Participating RAF Stations

As a part of the erection of this monument, three RAF stations are contributing to the effort: RAF Leeming, RAF Linton-on-Ouse and RAF Waddington. All three have a strong tie to RCAF during the war as follows:

RAF Leeming

Before official handover from the contractors, RAF Leeming was used extensively by Blenheim fighters of 219 Squadron in order to reduce congestion over RAF Catterick. During the Battle of Britain, numerous sorties were flown from Leeming to intercept German raids in the area. Royal Air Force Leeming was officially opened on 3 June 1940 as one of the many new airfields constructed to counter the threat posed by the Luftwaffe. Initially built as a bomber base, Leeming housed several bomber Squadrons during the second world war, with 219 Sqn, 10 Sqn, 7 Sqn, and 77 Sqn the four that were based here for the longest. In 1942 the Royal Canadian Air Force arrived at Leeming and the 1st January 1943 saw the transfer to 6 Group Royal Canadian Air Force, part of Bomber Command and was to remain with the RCAF until the end of May 1946.

Following the war, unlike many other airfields, RAF Leeming remained open. On 7 July 1946 it became an Operational Conversion Unit specialising in training night fighter aircrew. The Station continued to provide night fighter and radar training until 228OCU was disbanded on 14 September 1961. It was in this year that it transferred over to No. 23 Group Flying Training Command with Basic pilot training on the Jet Provost commencing on 4 October 1961. This expanded over the years as the Bulldog aircraft and the Refresher Flying School were introduced, followed by the arrival of Northumbrian Universities Air Squadron (NUAS).

In May 1977 the Multi-Engine Training Squadron was formed at Leeming as part of the Central Flying School. Following changes in Air Defence policy, the MOD announced in 1982 that RAF Leeming was to become an Air Defence fighter base for three Squadrons of Tornado F3 interceptors. After refurbishment and further construction on base, the first pair of Tornado F3s touched down on the runway on 11 January 1988 with No XI (F) Sqn becoming the first fully operational Tornado Squadron on 1 November 1988. They were followed by No. 23 (F) Sqn and No. 25 (F) Sqn over the next twelve months.

RAF Leeming’s aircraft and engineering facilities were used extensively in support of the Gulf War between 1990 and 1991. No. 25 (F) Sqn had operational tours in the Gulf, providing air and groundcrews for the detachment of Tornado F3 aircraft based in Saudi Arabia on a rotational basis. This continued right through to the start of Operation Telic in 2003. On 1 October 1989 No 54 Sqn RAF Regiment was formed at RAF Leeming (although it was renamed No 15 Sqn RAF Regiment less than a year later). The Sqn was equipped with Rapier surface to air missiles and was based at RAF Leeming until 1996 when it moved to RAF Honington and was replaced by 34 Sqn RAF Regiment on their return from Cyprus. Since that time the Squadron has provided support to operations around the World, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

No 23 (F) Sqn was disbanded in 1994, following which No 100 Sqn, equipped with the BAe Hawk, arrived from RAF Finningley along with the Joint Forward Air Controllers Unit. In November the Navigator Training Unit joined 100 Sqn from RAF Valley. More recently, RAF Leeming has seen the disbandment of XI (F) Sqn during 2005, and 25 (F) Sqn on 4 April 2008. This date also marked the retirement of the last operational Tornado F3 on Station, the balance of the fleet now being based at RAF Leuchars until Spring 2011. In April 1998 a Reserve unit was formed on Station as the Airfield Defence Support Squadron, now 609(West Riding) Squadron. This unit recruit and train Reservists to serve alongside their Regular counterparts and, since 2003, have supplied augmentees continuously in support of Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as supporting force Protection Assets at the JSSU in Cyprus.

