RAF Castle Archdale


Royal Air Force Castle Archdale or more simply RAF Castle Archdale, also known for a while as RAF Lough Erne[2] is a former Royal Air Force station used for flying boats by the RAF and the Royal Canadian Air Force in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

RAF Castle Archdale
RAF Lough Erne
Lisnarrick, County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland
Various flying boats are being hauled out of Lough Erne as the water begins to freeze in January 1945
RAF Castle Archdale is located in Northern Ireland
RAF Castle Archdale
RAF Castle Archdale
Shown within Northern Ireland
RAF Castle Archdale is located in the United Kingdom
RAF Castle Archdale
RAF Castle Archdale
RAF Castle Archdale (the United Kingdom)
Coordinates54°28′50″N 7°43′37″W / 54.48056°N 7.72694°W / 54.48056; -7.72694
TypeRoyal Air Force station
Site information
OwnerAir Ministry
OperatorRoyal Air Force
Controlled byRAF Coastal Command
* No. 15 (T) Group RAF[1]
Site history
Built1940 (1940)
In useFebruary 1941 – 1958 (1958)
Battles/warsEuropean theatre of World War II
Airfield information
Elevation42 metres (138 ft)[1] AMSL
OtherUsed Runways on Lough Erne

History edit

RAF Castle Archdale was located on the eastern shore of Lower Lough Erne, near the village of Lisnarick. It was used during the Second World War by flying boats of No. 209 Squadron RAF. From Castle Archdale, Consolidated Catalinas and Short Sunderlands could patrol the North Atlantic for German U-boats. A secret agreement with the government of Ireland allowed aircraft to fly from Lough Erne to the Atlantic along the Donegal Corridor.

In May 1941 the German battleship Bismarck was found during a routine patrol by a Catalina flying out of Castle Archdale boat base on Lower Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.[3][4]

RAF St Angelo and RAF Killadeas were also on the shores of Lough Erne, close by.

Units edit

The following units were here at some point:[5]

Postwar edit

A flag lowering ceremony was conducted in late 1957, and the airfield finally closed on 31 January 1958.[12]

Today the base is part of Castle Archdale Country Park. The slipway remains in use and the concrete stands for parking the Catalina aircraft are now part of a caravan site. Other buildings lie derelict and overgrown in the surrounding forest. A museum in the park grounds has a section devoted to its role during the Second World War.

See also edit

References edit

Citations edit

  1. ^ a b Falconer 2012, p. 60.
  2. ^ "RAF Stations – C" Air of Authority
  3. ^ "Inland Waterways News Flying-boats in Fermanagh" (PDF). Inland Waterways News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 November 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  4. ^ "Castle Archdale Country Park". Northern Ireland Environment Agency. Archived from the original on 1 May 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  5. ^ "Castle Archdale (Lough Erne)". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  6. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 57.
  7. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 67.
  8. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 74.
  9. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 76.
  10. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 91.
  11. ^ Sturtivant, Hamlin & Halley 1997, p. 116.
  12. ^ "Castle Archdale (Lough Erne)". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 30 November 2020.

Bibliography edit

  • Falconer, J (2012). RAF Airfields of World War 2. UK: Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85780-349-5.
  • Jefford, C.G. (1988). RAF Squadrons. A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Sturtivant, R; Hamlin, J; Halley, J (1997). Royal Air Force flying training and support units. UK: Air-Britain (Historians). ISBN 0-85130-252-1.

External links edit

  • Castle Archdale in Coastal Command