Monument record MYO3548 - Acaster Malbis Airfield

Summary

A military airfield opened in 1942 and closed in 1946. Wartime vertical photographs of 1942 show the airfield at Acaster Malbis camouflaged. Laid out as a grass airfield for fighter aircraft in late 1942, its location next to the river Ouse made it highly unsuitable because of mists. It was originally a satellite to Church Fenton, Number 12 Group Fighter Command. Initially 601 squadron flying Bell Airacobras and then Group Flying training Command with Airspeed Oxfords were stationed there until 1943. In 1943 the base was temporarily closed, and despite its unsuitablility the runways were rebuilt in concrete to accommodate heavy bombers. The airfield was officially re-assigned to number 4 Group, then number 7 Training Group (St Vincents) of Bomber Command but it did not receive any operational units. Late in 1944 Number 4 Aircrew school was stationed at Acaster, and the airfield was used to store bombs. Temporary accomodation was constructed, as were two Type 2 and one B-1 aircraft hangar. There were 36 "spectacle" type hardstanding areas. By 2002 parts of the runway and many of the buildings were being removed. The control tower remained

Location

Grid reference Centred SE 5808 4348 (953m by 1172m)
Map sheet SE54SE
Civil Parish Acaster Malbis, City of York, North Yorkshire
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire

Map

Type and Period (4)

Full Description

NMR Information:

Wartime vertical photographs of 1942 show the airfield at Acaster Malbis camouflaged. Laid out as a grass airfield for fighter aircraft in late 1942, at SE 579 430. Its location next to a river made it highly unsuitable because of mists. The runways were rebuilt in concrete to accommodate heavy bombers but it did not receive any operational units. The airfield was closed in 1946 after a useless life. (1)

Acaster Malbis Airfield, position given as SE 578 430. Assigned to Bomber Command, 7 Group (St Vincents). With a concrete landing surface, temporary accommodation, theoretical crew complement of 1120 RAF and 264 WAAF personell, two type-2 hangars and one B1 hangar. The source contains a sketch map of the airfield but this does not show the position of the 36 "spectacle" hardstanding areas mentioned in the text. (2)

Sheet SE 54 SE, centered at roughly SE 5790 4300, marked as "Airfield (Disused)". The spectacle hardstanding is clearly visible on this 1969 map. (3)

SE 578 430 (4) or SE 577 430 (5). The present use of acaster Airfield is described in 2001-2002 as "agriculture" The control tower type was a Watch Office for all commands 343/43.Still extant in 2002 but derelict. The runway being removed with few other buildings remaining. Units stationed at Alcaster: 6/1/42-25/4/42, 601 squadron, of No 12 Group Fighter Command flying Bell Airacobras; 7/4/1942-251/43 21 group Flying Training command Number 15 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit, flying Airspeed Oxfords. Rebuilt 1943 a part of number 4 then from 1/11/1944 Number 7 (training) Group Bomber Command, used for flying training circuits, no oprational units flew from the base. Late 1944 used by Number 4 Aircrew School, and by 91 Munitions Unit to store bombs. (4-5)

Am internet search on 11-AUG-2003 revealed that a number of commercial companies are listed as having premises at "Alcaster Airfield Industrial Estate" (6)

Airfield ID S0003828 Acaster Malbis, condition unknown, Grid ref: SE 577 430). (7)

1 Oblique aerial photograph reference number NMR VK 753/3 08-MAY-1942
2 Military airfields in the British Isles 1939-1945 8 Steve Willis and Barry Holliss
3 Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) 1: 10000, 1969.
4 World Wide Web page Copyright Robert Truman, 2002 "Control Towers", http://www.control Towers.co.uk/A/Acaster_Malbis.htm; accessed 11-AUG-2003.
5 World Wide Web page Copyright Aifields in Yorkshire 2001, "Alcaster Malbis"; http://www.airfields-in-yorkshire.co.uk/acaster; accessed 11-AUG-2003.
6 Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments Compiler's comment, Robin Page, 11-AUG-2003.
7 Migrated Defence of Britain Project database record originally compiled from various sources The two databases developed by the Project can be searched on-line through the Archaeology Data Service at http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/dob/index.cfm

Defence of Britain Database UID S0003828
Defence of Britain Database UID S0013082
Defence of Britain Database UID S0013083
Defence of Britain Database UID S0013089
Defence of Britain Database UID S0013090
Defence of Britain Database UID S0013091

Related event: (UID 1444724) THE DEFENCE OF BRITAIN PROJECT. 1995-2002. Council for British Archaeology.

Sources/Archives (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (41)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Aug 22 2020 3:51PM

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