90 SU was formed on 1 April 2006, by bringing together 3 separate communications Air Combat Service Support Units – Expeditionary Radar & Airfield Support, Information Services Support Unit and Tactical Communications Wing. The 900+ personnel on the Unit are required to ensure effective delivery of the Information Services whenever and wherever they are required. The Unit is focused on Expeditionary Support with a significant percentage of our personnel deployed to current Operational Theatres. Their mission is "To support airpower through the delivery of assured information & communication services." Their vision is "To Ensure 90 SU is manned, motivated, equipped, supported and trained to fulfil its Mission today, tomorrow and in the future."

RAF Linton-on-Ouse

RAF Linton-on-Ouse was built as a bomber airfield and opened on 13 May 1937 when it became the home of No 4 Group Headquarters, an appointment it held until 1940. The Air Officer Commanding at the time was Air Commodore A T Harris (later to become Marshal of the RAF, Sir Arthur T Harris).

At the outbreak of the war, Whitley bombers of Nos 58 and 51 Squadrons were launched from the Station to drop propaganda leaflets over Germany and, by 1940, live bombing raids were being mounted on targets in Norway, Holland, Germany and Italy. A particularly memorable event in the history of the Station occurred on the night of 12/13 November 1940. Group Captain Leonard Cheshire (subsequently Lord Cheshire) VC, DSO, DFC, then a Pilot Officer, brought back a Whitley from an attack in the Cologne area with a 12ft by 4 ft hole in the fuselage. It was for this exploit that he was awarded the first of his 3 DSOs. Leonard Cheshire later returned here as Commanding Officer of No 76 Squadron.

By 1942, RAF Linton-on-Ouse was a major Bomber Command Station participating in the bomber offensive over Europe including, 1000 bomber raids on Cologne and Bremen. From 1943 until the end of the war, the Station was in No 6 Group Royal Canadian Air Force, equipped initially with Halifax aircraft while continuing to play a major role in the bombing offensive against Germany. For a few months after the war the Station was part of Transport Command; tasked with repatriating passengers and freight from overseas in Yorks and Stirlings. RAF Linton-on-Ouse then settled down to a peacetime routine as a Fighter Command Station, operating Mosquitoes, Hornets and Meteors and later Sabres and Hunters. It also became the home of Yorkshire Sector Headquarters.

The Station was placed under care and maintenance in February 1957 but was soon re-opened later that year on 9 September as the home of No 1 FTS. Now that it was within Flying Training Command, it was equipped with Provost and Vampire T11 aircraft. No 1 FTS was originally formed on 29 July 1919 at Netheravon, establishing it as the oldest military flying training school in the world. From 1957 until 1969, No 1 FTS trained both RAF and Naval pilots. Naval fixed wing training was then suspended and the School returned to the task of training RAF students and officers from Foreign and Commonwealth Forces. Headquarters No 23 Group moved from Dishforth to Linton-on-Ouse in July 1966, where it remained until it was disbanded in 1975.

In addition to RAF Linton-on-Ouse, No 1 FTS operates 3 satellite airfields at RAF Church Fenton, RAF Dishforth and RAF Topcliffe. The Central Flying School (Tucano) joined No 1 FTS in 1995 to train all Tucano flying instructors. This was established at RAF Topcliffe, 18 miles to the north of Linton. They were later joined by 76(R) Squadron. 76(R) Sqn is responsible for training all future navigators on the Tucano prior to streaming on fast jet, rotary or multi-engine types. In 1997 there was a reorganisation and, as a result, the squadrons were reduced from three down to two. CFS moved to Linton-on-Ouse and 76(R) Sqn remained at RAF Topcliffe. Furthermore, that year the Station committed itself to achieving the Investors in People accreditation which was achieved in July 1998. In Feb 1999, the Joint Elementary Flying Training School (JEFTS) moved to RAF Church Fenton. Today the role of RAF Linton-on-Ouse is to provide fast jet training for Royal Navy, RAF and Foreign and Commonwealth students in preparation for advanced fast jet training at RAF Valley..  (Source: MoD)

A Ju88 that was shot down near Malton in 1941 after bombing RAF Linton-on-Ouse

RAF Waddington

to be entered...