• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

RAF Aldergrove

I'am trying to find any information about RAF Aldegrove during WW2. Was it used for training as many NI Airfields were or did it have an operational role?
Any help greatly appreciated.
Aldergrove opened in 1925. In WWII it was an important base of Coastal Command operating into the Atlantic. I have a signed print of a Shortts Sunderland in my study that was the last Mission of WWII it was either from Castle Archdale or Aldergrove. I had the privilege to be invited to 72 Sqns disbandment. I had flown with 72, 230 & the Chin Det many many times. The Sappers from 38 will be taking over RAF Aldergrove soon and it is a sad day when we have no RAF Airframes over here. The AAC will remain in a reduced role the other side of the airfield.
Thanks for the replies. I have recently discovered that my grandfather and his brother were stationed there from 1940. Has anybody got a link to photos? Mission articles etc?
Used by both Fighter and Coastal command from 1940 in 1934 502 sqn with Westland Wapiti MK2 where there in 1937 -39. 97 sqn with Heyfords and 502 sqn with Hinds. in 1939 502 stlll there but with Ansons

502 were formed there in may 1925 and stayed untill 1940

59 sqn march 1943 - May 1943 moved to Bally kelly

120 sqn dates not known

`143 sqn reformed at Alder grove from 252 sqn June 1941 flying Beufighters for a short time posted there a few short spells

152 sqn Spitfires Jan 1942-Aug 1942

160 with Liberators 1942 aircrew only as ground crew on cnvoy to India At Nutts corner but some aircraft at Aldergrove

220 Fortress
226 Blenheims
233 Blenheims
236 Blenheims detachment only
245 Hurricanes jan-may 1940
252 Blenheim, Beaufighters April 1941-june 1941
311 Czech Wellingtons April-May 1942
501 Spitfires Oct42-April 43
502 see above

All these unit served in Northern Ireland at some time during WW2 and were at Aldergrove at some time

Of course the best unit to serve there was the 17/21 Lancers Air Squadron from 1969 -1972 flying the mighty Sioux AH Mk1

"The RAF Handbook "
Northern Ireland Airfields

opened in 1918 now Belfast Airport

Ballyhalbert Co Down opened June 1941 FAA 1945

Ballykekky opened 1941 used by USN 1942

Bishops Court opened April 1943 used by USAF

Castle Archdale Coastal, opened Feb 1942 renamed Lough Erne renamed Lakeside

Cluntoe opened jul 1942 USAAF to RAF in Nov44 E of Omagh

Eglinton April1941 FAA

Greencastle jul1942 USAAF S of Kilkeel

Kirkistown 1941 RAF Regiment training, FAA dummy deck landing

Limavady FAA

Long Kesh Nov 41 Coastal

Maghaberry Nov 41 USAAF

Maydown FAA

Mullaghmore Aug 42 USAAF FAA 1944

Nutts Corner Jun41 USAAF

St Angilo Apr41 MU and Coastal

Toome jan43 USAAF

While the US Army wher in Ulster there must have been hundreds of Piper Cub Airstrips as well as these

Did the USAF not operate out of Langford Lodge in WWII ?

I also thought the Maze Prison was a previous Airfield ?

Was Derry/Londonderry Airport not a Military Airfield for the Fleet Air Arm & US Navy ?
Killaloe said:

Did the USAF not operate out of Langford Lodge in WWII ?

I also thought the Maze Prison was a previous Airfield ?

Was Derry/Londonderry Airport not a Military Airfield for the Fleet Air Arm & US Navy ?
Funny enough I can't find Langford Lodge in the RAF Hand book
The Maze was Long Kesh, and Eglinton was used in WW2

And I have lent out my coppy of "Action Stations" covering NI
In 1970 in the area of Maydown Eglinton airfields the shape of an aircraft was seen by a passing Army Helecopter, a servey was carried out and the aircraft dug up by the REs it was a WW2 Barracuda bomber from the time the Fleet Air Arm were there and the three man crew where still in it , It made front page news at the time as the familys had been given coffins to bury in 1943, It is now re-built and in Yeovilton

The US Navy had a base in Londonderry up until the 70s in Waterside just up the road from Ebrington/ HMS SEA Eagle, on the other side of the road and the ran a shuttle flight from Machrihanish in Scotland to RAF Ballykelly/ also HMS Sea Eagle with an old RD4/C47 transport aircraft
Here is a load of info on the " World War 2 Talk" war in the air " website you might check out, with some realy good photos of Castle Archdale then and now

Latest Threads