- RAF Silloth during the Second World War -
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Silloth aerodrome, Cumbria was opened in June 1939 as a Maintenance Command station, storing new aircraft. The station as was soon transferred to Coastal Command with the 22 Maintenance Unit remaining as a station within the aerodrome. In April 1940, The Coastal Command group pool was re-designated No:1 Operational Training Unit. Being replaced by No:6 O.T.U in March 1943. It was at Silloth that the "Silloth Trainer" was developed. Consisting of a Hudson fuselage with electrics and pneumatics fitted to simulate instrument readings, engine sound, and movement for "realistic" training. The device was one of the predecessors of the modern flight simulator.
After hostilities ceased, the aerodrome, was handed back to No:22 Maintenance Unit and the site was used largely for scrapping and storage. The airfield was used briefly for civil flights in the late 1950s and was closed in 1960. Today the remaining buildings are used for industrial units and a sunday market takes advantage of the hard standing.
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Those known to have served at
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Bird Austin.
- Bird Morton.
- Cave Victor Frank. Sqd.Ldr.
- Gardner Sidney Alfred. Sgt. (d.21st Sep 1942)
- Lambert Robert. F/Lt
- Marsh John. Sgt. (d.20th Aug 1943)
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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Austin Bird ground crewMy grandfather, Austin Bird and my uncle, Morton Bird, both worked at Silloth on the ground.Neil Nixon
Morton Bird ground crewMy uncle, Morton Bird and my grandfather, Austin Bird worked at Silloth on the ground.Neil Nixon
F/Lt Robert LambertAs a child of 2 in 1942 I lived with my parents and older sister Claire on the coast road in Silloth.
My father, Flight Lieutenant Robert Lambert,(Coastal Command) had been posted there from Squires Gate, Blackpool as Flying Control Officer and served at Silloth until sometime in 1943 when he was posted to Reyjavik, Iceland (now Squadron Leader) as FCO.
We then moved from Silloth to Hawkshead in the Lake District. Being only 3 at the time I remember very little else other than going for a fizzy pop to the Skinburness Hotel.Michael Lambert
Sgt. John Marsh (d.20th Aug 1943)My cousin, RAF. SGT. John Marsh, Wireless Air Gunner, was one of the crew of Wellington X3986 when it took off for a training flight over the Solway Firth, from RAF Silloth on the 20th August 1943. The aircraft ditched into the sea at 1137 hours. It was engaged in a low level, 600ft bombing exercise, it made a run into the target and circled the target, smoke was seen to come from the aircraft, engines lost power and then it proceeded to ditch 0.5 miles off Silloth. Rescue boats failed to pick up any of the six crew members. John's body was eventually found on the 5th September 1943 on the Solway Sands and the cause of his death was given as drowning, he was 22 years of age.Ellen Frost
Sgt. Sidney Alfred Gardner 1 OTU (d.21st Sep 1942)Sidney Gardner was my late cousin.Eddie Gardner
Sqd.Ldr. Victor Frank Cave 206 SquadronMy father, Victor Frank Cave, [service # 47778] was a Fg.Off. in 206 Squadron based at Silloth, Cumberland. On the night of 26/06/42, whilst taking part in one of Churchill's 1000 bomber raids, his Hudson was shot down. He was held in Stalag Luft 3 as a POW until the end. His time as a POW was seldom talked about but he did describe the hell that was experienced on the Death March to Northern Germany. Though he did say the German guards had just as hard a going as the rest of the POWs.
Victor served in the RAF until he retired on the 30/07/53, he attained the rank of Sqd. Ldr. After the war & after some substantial time to recover he served in Coastal Command before being posted to RAF Nicosia 11/03/49. Then on the 23/02/51 he was moved to RAF Shallufa. Sqd. Ldr. Cave's last command in the RAF was as Officer in Command HQ, Home Command from 14/01/52 until 19/01/53 After service in the RAF the Cave family moved to Canada & in 1964 moved to N.Z. where Victor served in the NZ Hydrographic Dept. until his early death in 1969.Philip
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