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RAF Church Fenton
IATA: noneICAO: EGXG
Summary
Airport type Military
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Church Fenton
Elevation AMSL 29 ft / 9 m
Coordinates 53°50′04″N 001°11′44″W / 53.83444°N 1.19556°W / 53.83444; -1.19556
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
06/24 6,158 1,877 Asphalt
16/34 5,466 1,666 Asphalt

RAF Church Fenton (IATA: N/AICAO: EGXG) is a Royal Air Force airfield in North Yorkshire, England.

Contents

History

Opened in 1937,[1] it saw the peak of its activity during the years of World War II, when it served within the defence network of fighter bases of the RAF providing protection for the Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Humberside industrial regions.

In September 1940 it became home to the first RAF "Eagle squadron" of American volunteers (71).[2] It also hosted the first all-Canadian RAF Squadron (242) and the first all-Polish RAF Squadron (306).[2]

As technologies evolved, the first night fighter Operational Training Unit (54 OTU) was formed at Church Fenton in 1940 and stayed until 1942.[3] Some of the squadrons stationed there flew the famous De Havilland Mosquito.

After the war it at first retained its role as a fighter base, being among the first to receive modern jet aircraft, namely the Gloster Meteor[4] and the Hawker Hunter.[4] In later years, its role was mainly flight training, from 1973 for a few years being home to the Royal Navy Elementary Flying Training School (RNEFTS) using the Jet Provost T3,[5] and again 1979-1992, triggered by the introduction of the Panavia Tornado, being the first station to receive the new turboprop-powered Short Tucano T1 basic fast jet trainers. From 1998-2003 Church Fenton was the RAF's main Elementary Flying Training airfield.

Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron

The base is still home to Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron and it is from there that they conduct their flying training in the Grob Tutor Aircraft. Much of the base is now derelict and fenced off and the Officers Mess has been demolished. The airside section of the base remains open with various hangars incorporating YUAS’s aircraft, engineering support, fire/ambulance facilities and a sports hangar. The base still has a fully functioning and manned Air Traffic Control Tower.

The Station headquarters remains and incorporates YUAS’s administration, presentation and social facilities. There is a canteen facility known as the "feeder" and a basic accommodation block.

Operational units

References

  1. ^ Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 - Page 48
  2. ^ a b Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 - Page 49
  3. ^ Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 - Page 50
  4. ^ a b Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 - Page 51
  5. ^ Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 - Page 52

External links

RAF Church Fenton is also home to 2434 (Church Fenton) Squadron Air Training Corps.

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