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Report - - RAF Limavady, Northern Ireland, January 2019 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - RAF Limavady, Northern Ireland, January 2019


HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
Royal Air Force Station Limavady or more simply RAF Limavady is a former Royal Air Force station. Also known as Aghanloo airfield, it is near the city of Derry, Northern Ireland. The location for RAF Limavady was agreed in 1938, when the site was selected as an Armament Training Station (ATS). The first recorded use was by 502 Squadron and their Whitleys on anti-submarine patrols in December 1940. They had the distinction of being the first operational unit to be equipped with the new long range ASV (air-to-surface vessel) radar. Later 224 Sqn Hudsons and 221 Sqn Wellingtons were stationed here.

RAF Limavady from the air, September 1943:

RAF Limavady by HughieDW, on Flickr

In 1942 operational flying ceased for a two-year period. It was then used as a pilot training centre with Wellington and Ansons. In April 1942, General Reconnaissance training (GR) and Air-to-Surface Vessel (ASV) training became the norm, and operational squadrons withdrawn to be replaced by Operational Training Unit (OTU), until January 1944.

In 1944 the airfield returned to operational status and 172, 407 and 612 Sqds flew anti-submarine patrols. The airfield was notorious for its high accident In one incident alone in 1943, three aircraft were lost. Bad weather and its proximity to Benevenagh Mountain , accounted for many of these accidents.

The RAF left the airfield on a5th August 1945 and after the Second World War the airfield was further used by the Fleet Air Arm when it was known as RNAS Limavady until 1958, after which it was finally sold off. The site was partly converted into an industrial estate with the rest returning to agricultural purposes. The runways and taxi-ways can still be seen from aerial imagery

Notable structures that remain until today is a Type 518/40 control tower and an anti-Aircraft Gunner Dome. The later was used to project, onto the roof of the dome, a film of an approaching aircraft. The Gunner was trained to "Aim-Off" to ensure that he hit the aircraft.

2. The Explore
A nice relaxed explore on the first day of year. Easy access and loads there left still to see made this an enjoyable winter morning explore. Didn’t see a soul around, just some guard dogs barking in a nearby industrial compound. Wished I’d had more time to cover the site more thoroughly as it was large. Nice to see a WW2 airfield with some much left to see. Get the feeling that if was in England it would have been smashed up.

3. The Pictures

Limavady 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Limavady 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Limavady 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Limavady 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Limavady 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0521 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0498 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0497 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The anti-Aircraft Gunner Dome

img0505 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0495 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0473 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The watch tower was the best thing here:

img0493 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Limavady 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Limavady 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0480 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Electrics from WW2 still in situ. Never seen this in a watch tower before:

Limavady 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0486 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Limavady 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0487 by HughieDW, on Flickr


img0483 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0482 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0481 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The anti-Aircraft Gunner Dome

img0501 by HughieDW, on Flickr

One of two remaining hangers:

img0516 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And the other;

img0509 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Part of the old runway:

img0517 by HughieDW, on Flickr

A couple of outlining huts:

img0515 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0514 by HughieDW, on Flickr

An old water tower located slightly away from the main site:

img0519 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

Brewtal

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nicely done mate, you have covered quite a lot of ground on this trip! Looks like a nice place for a wander, love all the growth on everything.
 

nikkicbex31

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
lots of walking then lol I might even pack a disposable BBQ and make a full day of it lol
 

nikkicbex31

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
HughieD if you don't mind me asking is there much left of the buildings, like the officers quarters and the bars ect :)
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
HughieD if you don't mind me asking is there much left of the buildings, like the officers quarters and the bars ect :)
Not sure @nikkicbex31 there's more than the pictures here as quite a bit is still used. What you really need is a base map. Couldn't find one prior to going.
 

Ordnance

Moderator
Moderator
As far as I know none of the buildings have a military use, they are simply 'industrial use'
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Fantastic programme on the Beeb presented by Dan Snow on WW2 in Northern Ireland has some really interesting stuff on Limavady. Currently in the iPlayer and well worth a watch.
 

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