Dishforth Airfield

Dishforth Airfield (ICAO: EGXD) is a Royal Air Force/British Army station in North Yorkshire, England. It was an Army Air Corps helicopter base and a Relief Landing Ground for RAF Linton-on-Ouse. 6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps is currently located at Dishforth. It is located next to the A1(M) at Junction 49 with the A168. Dishforth airfield is built over part of the Great North Road which is also the old A1. It is 4.4 miles (7.1 km) east of Ripon, North Yorkshire and 11.5 miles (18.5 km) north east of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England.

Dishforth Airfield
Flag of the British Army.svg
Near Dishforth, North Yorkshire in England
The Control Tower, RAF Dishforth - geograph.org.uk - 415129.jpg
The control tower at Dishforth Airfield during 2007
Dishforth is located in North Yorkshire
Dishforth
Dishforth
Location in North Yorkshire
Coordinates54°08′13″N 001°25′12″W / 54.13694°N 1.42000°W / 54.13694; -1.42000Coordinates: 54°08′13″N 001°25′12″W / 54.13694°N 1.42000°W / 54.13694; -1.42000
TypeArmy base
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
OperatorBritish Army
Controlled byRoyal Logistics Corps
ConditionOperational
Site history
Built1936 (1936) (as RAF Dishforth)
In use
Garrison information
Garrison6 Regiment RLC
Airfield information
Runways
Direction Length and surface
10/28 1,362 metres (4,469 ft) Asphalt
15/33 1,858 metres (6,096 ft) Asphalt
Airfield no longer in use

RAF use (1936–1992)Edit

Early yearsEdit

Royal Air Force Dishforth opened in 1936.[1] At the beginning of the Second World War it became part of 4 Group, RAF Bomber Command, and was used for recruit training. Between September 1939 and April 1941, No. 78 Squadron RAF used it to launch night operations using Armstrong Whitworth Whitley medium bombers. Between 1943 and 1945 the station was used by No. 6 (RCAF) Group Bomber Command and was a sub-station of RAF Topcliffe. Immediately after the war the station was used to convert aircrew to the Douglas Dakota transport aircraft.[2]

Post warEdit

After the war, the station was occupied by training and transport units. No. 241 Operational Conversion Unit RAF were at the site from 5 January 1948 – 16 April 1951; No. 47 Squadron RAF from 14 September 1948 – 22 August 1949; No. 297 Squadron RAF from 1 November 1948 to 22 August 1949; and then conversion units again, No. 240 Operational Conversion Unit RAF briefly in March – April 1951 before being merged into the new No. 242 Operational Conversion Unit RAF (at the station from 16 April 1951 – 29 January 1962).

No. 30 Squadron RAF arrived on 14 April 1953, operating the Blackburn Beverley, and was based here until November 1959. No. 215 Squadron RAF arrived on 30 April 1956, equipped with Scottish Aviation Pioneer CC Mk. 1 aircraft, but it was renumbered No. 230 Squadron RAF on 1 September 1958. 230 Squadron was at Dishforth from 1 September – 27 November 1958, and then briefly in April 1959.

No. 1325 (Transport) Flight RAF comprising three Douglas Dakota aircraft formed at Dishforth on 1 August 1956.[3] It was established to support Operation Buffalo and Operation Antler, the British nuclear tests at Maralinga in Australia. 1325 Flight was soon relocated to Christmas Island (Kiritimati) to support the Grapple series of nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean.[4] The move to Christmas Island may have taken place on 25 January 1957.

Headquarters No. 23 Group RAF of Flying Training Command arrived at Dishforth on 8 March 1962. It stayed until 11 July 1966. 23 Group's Communications Flight had arrived just under a month earlier, on 12 February 1962, and was at the station until 1 October 1964. Two other units were also present in 1962–66: Leeds University Air Squadron flying the de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T Mk 10;[5] and No. 60 Maintenance Unit RAF between 1 March 1962 and 2 February 1966.[6]

From 1962 the station also became a Relief Landing Ground, successively for 1 FTS and 3 FTS. Jet Provosts from RAF Leeming used the site in this fashion, with personnel deployed from RAF Leeming on a day-to-day basis.

Avro Vulcan V-Bomber aircraft were dispersed to Dishforth during exercises, and would have been dispersed from RAF Scampton during any hostilities during the Cold War.

During the 1970s and 1980s part of the base was used as a police training centre for northern English police forces from Northumbria down to Hertfordshire.

Army use (1992 – present)Edit

 
A British Army Westland Lynx AH9A at Dishforth during 2010

Dishforth was transferred from the RAF to Army Air Corps use by 9 Regiment Army Air Corps in 1992 and became known as Dishforth Airfield.

Dishforth was the first base to receive the Apache helicopter,[7] and had 16, divided between 2 squadrons. Following a reshuffle of AAC units in 2006/2007 Apaches were concentrated on Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk. Between 2007 and 2016, Dishforth had three squadrons of Lynx Mk.7 helicopters & Lynx Mk.9A helicopters. In 2007, personnel and Apache helicopters from the Army Air Corps took part in the rescue mission at Jugroom Fort,[8] which involved marines being strapped to the sides of the helicopter as it flew into Taliban held territory to recover their dead colleague.[9]

Dishforth Airfield recently underwent a major expansion as 6 Force Logistic Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps moved from Gutersloh in Germany to Dishforth.[10] The official handover took place on 30 June 2016. 9 Regiment Army Air Corps disbanded and most of its soldiers merged with 1 Regiment Army Air Corps who also moved from Germany to RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.[11]

Based unitsEdit

 
A MAN support truck of the type used by 6 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps

Notable units based at Dishforth Airfield.[12]

British ArmyEdit

Royal Logistic Corps

  • 6 Regiment RLC
    • 62 Squadron
    • 64 Squadron
    • 600 Headquarters Squadron

FutureEdit

In November 2016, the Ministry of Defence announced that it intended to close the site in 2031.[13]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Dishforth". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  2. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 00.
  3. ^ Sturtivant and Hamlin 2007, p. 119.
  4. ^ Lake 1999, p. 85.
  5. ^ Thisdell, Dan (6 April 2010). "Working Week: Andrew Brookes". Flight Global. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  6. ^ "RAF Dishforth". Air of Authority. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  7. ^ Ripley, Tim (2011). "13: AH Force". British Army Aviation in Action. Barnsley: Pen & Sword. p. 194. ISBN 978-1-84884-670-8.
  8. ^ Minting, Stuart (27 October 2015). "Army sergeant accused of £30k fraud and £8k theft from frontline regiment". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  9. ^ Norton-Taylor, Richard (16 August 2008). "Poor training, confusion and friendly fire, the real story behind brave Apache rescue". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  10. ^ Chapman, Hannah (17 June 2016). "Regiment hold parade to mark end of an era in Germany before a return to North Yorkshire". Darlington & Stockton Times. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  11. ^ "9 Regiment Army Air Corps". army.mod.uk. Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  12. ^ "6 Regiment RLC". British Army. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  13. ^ "A Better Defence Estate" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  • Jefford, C.G. RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.