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RAF Riccall in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- RAF Riccall during the Second World War -

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RAF Riccall

   RAF Riccall, situated 10 miles south of York, opened in September 1942 as a satellite to RAF Marston Moor. The base closed in 1946 and today is used for agriculture.

Squadrons stationed at Riccall

  • 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit



Photos by Noel J Ryan. Old Airfields


If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served at

RAF Riccall

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Sgt. Reginald Mantripp

Reginald Mantripp RAF Riccall

Reginald Mantripp served at RAF Riccall as ground crew between April and November 1943.

Jim Sotheran

Sgt. Eric Durrant 158 Squadron

Air Gunner Sergeant Eric Durrant joined the 1658 HCU on 12th of April 1943 as the tail gunner for a Halifax bomber. Prior to this he was with a different squadron and was shot down, being the only survivor of that crew to make it back home. The day after arriving at the 1658 HCU they flew a mission and were shot down again. Sergeant Durrant was captured while trying to escape the continent and sent to a POW camp where he remained until sometime after D-day. I wish I could say more but he told his stories some 30 years ago and passed away about 24 years ago having moved to Canada immediately after the war.

Robert Durrant

Flt.Sgt. Leslie Harris 76 Squadron (d.29th June 1943)

Although already in a Reserved Occupation, my father volunteered for the Royal Air Force and was posted to South Africa to undergo training as an Observer. He gained his Observer Brevet in 1942, returning to England that same year.

With a 10 O.T.U. detachment flying Whitley Mark 5s out of St Eval, he helped to track and bomb U-Boats. Apparently, one took offence at this treatment, after being caught on the surface, and promptly fired a shell, blowing a hole in the starboard wing of their machine. Later, still with 10 OTU, returning from a sweep, their aircraft suffered an engine fire. The pilot instructed the crew to take to their parachutes, thus saving their lives. Bravely staying at the controls the pilot lost his life in the crash. Suffering a fractured ankle and gaining his Caterpillar Badge from the Irving Parachute Company, my father spent some time in hospital before being transferred to 1658 HCU at Riccall in Yorkshire, converting to the Halifax bomber. From there he was posted to No. 76 Squadron then at Holme-upon-Spalding Moor. On the evening of the 28th June together with his crew, in Halifax Mark 5 MP-R DK137 took off for Cologne. The aircraft failed to return, having been shot down by a night fighter with the loss of the entire crew.


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