Bomber Command Airfields of Yorkshire... Aviation Heritage Trail title from Pen and Sword


Title: Bomber Command Airfields of Yorkshire

Author: Peter Jacobs

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-78346-331-2

If you are interested in sites relating to events in WW2 you don't necessarily have to go overseas to find them.  Bomber Command was fighting the war from UK airfields from start to finish.  Following on from his earlier book in this series on Lincolnshire bases, author Peter Jacobs has turned his attention to Yorkshire.

This one is split into three main sections.  The first looks at Airfields of 4 Group (18 different sites), then Airfields of 6 (RCAF) Group (11 airfields), and lastly the catch-all of 'Other Bomber Airfields of Yorkshire' (4 more sites).  Each one gives the basic history of the airfield, some of which were pre-war and others built during the war.  It tells the basic story of what use was made of the site and each one also lists the main units which were based there during the war, and what aircraft they were equipped with.  Some, though not all, include maps of the airfield layout and there are plenty of photos throughout the book which show a mix of archive wartime photos, and others taken more recently showing what remains can be seen today.  Each individual airfield entry also includes directions telling you how to find it now so you can go and see for yourself.

Some of the airfields are well known, for example Elvington, which today is home to the popular Yorkshire Air Museum.  Others, such as Cottam, were rarely used when even after they were built the local wind conditions were such that no operational units were actually based there.  Then there is Carnaby, also known as Bridlington, which was unusual for only having a single, extra wide runway for use as an emergency diversion airfield, also equipped with the FIDO (Fog Intense Dispersal Operation) system, one of only two such airfields so equipped in the county.  Others include Linton-on-Ouse, which remains an active RAF base to this day.  Many others remain less well known, and some have been known by two names, thanks to nearby villages.  An example I found interesting was Marston Moor, perhaps better known as being the site of a famous battle of the English Civil War so also referred to as Tockwith.

This is another well researched book from Peter Jacobs and one that is a handy size to keep in the car.  Whether you are a historian with an interest in Bomber Command, or perhaps looking for the place where your father, grandfather or other relative served during the war and you are trying to trace more about their experiences.  While areas such as these continue to be developed it is good to know just what remains to be seen of this period in our history.