|Near Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire in England|
|Type||Royal Air Force training station|
|Area||276 hectares (680 acres)|
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|Identifiers||IATA: HRT, ICAO: EGXU, WMO: 03266|
|Elevation||16.2 metres (53 ft) AMSL|
|Source: RAF Linton-on-Ouse Defence Aerodrome Manual|
RAF Linton-on-Ouse (IATA: HRT, ICAO: EGXU) was a Royal Air Force station at Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, England, 10 miles (16 km) north-west of York. It had satellite stations at RAF Topcliffe and Dishforth Airfield (British Army).
The station opened in 1937. With the transfer of pilot training to RAF Valley on Anglesey in 2019, the station closed in 2020. In February 2021, the MOD confirmed that no alternative military use had been identified for the site and that it would therefore be sold.
When the Second World War began, bombers were launched from Linton to drop propaganda leaflets over Germany and the base was eventually used to launch bombing raids on Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, and Italy. Linton was one of 11 stations allocated to No. 6 Group, Royal Canadian Air Force during the war.
In May 1941 the station was bombed by the Luftwaffe resulting in the death of 13 airmen including the station commander, Group Captain Garroway. A York Press article refers to the 'mystery' of how Garroway was killed - the station's record books state he was directing firefighting when he met his death, not taking shelter. His son, who was also in the RAF, was later killed in action.
At the end of the war the station was involved with transporting passengers and freight back to the UK. After which it became a Fighter Command station operating the Gloster Meteor, Canadair Sabre and Hawker Hunter until it was closed and put under care and maintenance in 1957.
In 1981 the BBC filmed episode 5 'Chopped' of the Fighter Pilot series at the base. Chief Flying instructor at the time was Squadron Leader John David Lunt (Later Group Captain).
In 1999 the entire NCO married quarter site at Linton Woods were purchased by The Welbeck Estate Group and underwent a major upgrade.
Drawdown and closure
In October 2014, it was confirmed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) that basic fast-jet training would move from Linton-on-Ouse to RAF Valley in Anglesey in 2019. The move was part of the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) which saw the Beechcraft Texan T1 replace the Tucano T1 in the basic fast-jet training role. At that time, the MOD did not confirm what future role Linton-on-Ouse would have, but in July 2018, it was stated that the RAF would vacate the base by 2020 and it would be disposed of completely. However, in March 2019, the MOD indicated it was considering options for other defence uses for the site, before a final decision was made.
Flying training ceased in October 2019, when the final student pilots graduated and training fully relocated to Valley. The final flying unit to depart was the Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron, which relocated to RAF Leeming on 1 December 2020. The MOD notified the Civil Aviation Authority that the aerodrome would close on 18 December 2020. In February 2021, the MOD confirmed that no alternative military use had been identified for the site and that it would therefore be sold. However, in August 2021, the station was used to support COVID-19 countermeasures for personnel returning from Afghanistan on Operation Pitting.
In the summer of 1960 and 1961, the perimeter track and parts of two runways were used to form the 1.7 mile, Linton-on-Ouse circuit, on what was still an operational RAF base, with the racing organised by the Northern of the British Racing and Sports Car Club. The 1960 meeting was held in torrential rain and Tony Hodgetts recalls blue sparks coming off his fingers as he cranked the field telephone which was used by the marshals to communicate with race control. The meeting was dominated by Jimmy Blumer in his Cooper Monaco. The final meeting in 1961 was marred by a fatal accident to a flag marshal. The driver of the Formula Junior car involved was a serving RAF officer and, following the inquest into the death of the marshal, the venue was no longer available. After this sad incident and a near fatality to another flag marshal at Full Sutton Circuit, Tony Hodgetts and Garth Nicholls started a campaign which resulted in flag marshals working face to face instead of back to back, a system which is still in use and is considerably safer.
November 2008 incident
In early November 2008 Wing Commander Paul Gerrard, who is based at the station, was involved in an unusual mid-air rescue. Sixty-five-year-old Jim O'Neill was flying a four-seater Cessna 182 from Scotland to Essex after a family holiday, when he had a stroke which caused temporary blindness. Gerrard was on a training flight, and after being alerted to the situation, located O'Neill's aircraft and over a 45-minute period, guided O'Neill to a safe landing at Linton.
- Pine, L G (1983). A Dictionary of Mottoes. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 1. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X.
- "Defence Estates Development Plan 2009 – Annex A". GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 3 July 2009. p. 12. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
- "RAF Linton-on-Ouse Defence Aerodrome Manual (DAM)" (PDF). RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Military Aviation Authority. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
- Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 – Page 122
- 1938 Air Force Lists
- Dunmore 1991, p. 4.
- "Bombing raid mystery is solved at RAF Linton-on-Ouse". York Press. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- "GARRAWAY Derek Peter". www.rememberthefallen.co.uk. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
- "New memorial to RAF ground staff unveiled at RAF Linton-on-Ouse". York Press. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
- Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 – Page 130
- Barrass, M. B. (2015). "Groups 20–29". Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "Fighter Pilot episode 5 'Chopped'". BBC. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
- "Babcock". RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- "Air". Babcock International. Archived from the original on 27 October 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- "Relatives of hero pilot visit building named in his honour". www.raf.mod.uk. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
- "Royal Air Force". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
- "The History of Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron". UAS. Royal Air Force. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
- Delve 2006, p. 183.
- "RAF Linton-on-Ouse Memorial Room". RAF website. 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- "RAF pilot training boost welcomed". BBC News. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- "Future of RAF Linton-on-Ouse airbase in doubt". York Press. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- Witherow, John, ed. (24 July 2018). "Red Arrows base axed in cost-cutting manoeuvre". The Times (72595). p. 7. ISSN 0140-0460.
- Ellwood, Tobias (25 March 2019). "RAF Linton-on-Ouse: Closures:Written question - 234753". UK Parliament. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
- Sedgwick, Philip (1 November 2019). "Final chapter in flight operations". Darlington and Stockton Times (44–2019). p. 66. ISSN 2516-5348.
- "Final flights as RAF base prepares for closure". The Northern Echo. Newsquest. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
- "RAF Leeming: And then there were two | RAF Leeming Station Facebook Page". Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- "Removal of RAF Linton on Ouse MATZ/ATZ | Civil Aviation Authority". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
- Laycock, Mike (2 February 2021). "MP fails in last ditch bid to save RAF base near York". York Press. Newsquest. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
- "Soldiers support each other on return from Afghanistan". British Army. 27 August 2021. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
- Swinger, Peter (2008). Motor Racing Circuits in England : Then & Now. Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 0 7110 3104 5.
- Wainwright, Martin (8 November 2008). "Pilot Struck blind in flight shepherded to safe landing by RAF". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
- Delve, Ken. The military airfields of Northern England – County Durham, Cumbria, Isle of Man, Lancashire, Merseyside, Manchester, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Yorkshire. Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: Crowood Press, 2006. ISBN 1-86126-809-2.
- Dunmore, Spencer and William Carter. Reap the Whirlwind: The Untold Story of 6 Group, Canada's Bomber Force of World War II. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: McLelland and Stewart Inc., 1991. ISBN 0-7710-2924-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to RAF Linton-on-Ouse.|