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Report - RAF Driffield - 2008-2017

Bugsuperstar

Irresponsible & Reckless
Regular User
#1
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 - 1917-2000". 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.

6PgrACP.jpg


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.

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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

d4CEpb4.jpg


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.

1pgBG62.jpg


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.
 
Last edited:

Bugsuperstar

Irresponsible & Reckless
Regular User
#2


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

vQzg3Ac.jpg


IBQjQTk.jpg


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

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Demo

teLqZaB.jpg


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Kitchens - Again demolished around 2012

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YtaGKy4.jpg


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

igemv65.jpg


PvfA9BR.jpg


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KeH1lXA.jpg


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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

opHE7X5.jpg


mOOuwaw.jpg


Camp Shop

c6ucE2a.jpg


9jxHFLJ.jpg


 
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Bugsuperstar

Irresponsible & Reckless
Regular User
#3
Station Sick Quarters

vjYMOwB.jpg


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Children's Nursery

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Living Quarters

WuGn9AS.jpg


WpLVP87.jpg


QtosWFn.jpg


Armoury

VSFL2ia.jpg


ARZ4GZd.jpg



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

udy7VDO.jpg


xjBj3LO.jpg


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Check out the price of a VCR


jVdvSTk.jpg


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

ChA6OwU.jpg


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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

K4za4rm.jpg


PjdAH12.jpg



The Lightening mural

j4tCczn.jpg


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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.​
 
Last edited:

Timbo1965

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#11
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
 

Bugsuperstar

Irresponsible & Reckless
Regular User
#12
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
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!
 

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