RAF Long Kesh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Long Kesh Detention Centre)
Jump to: navigation, search
RAF Long Kesh
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Airport type Military
Owner Ministry of Defence
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Maze, Lisburn
Built 1940 (1940)
In use 1941-1971 (1971)
Elevation AMSL 115 ft / 35 m
Coordinates 54°29′22″N 006°06′16″W / 54.48944°N 6.10444°W / 54.48944; -6.10444Coordinates: 54°29′22″N 006°06′16″W / 54.48944°N 6.10444°W / 54.48944; -6.10444
RAF Long Kesh is located in Northern Ireland
RAF Long Kesh
RAF Long Kesh
Location in Northern Ireland
Direction Length Surface
ft m
00/00 0 0 Asphalt
00/00 0 0 Asphalt
00/00 0 0 Asphalt

Royal Air Force station Long Kesh or more simply RAF Long Kesh was a Royal Air Force station at Maze, Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

Various aircraft operated from the airfield during the Second World War, including the Supermarine Seafire and Spitfire.


During the Second World War, Long Kesh was a target in Operation Green, a second front to Operation Sea Lion which was the planned Nazi invasion of the UK. Long Kesh was to be destroyed by German paratroopers while Aldergrove, Nutts Corner and Langford Lodge were to be captured.

Hangars were constructed by the Ministry of Aircraft Production for the use of Short Brothers for assembly of Short Stirling bombers.[1] Some Stirlings were assembled here, before assembly moved to Maghaberry and Long Kesh continued with wing manufacture. One of these hangars was later used by Miles Aircraft for final assembly and test flying work of Miles Messenger aircraft produced by their factory in a linen mill at Banbridge.[1]

From 1971 the then disused base became the Long Kesh Detention Centre. It was here that republicans were interned after 9 August 1971, when security forces launched dawn raids to arrest 452 known or suspected members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). From 1976 these makeshift structures were abandoned in favour of the newly built H-Blocks in what became HM Prison Maze.

Operational units and aircraft[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Ernie Cromie. "Long Kesh & Maghaberry". Ulster Aviation Society. 
  2. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 47.
  3. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 51.
  4. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 73.
  5. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 74.
  6. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 84.
  7. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 91.


  • 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, 1988. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.