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Report - - RAF Driffield - 2008-2017 | Military Sites | Page 2 | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - RAF Driffield - 2008-2017


Donny.

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice. Going to give this one a try next weekend as i'm off to Bridlington, past it many a time over the years.
 

Pokeabout

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I regularly drive past here and the vandals have been at it again with the spray paint. The developers are having problems with the MOD over the overage clause in the sale agreement so redevelopment is on hold at the moment. They are looking to build about 500 houses on the old accommodation site. The hangars are now used to build modular buildings and the army continue to use the airfield site for training.
 

Bugsuperstar

Irresponsible & Reckless
Regular User
I regularly drive past here and the vandals have been at it again with the spray paint. The developers are having problems with the MOD over the overage clause in the sale agreement so redevelopment is on hold at the moment. They are looking to build about 500 houses on the old accommodation site. The hangars are now used to build modular buildings and the army continue to use the airfield site for training.
Thanks for the update, I've not been past since the summer.

It's good to hear that there is still the intention to redevelop the site.
 

Donny.

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Drove past it last weekend, but was full of army or air cadets marching about so had to give it a swerve.
 

host

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Outstanding mate one I wish I made an effort for. Bit late now. camp shop yeah we have some of them in Manchester too.
 

Fac63

28DL Member
28DL Member
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.

View attachment 724775

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.

View attachment 724776 View attachment 724777

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

View attachment 724778

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.

View attachment 724779

View attachment 724780

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.

View attachment 724781

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.
Get yourself up there again. Its a nice relaxed place to spend some time.

I'm pleased you enjoyed the report. Thanks.
Hi Bugsuperstar,
Newbie here. I live in Driffield and I'm currently in the process of building a website dedicated to the old airbase. Is there any chance I could use some of your report and photographs on my site, with a credit?
All the best,
Mark
 

Bugsuperstar

Irresponsible & Reckless
Regular User
Hi Bugsuperstar,
Newbie here. I live in Driffield and I'm currently in the process of building a website dedicated to the old airbase. Is there any chance I could use some of your report and photographs on my site, with a credit?
All the best,
Mark
Hi Mark

I’ve sent you a private message.
 

Kraxous

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Just on update for anyone interested in visiting RAF Driffield.

My local airsofting site who owns Elsham, Messingham and (now gone) Slaughterhouse have announced they are opening up an airsofting site on RAF Driffield's grounds so I'm not sure how much longer this is explorable for urbex people. This is the Facebook post they put out. Followed by a screenshot for those who don't have Facebook.

 

Fac63

28DL Member
28DL Member
Mmmm.... interesting, thanks for the info Kraxous. Just hope they don't all turn up in 4x4s and expect to get free reign around the Wolds, a lot of the green lanes around Driffield have already been wrecked by the inconsiderate offroading fraternity...
 

Kraxous

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Mmmm.... interesting, thanks for the info Kraxous. Just hope they don't all turn up in 4x4s and expect to get free reign around the Wolds, a lot of the green lanes around Driffield have already been wrecked by the inconsiderate offroading fraternity...
Usually airsofting lot are quite considerate, just sometimes the minority that ruin it.

I used to airsoft every fortnight or so but gave it up going on a year ago when interests changed. Still got all my kit like.

Anyway, I don't think you have anything to fear bud!
 

Bugsuperstar

Irresponsible & Reckless
Regular User
Stanley Tools in Sheffield ended up with zombie graffiti and all sorts of random constructions inside after the airsofters had been in for while.

I do hope the lightening mural gets left alone if the footfall is increasing.
 

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