|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|Location||Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, Scotland|
|Elevation AMSL||16 ft / 5 m|
RAF Grangemouth is a former Royal Air Force station located 3 mi (4.8 km) north east of Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland. It was opened as the Central Scotland Airport in May 1939 and operated as a Civilian Air Navigation School (CANS) until early September 1939.
- 1 History
- 2 Second World War
- 3 Post war
- 4 Present day
- 5 Timeline
- 6 Operational units and aircraft
- 7 Other Units/Wings
- 8 References
- 9 External links
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Second World War
From September 1939 - March 1941 it was used by 602 Squadron flying Supermarine Spitfires, 141 Squadron flying Bristol Blenheims and Gloster Gladiators and 263 Squadron flying Westland Lysanders. In December 1940 it was used by No. 58 Operational Training Unit (later renamed No. 2 Tactical Exercise Unit).
The air traffic control tower (watch tower) was of a pre-war civilian type. There were 10 Hangars, two were of a civil type and the other eight were of the Blister type.
In an attempt to reduce the number of crashes caused by over-shooting, the east/west runway was extended by about 300 yards in the summer of 1942. This runway intersected with the Inchyra Road runway and extended west to where Candie Crescent now starts off Overton Road. The Charlotte Dundas Shopping centre was built over part of the remains of this runway in 1960-1961.
Unfortunately at 0200 one Sunday in 1952 a fire started & some of the buildings were destroyed.
Today the site is now part of Inchyra Park, a light industrial area, the Charlotte Dundas Shopping Centre, and a housing estate. The shorter runway is now Inchyra Road, Grangemouth. Contrary to many reports, the vast majority of the site is NOT now covered by petrochemicals industry. Only a relatively small area east of Inchyra Road has such industry on it and which was only built on during the 1970s and thereafter.
Some of the hangars still remain intact at Latitude, Longitude 56.013348N, 3.707562W.
In 2008 a memorial garden was unveiled, to commemorate those who died, planted on ground granted for the purpose and located on the perimeter of the original airfield. Within the garden, a wall features the names of each of the Polish fighter pilots who died at Grangemouth.
On Thursday 9 May 2013 a full size replica of a mk2 Spitfire was unveiled in the memorial garden
- 01/05/1939: Opened as Central Scotland Airport.
- 01/05/1939 - 09/39: No. 35 E&RFTS with Hawker Harts and de Havilland Tiger Moths and No. 10 Civilian Air Navigation School with Avro Ansons.
- 09/39 - 03/41: Airfield used by 602 Sqn Spitfires, 141 Sqn Blenheims and Gladiators and 263 Sqn Hurricanes and 614 Sqn Lysanders.
- 12/40 - 06/44: No. 58 Operational Training Unit with Spitfires, from 1942 satellite airfield at RAF Balado Bridge.
- 10/43: No. 58 Operational Training Unit renamed No. 2 Tactical Exercise Unit.
- 1945-46: Used as a Gliding School.
- 1948-49: 13 Refresher Flying School with de Havilland Tiger Moths, then used by RAF Maintenance Command until closure.
Operational units and aircraft
|No. 35 Elementary & Reserve Flying Training School||1 May 1939||Sep 1939||Hawker Hart
de Havilland Tiger Moth
|No. 10 Air Observer & Navigation School||1 May 1939||Sep 1939||Avro Anson||?|
|No. 602 Squadron RAF||7 Oct 1939||13 Oct 1939||Supermarine Spitfire||I|||
|No. 141 Squadron RAF||19 Oct 1939||28 June 1940||Bristol Blenheim
|No. 263 Squadron RAF||28 June 1940||2 Sep 1940||Hawker Hurricane
|Detachment at RAF Montrose.|
|No. 614 Squadron RAF||8 Jun 1940||5 Mar 1941||Westland Lysander||II|||
No. 52 (Army Co-operation) Wing
1 November 1939 – 14 July 1940. Further History Unknown at this time.
No. 58 Operational Training Unit
No. 58 Operational Training Unit was planned to form at RAF Grangemouth in October 1940 within No. 10 Group to train night fighter crews. This was changed in early December when it actually formed as a day fighter pilot training unit, using Spitfires and Masters. It was transferred to No. 81 Group at the end of December 1940 and disbanded in early October 1943 when it was redesignated No. 2 Combat Training Wing (changed again to No. 2 Tactical Exercise Unit at a later date).
In the event of a German invasion the OTU would have become No. 558 Squadron (and later also as No. 563 Squadron) to operate from RAF Turnhouse.
The unit reformed on 15 March 1945, at RAF Poulton in No. 12 Group, as half an Operational Training Unit equipped with Spitfires from the day fighter element of No. 41 Operational Training Unit until it was disbanded on 20 July 1945.
Codes used: -
No. 4 Aircraft Delivery Flight
Commanding Officer Squadron Leader Eric Valentine Hulbert appointed 16 April 1943.
No. 2 Combat Training Wing
See No. 58 Operational Training Unit Above.
No. 2 Tactical Exercise Unit
See No. 58 Operational Training Unit Above.
No. 14 Maintenance Unit
History unknown at this time. No1 GRSS Burned down moved to Bishopbriggs
- Bones Aviation Page: A Catalogue of UK Airfields
- Flight Magazine 6 July 1939 PDF
- RCAHMS Archeological Notes & Photos
- Jefford 1988, p. 98.
- Jefford 1988, p. 60.
- Jefford 1988, p. 80.
- Jefford 1988, p. 100.
- Air of Authority: A History of RAF Organisation Website
- Air of Authority: A History of RAF Organisation
- History of 58 OTU Website by Wallace Shackleton, Kinross