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Report - RAF Driffield - 2008-2017

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Bugsuperstar, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    There have already been many reports on RAF Driffield posted to 28DL and as a rule of thumb I do not generally post much anymore unless it is new. However on this occasion I am going to make an exception. Who knows it might encourage me to start posting more reports on the rubbish places I visit these days.

    A couple of years ago I was working with an old fellow and we got talking about this "exploring lark" that I get up to in my spare time. RAF Driffield was mentioned and he ended up giving me a fantastic book by G. Simmons and B Abraham called "Strong Foundations - 1917-200". It is full of so much information about the site and many archive pictures I've not seen before (all the original pictures in this report are scanned from said book and are not mine). There are many more but compressing this into a palatable report instead of a bore fest is impossible.

    The site has a great history, anyone who is interested in RAF sites please read the information below...
    anyone else, maybe click back now.

    Beginnings


    On the night of 4th/5th May 1915 a German rigid airship was spotted slowly moving over the English east coast. It was seen over Driffield, then again over nearby villages Langtoft and Sledmere. A couple of Hrs later it was again seen over Driffield and subsequently dropped two bombs on the town. There were no serious casualties however with the First World War now in full swing the very real possibility of air attack was becoming very real.

    This got the government brains ticking and everyone clearly realised that things could get nasty pretty quickly.

    During 1916 Military authorities requisitioned 240 acres of land from farms local to Driffield and in December the first form of the aerodromes construction would begin. Providing shelter and engineering support for aircraft, classrooms for ground training and domestic accommodation for personnel and pilots in training.

    By 1918 the site was listed as No.33 Sqn landing ground. The locals in Driffield report that pilots were quite keen on low flying over the town and the site served faithfully in defending Britain at this time. RAF Driffield was not retained after the Great war, the training school being disbanded in 1920 and placed on "Care and Maintenance" until 1925 when it was demolished.

    World War Two

    After the Great War of 1914-1918 it was believed there was no longer a threat to the United Kingdom and that another war on this scale was inconceivable. Wrong.

    Construction of the new RAF Driffield began in 1935. This new airfield consisted of five large hangars, placed in a curve around the grass runways. Behind the hangars the rest of the camp was constructed opening for service in 1936 becoming home to several bomber Squadrons. By 1938 No.77 and No.102 Squadrons were equipped with Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bombers.

    [​IMG]

    During World War Two Driffield saw plenty of action and it would only be a matter of time before it became a target itself. On 15 August 1940,50 Junkers Ju 88 bomber aircraft attacked the aerodrome in a German raid dropping 169 bombs. 13 military personnel and 1 civilian lost their lives and 12 Whitley aircraft and several buildings were destroyed.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    RAF Driffield was temporarily
    closed in 1943 for the construction of three concrete runways and in June 1944 No.466 Squadron RAAF began operations supporting the Allied invasion of Europe by bombing targets in the Normandy area with four Handley Page Halifax bombers.

    1949 and the arrival of the Jet engine.

    After the war was over RAF Driffield again returned to its training roots and became home to the No.203 Advanced Flying School. There were two sections within the school: No.1 Squadron operated the Gloster Meteor – Britain’s first operational jet fighter, while No.2 Squadron flew the
    DeHavilland Vampire.

    Seen below in October 1949

    [​IMG]

    Plots were taught basic manoeuvres, aerobatics, formation flying, instrument flying and navigation until the unit moved to Lincolnshire in 1955.

    1958 Nuclear missile launch site

    In November 1958 Driffield became home to No.98 Squadron, which was equipped with three Douglas Thor missiles. Each missile had a range of 1,750 miles and could reach Moscow. At 60 ft long, the missiles were stored horizontally on the ground and were erected only when ready for firing or during training exercises.

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    The missiles at Driffield were never used and the system was dismantled in 1963. Little remains of the actual three Thor Missile sites today.

    Driver Training and beyond.

    The Army obtained RAF Driffield and site was then used for driver training, this program along with all the residing personnel were moved to the nearby Leconfield site but in 1992 the RAF regained ownership and renamed it RAF Staxton Wold – Driffield Site, however on 28 June 1996, the RAF ensign was lowered for the last time.

    [​IMG]

    RAF Driffield is today used as a cadet training centre for army cadets and houses 873 Driffield Squadron air training corps and the site has since been used as a driver training area by DST Leconfield.
     
    Ojay likes this.

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  2. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    I have visited RAF Driffield quite a bit over the past few years, as its getting on for a decade of visiting I thought I would compile a report to cover this. There are bits that have now been demolished and I've watched the site descend into natural (and some unatural) decay. It also serves as a little wave to everyone to say I am still alive. Just.

    I hope some people enjoy the report, It is a mix of dodgy compact, 35mm and DSLR all taken between 2008 and 2017.

    The Officers mess and Single Officers Quarters - This part was demolished around 2012

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    I still have no clue want "Batman's room" means

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    Demo

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    Kitchens - Again demolished around 2012

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    Social areas - Drift Inn/Camp shop/Cinema/night club

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    Cinema

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    This is the New York mural behind the night club stage before it was covered in graffiti a few years back

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    Camp Shop

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    mw0sec and Ojay like this.
  3. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Station Sick Quarters

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    Children's Nursery

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    Living Quarters

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    Armoury

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    Boiler House - This has always been my favourite building on the camp

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    Check out the price of a VCR

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    Store and Workshops - There used to be all kinds of things left behind in here

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    Back when the big map of East Yorkshire was on the wall, it is an almost unrecognisable mush on the floor now

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    The Lightening mural

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    That pretty much covers RAF Driffield for me. I hope someone has stayed until the end and that you enjoyed the pics. Thanks.​
     
    Johnny_99, mw0sec, albino-jay and 6 others like this.
  4. Bolts

    Bolts 28DL Regular User
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    Nicely covered! Especially like the murals
     
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  5. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Thanks mate. I was feeling all nostalgic ha. The lightening mural is pretty unique I think.
     
  6. ZerO81

    ZerO81 Moderator
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    Very nice set there mate.

    It's a nice little wander around this place, I may have to pop in again in the summer time.
     
    Bugsuperstar likes this.
  7. TheTimeChamber

    TheTimeChamber The other one
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    Nicely covered, I do like a WW2 airfield.
     
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  8. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Good to see the place properly covered before it's reduced to rubble :thumb
     
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  9. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Thanks for your replies folks.

    Cheers Mate. Hopefully the bits still in use will be covered eventually also :)
     
    Ojay likes this.
  10. Camera Shy

    Camera Shy Old enough to know better
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    Nicely covered, enjoyed that.
     
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  11. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Thankyou mate.
     
  12. Timbo1965

    Timbo1965 28DL Full Member
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    A batman was basically a man servant to an officer and went wherever the officer was billeted , doing more or less everything for him , looking after his every need and even by his side on the battlefield
     
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  13. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Thanks! I'd always wondered if it was just a bit of fun someone was having at this camp.

    However the above explains it nicely!
     
  14. Thor873

    Thor873 28DL Full Member
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    Love the report mate, thinking of going up here at some point soon for a shoot for my college project. Miss going up to the old place to be honest..
     
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  15. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Get yourself up there again. Its a nice relaxed place to spend some time.

    I'm pleased you enjoyed the report. Thanks.
     
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