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Thread: Driffield

  1. #11
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    Default Re: RAF Driffield - MERGED

    Driffield was the parent unit for quite a few RAF personnel in the area, including the SAR flight at Leconfield. Perhaps someone on one of these units was an ex Lightning pilot?

  2. #12

    Default Re: RAF Driffield - MERGED

    Quote Originally Posted by jason
    Visited here on Sunday 1st March with Noel as my guide, we took loads of excellent shots and walked miles!!
    Whilst there we took a shot of this wall painting in one of the offices in the Main stores.
    Has anyone any info on this particular Lightning and it's significance if any to Driffield.



    As you can see, it's now coming up to it's 27th birthday.
    The picture was painted by Cadet Paul Cawthorn ATC, when the main stores was occupied by No.252 (Bridlington) ATC Detached Flight, later to become No.873 (Driffield) Squadron ATC. He, like most youngsters from that era, was mad about the EE Lightning. He later joined the RAF as a pilot. Did you get permission to enter the buildings? I'm going next Thursday with the son of the last Commanding Officer of No.466 Squadron RAAF and secured permission to access the site.

    Best Wishes

    Phil Rhodes

  3. #13
    Senior Member TommyUSA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driffield

    Historical tidbit:
    On this day, June 11, 1940, Britain bombs Italy for the first time in the war. Seven Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bombers of the 102nd Bombing Squadron leave RAF Driffield in Yorkshire following Italy's declaration of war the day before. After refueling in the Channel Islands, they continue south. Four turn back over the Alps. Eventually two bomb the Fiat plant in Genoa and one bombs the railway yards in Turin.
    ---
    Q: Which airfield would they have used in the Channel Islands?

    The above bit of trivia is from my daily 30-second audio tweet: On This Day in World War II. If you're signed up to Twitter, search for RedsFan4192 and listen daily. It's also available on my Facebook page (Search for Tom Townsend in Dayton, Ohio).

    No groaning over Twitter and Facebook - I've finally found a use for them!

    TommyU

  4. #14
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: C Type Hangars - Photos Only

    Driffield 1977

    Last edited by Richard Flagg; 07-11-2012 at 09:37.

  5. #15
    Junior Member Deskpilot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driffield

    Hi Guys, I had married quarters at Driffield whist stationed at Leconfield back in the early 60's. If memory serves me correctly, Drifield was closed having served it's purpose as an ground to air missle site, Bloodhounds, I think. The runways had already been removed, had they not, we would still have an unfortunate Lightning pilot still with us as he could have diverted rather than trying to make it home with empty tanks. He crashed midway 'teen the two fields.

    I really regret not having the insight to take more photos during my 15 years in the service. The few that I did have, my first wife destroyed.
    Last edited by Deskpilot; 26-12-2009 at 07:11.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Driffield

    In the 1960s certainly up to 1967 one of the RAF's 4th line regional MT repair centres was at Driffield, It was also the specialist maintanance base for the Alvis MK6 series of crash trucks.

    I recently bought a copy To Shatter the SKY by Bruce Barrymore Halfpenny, as I am still currently digesting Paul's bible I have only had a quick look at my latest aquitition. on page24 there is a photo labeled OPs Block at Driffield .

    If anyone else has this book could they tell me if this title is correct or is the building indeed the decontam centre (unwounded) please

    regards

    TED

  7. #17

    Default Re: Driffield

    Deskpilot

    Great posts on your memories of the airfields at the time, shame im too young to remember even HOSM being operational...

    I believe the Driffield runways were dug up in the 70's? I know that Blackburn at HoSM used them for testing the Buccs during the upgrade there to cater for the phantoms, that was the late 60's i believe...

    I believe the Amercans used transport aircraft to collect the Thor missiles from Driffield also?

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Driffield

    Quote Originally Posted by Deskpilot View Post
    Ted, I'm not going to argue, you're probably right. Driffield was so quiet I never ever crossed to road to explore the place. If there was life there, I never heard it or saw it.
    I did 9 months at "Section 4" workshops at 16 MU, Sharing our shed at 6 site was the midlands regional 4th line MT workshop. If my memory serves me correctly they had approx 25 to 30 MT mechs /Fitts , 3 ground electricians , 3 blacksmith welders, 3 coppersmith sheet metalworkers and a couple of machine tool setter/operators. 3 or 4 painters /finishers who also did vehicle upholstery and fabric work. 2 clerks and 2 storemen.

    We each had half the shed, we shared the use of the welders tin bashers machinists and painters. So I would guess the set up at Driffield would be similar so a small unit of approx 40-45 would be well out of sight. Wether they used the original MT section buildings I don't know I believe they were parented by Leconfield. ??

    TED

  9. #19
    Junior Member Deskpilot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driffield

    I can but stand corrected guys. If there were runways there at my time, I sure didn't see them.

    BTW, I remembered that I did cross the road, once. A friend of my wife was behaving very strange when her husband, a sergeant I think, decided to go for a commision. She was ademant that she didn't want to be an officers wife and was throwing quite a tantrum. After berating my wife and I with her woes, she stormed off in tears saying she was going to kill herself. Naturally, my missus sent me after her and I was soon hunting for her over by the hangers. I eventually found her breaking her heart at the foot of some stairs leading down to an old air-raid shelter (I think).
    Now this lady was quite petit and very, very attractive. You've no idea how hard it was to remain a Gentleman whilst I sat there with my arms around her, carressing her and calming her down. She was so open to some love and attention, she was mine if I had persued it. Ah well, another missed opportunity. That's the story of my life. We moved on before they did so I've no idea what happened in the end.
    Happy days.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Driffield

    The runways were removed in the early 1980s (the rubble was used to build the access roads to the Humber Bridge). Cottam aerodrome (North of Driffield) also lost its runways to the bridge. Again and again the biggest heartache is with the media's inability to retain what it only missed when it's gone. When The Driffield Times moved offices in the 1990s (?) the then boss decided they no longer had any use for their collection of old negatives and thousands of images were lost, including pictures of RAF CrTs being refurbished at Driffield, as well as Buccaneer aircraft that were indeed test flown from Driffield circa 1968. This while HOSM had it's runway resurfaced to cater for the Phantom.

    Yes, the USAF C133 or C124 were involved in transporting the Thor missile to and from Driffield. There is a photograph in the County Archive, but I'm unable to secure a copy (because of Crown Copyright).

    Building Demolished:

    Control Tower circa 1976
    Water Tower circa 1997
    Decontamination Centre (unwounded) circa 1998
    Ration Store circa 1997
    Remains of Hangar Five (side walls) - circa 1997
    Mortuary - circa 1998

    The reason why so much remains is that the MoD ran out of cash to demolish anymore buildings.

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