RAF Skipton-on-Swale

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For other places with the same name, see Skipton (disambiguation).
RAF Skipton-on-Swale
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
Canadian war memorial, Skipton on Swale. - geograph.org.uk - 138129.jpg
IATA: noneICAO: none
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Location Skipton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire
Built 1942 (1942)
In use 1942-1947 (1947)
Elevation AMSL 82 ft / 25 m
Coordinates 54°13′26″N 001°25′38″W / 54.22389°N 1.42722°W / 54.22389; -1.42722Coordinates: 54°13′26″N 001°25′38″W / 54.22389°N 1.42722°W / 54.22389; -1.42722
RAF Skipton-on-Swale is located in North Yorkshire
RAF Skipton-on-Swale
RAF Skipton-on-Swale
Location in North Yorkshire
Direction Length Surface
ft m
00/00 0 0 Concrete
00/00 0 0 Concrete
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Royal Air Force station Skipton-on-Swale or more simply RAF Skipton-on-Swale is a former Royal Air Force station operated by RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War. The station was located at Skipton-on-Swale 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Thirsk (near the present-day junction of the A61 and A167), North Yorkshire, England. The village of Sandhutton is located just to the east. RAF Skipton-on-Swale was a sub-station of RAF Leeming.


The airfield opened in August 1942, becoming operational in May 1943.

Skipton-on-Swale was originally a 4 Group facility and first hosted 420 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), which moved to RAF Middleton St. George in October 1942. Skipton was assigned to No. 6 Group, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in January 1943. RCAF squadrons stationed here included 424 Squadron, No. 432 Squadron (which moved to RAF East Moor in September 1943), and 433 Squadron. Both squadrons flew the Halifax bomber until replaced by the Lancaster in January 1945. 424 Squadron lost 52 aircraft[citation needed] and 433 Squadron lost 38 aircraft.[1]

Nos. 424 and 433 Squadrons were disbanded in October 1945. After this the airfield was closed. The station was not used again and has since reverted largely to farmland. The site is home to turkey and pig farms.

Operational units and aircraft[edit]

data from[2]
Unit Aircraft Version(s) From To To
No. 420 Squadron RCAF Vickers Wellington Mk.III 6 August 1942 15 October 1942 RAF Middleton St. George[3]
No. 424 Squadron RCAF Vickers Wellington
Handley Page Halifax
Avro Lancaster
Mks.I & III
6 November 1943 15 October 1945 Disbanded[3]
No. 432 Squadron RCAF Vickers Wellington Mk.X 1 May 1943 18 September 1943 RAF East Moor[3]
No. 433 Squadron RCAF Handley Page Halifax
Avro Lancaster
Mks.I & III
25 September 1943 15 October 1945 Disbanded[4]



  1. ^ Moyes 1976, p. 250.
  2. ^ Halley 1988, pp. 505, 508 and 512.
  3. ^ a b c Jefford 2001, p. 91.
  4. ^ Jefford 2001, p. 92.


  • Halley, J.J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, C.G, MBE, BA, RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 2nd edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.

External links[edit]