RAF Ballyhalbert

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RAF Ballyhalbert
RNAS Ballyhalbert
HMS Corncrake
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svgNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Ballyhalbert, County Down
RAF Ballyhalbert RNAS Ballyhalbert HMS Corncrake is located in Northern Ireland
RAF Ballyhalbert RNAS Ballyhalbert HMS Corncrake
RAF Ballyhalbert
RNAS Ballyhalbert
HMS Corncrake
Coordinates54°29′46″N 5°28′12″W / 54.496°N 5.470°W / 54.496; -5.470
TypeRoyal Air Force station
Site information
OwnerAir Ministry
Controlled by Royal Air Force
Site history
Built1940 (1940)
In use1941-1947 (1947)
Battles/warsSecond World War
Garrison information
GarrisonRAF Fighter Command

Royal Air Force Station Ballyhalbert or more simply RAF Ballyhalbert is a former Royal Air Force station at Ballyhalbert on the Ards Peninsula, County Down.

RAF Kirkistown was a satellite to the larger Ballyhalbert.

Construction began in 1940.[1]


Royal Air Force use[edit]

It opened provisionally in May 1941, prior to completion of the works, as a RAF Fighter Command base where the primary weapon was the Supermarine Spitfire, and officially on 28 June of that same year.[1] The base provided local protection from Luftwaffe raids on Belfast and the rest of the province. Other aircraft operated from the base were the Hawker Hurricane, Bristol Beaufighter, North American P-51 Mustang and Boulton Paul Defiant night fighter. During its lifetime, Ballyhalbert was home to RAF, Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), British Army, Royal Navy and United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) personnel. Servicemen from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Poland also saw duty at Ballyhalbert.[1]

Fleet Air Arm use[edit]

As HMS Corncrake the airfield was used by the Fleet Air Arm for squadrons working up for carrier duty. On 13 November 1945 the airfield was closed and placed on Care and Maintenance. By 1947, with no further use made of the site it was abandoned. The airfield was sold to developers in March 1960, and is in use for several popular caravan parks.


Other units[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "RAF Ballyhalbert". Ballyhalbert website. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  2. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 33.
  3. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 45.
  4. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 58.
  5. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 59.
  6. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 63.
  7. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 77.
  8. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 79.
  9. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 85.
  10. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 86.
  11. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 94.
  12. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 95.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ballyhalbert". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 11 February 2013.


  • Jefford MBE, Wg Cdr C G (1988). RAF Squadrons. A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.

External links[edit]