RAF Middleton St George

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RAF Goosepool
RAF Middleton St. George

Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
The Royal Air Force in Britain, July 1941 TR105.jpg
A crew of No. 78 Squadron RAF watch as engine adjustments are made to an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber, Z6743, before they take off for a raid from Middleton St George.
Summary
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Location Middleton St. George
Coordinates 54°30′33″N 001°25′46″W / 54.50917°N 1.42944°W / 54.50917; -1.42944Coordinates: 54°30′33″N 001°25′46″W / 54.50917°N 1.42944°W / 54.50917; -1.42944
Map
RAF Middleton St. George is located in County Durham
RAF Middleton St. George
RAF Middleton St. George
Location in County Durham
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
05/23 7,516 2,291 Concrete
01/19 3,300 1,006 Concrete
10/28 4,200 1,280 Concrete
RAF. Middleton St. George August 1960

RAF Middleton St. George was a Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command station during World War II. It was located in County Durham, five miles east of Darlington, England. The stations' motto was Shield and Deter.[1]

History[edit]

Second World War[edit]

The airfield began its life as Royal Air Force Goosepool, and in 1941 became RAF Middleton St. George when the aerodrome opened under the auspices of Bomber Command. Whilst the nearest settlement was Middleton St George, the station acquired the Goosepool after the nearby farm.[2] In 1943 it was allocated to No. 6 Group, Royal Canadian Air Force.[3] A sub-station was located at RAF Croft, Yorkshire.[4] Squadrons based here include: 76 Squadron, which flew Handley Page Halifaxes, 78 Squadron, which flew Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys, 419 Squadron RCAF, which flew Vickers Wellingtons, Halifaxes, and Avro Lancasters, 420 Squadron RCAF, which flew Wellingtons, and 428 Squadron RCAF, which flew Wellingtons, Halifaxes, and Lancasters.[5]

Post war[edit]

After the war, the aerodrome served various squadrons and units including No. 13 Operational Training Unit (OTU), No. 2 Air Navigation School, No. 4 Flying Training School, and squadrons that used Gloster Meteors, Hawker Hunters, Gloster Javelins and English Electric Lightnings.[6] In 1947, the airfield became a satellite station of RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire.[7]

The RAF left the station in 1964, but the aerodrome was reopened in 1966 as a civil airport.[8] The airfield was named Teesside International Airport in the 1960s, and was renamed Durham Tees Valley Airport in 2004.[9] In the late 1980s the entire Married Quarter estate was sold to a Roger Byron-Collins company and was renamed The Virginia Estate.

From 1968 to 1979, some of the former station buildings housed Middleton St George College of Education, a teacher training college.[10]

The officers' mess at the base was converted into the St George Hotel, complete withy RAF Middleton St George museum.[11]

Units and aircraft[edit]

Unit Dates Aircraft Variant Notes
No. 33 Squadron RAF 1958–1962 Gloster Javelin FAW.7 and FAW.9 from 1960 Twin-engined jet fighter/interceptor.[12]
No. 76 Squadron RAF 1941–1942 Handley Page Halifax Mks.I and II Four-engined piston heavy bomber.[13]
No. 78 Squadron RAF 1941 Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V Twin-engined medium bomber.[13]
1942 Handley Page Halifax Mk.II Four-engined piston heavy bomber.[13]
No. 92 Squadron RAF 1957
1958-1960
Hawker Hunter F.6 Single-engined jet fighter/fighter-bomber.[14]
No. 264 Squadron RAF 1957 Gloster Meteor NF.14 Twin-engined jet night-fighter.[15]
No. 419 Squadron RCAF 1942–1944 Handley Page Halifax Mk.II Four-engined piston heavy bomber.[16]
1944–1945 Avro Lancaster Mk.X Four-engined piston heavy bomber.[16]
No. 420 Squadron RCAF 1942–1943 Vickers Wellington Mks.III and later X before move to North Africa Twin-engined medium bomber.[16]
No. 428 Squadron RCAF 1943–1944 Handley Page Halifax Mks.V and II Four-engined piston heavy bomber.[16]
1944–1945 Avro Lancaster Mk.X Four-engined piston heavy bomber.[16]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 212. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X. 
  2. ^ Halpenny 1982, p. 147.
  3. ^ "Stations-M". www.rafweb.org. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  4. ^ Halpenny 1982, p. 54.
  5. ^ Delve 2006, p. 197.
  6. ^ Halpenny 1982, pp. 149–150.
  7. ^ Coupland, Peter (1997). Straight and True. Barnsley: Pen and Sword. p. 61. ISBN 0-8502-569-1. 
  8. ^ Halpenny 1982, pp. 150–151.
  9. ^ Lloyd, Chris (24 January 2015). "Getting airborne at Middleton St George 50 years ago". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  10. ^ Reunion website
  11. ^ "A Brief History of Middleton St George from 1800" (PDF). Middleton-st-george.org. p. 11. Retrieved 2 June 2018. 
  12. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 36.
  13. ^ a b c Jefford 1988, p. 48.
  14. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 52.
  15. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 80.
  16. ^ a b c d e Jefford 1988, p. 91.
  17. ^ Wilson, Keith (2015). RAF in camera 1950s. Barnsley: Pen & Sword. p. 111. ISBN 978-1-47382-795-0. 
  18. ^ "Middleton St. George (Durham Tees Valley) - Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust UK". www.abct.org.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Delve, Ken (2006). The Military Airfields of Britain, Northern England: Co. Durham, Cumbria, Isle of Man, Lancashire, Merseyside, Manchester, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Yorkshire. Marlborough: Crowood Press. ISBN 1-86126-809-2. 
  • Halley, James J. (1988). The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-164-9. 
  • Halpenny, Brue Barrymore (1982). Action Stations 4; Military Airfields of Yorkshire. Cambridge: Patrick Stephens ltd. ISBN 0-85059-532-0. 
  • 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. 
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. (1976). Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd. ISBN 0-354-01027-1. 

External links[edit]