the field was intended for reception of B-29s from the US as Nutt's Corner and Aldergrove were already heavily committed.
Some of my neighbours had worked on the airfield. Stone was brought in by tractor and trailer and a fleet of 50 Ford V8 tippers. It was not unknown for loads to be delivered/paid for several times, ie logged in at my cottage, driven out from the far side of the airfield, then re-delivered.
When Air Ministry ordered Sunday working, the local Presbyterians held a series of prayer meetings. The Lord responded with subsidence of the main runway, you can see the undulations in the view looking north. The construction directly on top of boggy grassland might also have had something to do with it ... when I removed 100 tons of hardcore to build the apron at Newtownards, traces of grass were still visible below it after 30 yrs.
One Thursday in late 1944 the contractor blew up a farmhouse on the north side, next day they ceased all work and paid off the workers who were so angry that they parked all the tippers in a long line without handbrakes, started the last few and deliberately rammed the ones in front so that every radiator was smashed in.
After the war the extensive buildings on Donaghadee Rd (north side of airfield) were used by farmers and later small businesses. The female accommodation and post office were small buildings off Gransha Rd to the west, these now demolished.
My neighbours said no aircraft ever landed on the airfield. I managed to overturn an Auster and a friend force-landed his Nipper after engine failure, clearly the Presbyterians had placed a pretty powerful curse on the place, though later I did take my Tiger Moth in and out a few times.
Cottage clearly visible in attached photo from the Tiger looking south about 1970, and surely the only one from an aircraft in the Killaughey circuit.
Finally you're right about the warning notices. We were plagued with learner drivers, boy racers, racing bike testers etc. who broke fences, caused damage, and upset livestock. The last straw was when someone was injured and we found there was no insurance on private lands, in fact a victim could claim against us the landowners.
What a brilliant site, I'm glad to record Killaughey's only aircraft movements for posterity!

PNK
27-08-2009, 20:49
A uniquie site. Hugo's link to the OSNI site eventually leads to some good maps that show the built technical site very well.

Thanks for the flight info archielindsay. I can sympathise with landowners in some respects and particulary with vehicular intrusions. It also points to a valuable use for old intact landing areas as driver training areas.

hugoj_air
05-09-2009, 22:40
Hi archielindsay,

Sorry for the delay in replying to your excellent local info about Millisle. I've been busy getting my website http://www.irishavsites.com/ up and running. It's the start of an historical database of all av sites in Ireland North & South. Have a look. it's still early days yet and a lot of work to be done to get it fully functioning the way we would wish.

You're right about Millisle, dont know why I split it on the header, as I set it out correct in the text.
I think the liaison aircraft were mentioned in the the same Flypast as the photo's appeared. It was not unknown for loads to be delivered/paid for several times. Looks like this pratice was wide spread, as my father and uncle were drivers at the construction of Eglinton and they were doing exactly the same too, as were all drivers.
I'm glad to record Killaughey's only aircraft movements for posterity!
I'm glad also. If you dont mind I'll add your whole post to my database
notes section, which at this time I cannot show on my website as it contains too much personal data, phones etc which I will have to take out in order to put it up.
when I removed 100 tons of hardcore to build the apron at Newtownards, traces of grass were still visible below it after 30 yrs.
Incrimating evidence:shock:. Looks like we can add you to the list of airfield vandals:lol:.
Cottage clearly visible in attached photo from the Tiger looking south about 1970, and surely the only one from an aircraft in the Killaughey circuit. Nice one. I like that "Killaughey Circuit". I assume that's a local spelling as the osni map has it as Killaghy. This is a problem I have come across many times in my searching for sites.
Finally you're right about the warning notices. I had an idea it was trespassers, but thought it was airfield searchers that were the causing trouble. In some way's I'm glad it wasn't.
It's posts like this that add meat to airfield histories, thanks archielindsay.

Hugo.

PNK
13-09-2009, 16:46
Hugo,

I have been unable to access your site. Is it up and running or are you still having teething troubles?

hugoj_air
13-09-2009, 20:45
Hugo,

I have been unable to access your site. Is it up and running or are you still having teething troubles?

Hi Peter,

The server is down and out, they have about 300 websites on it to switch to a new server which obviously will take a while to sort out. It maybe a few days before everything's back to normal. I'll post a note on AiX when I know for sure. Thanks for asking.

Hugo.

PNK
13-09-2009, 22:28
Hugo,

Just my luck, trying when it is down. Glad to hear it's only temporary. I await the all clear :)

Peter

ww2ni
12-06-2010, 18:32
Hi Folks,

I had a good look around this location last week and have put some new pictures on my website in the County Down Airfields section.

spike7451
17-05-2011, 10:37
I'll hopefully get some photo's of the old huts that now form an industrial estate tomorrow.

PS,It's Millisle,not Mill Isle.