Buildings at RAF Ballykelly

Buildings at RAF Ballykelly

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Buildings at RAF Ballykelly

This picture shows us some of the buildings at RAF Ballykelly, dated to November 1944.

Many thanks to Peter Claydon for sending us these pictures, which belonged to his father, C.W.J. Claydon, who spent much of the war serving as a medical officer with No.120 Squadron at Ballykelly, Northern Ireland.

Nutts Corner

Nutts Corner air field (also known as RAF Nutts Corner and Belfast-Nutts Corner Airport) was an airfield 15 kilometers west of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The airfield opened as a civilian airfield in 1934, taking over the civilian operations from nearby RAF Aldergrove. Civilian operations were largely abandoned at Nutts Corner during the Second World War. Instead, it was decided that Nutts Corner was to become a military airfield. Reason was that, as the battle in the Atlantic continued, the importance of beating the U-boats became more urgent. Coastal Command was expanded accordingly and in the late summer of 1940 the Airfields Board of the Air Ministry approved Nutts Corner to be expanded and upgraded.
Runway construction began in the fall of 1940. Contracted completion dates were April 1942 (main work) and September 1943 (supplementary construction). Luftwaffe reconnaissance photos taken on 24 April 1941 showed a nearly completed airfield, however.
Nutts Corner was in use from June, although not operational until September. Squadrons which operated out of Nutts Corner were 44 Sqn, 120 Sqn (formed at Nutts Corner), 160 Sqn, 220 Sqn, 231 Sqn and 1332 Heavy Conversion Unit.
Nutts Corner was an important Coastal Command station and was also used as a transport hub for aircraft arriving from the United States. 120 Sqn operated Consolidated B-24 Liberator (locally designated LB30A) Very Long Range maritime patrol bombers from the base. While ordered as long range bombers, the capacities of the early model Liberators were deemed better suited for long range maritme patrol by the British. Used to reinforce Coastal Command in this role, they became the most successful type ever to be used by the RAF in damaging and sinking U-boats.
120 Sqn was formed at Nutts Corner on 2 June 1941. The squadron became operational on 20 September, the event also marking the first time the Liberator was used in operational conditions. On 4 October the squadrons was also responsible for the first military action in a Liberator, when it attacked a Focke-Wulf Condor 500 miles west of Ireland.

Nutt's Corner, July 1941 ( )

220 Sqn, operating Boeing Fortresses, began operating from Nutts Corner in February 1942. In May 1942 the base was briefly home to 160 Sqn, another Liberator squadron. Both carried out convoy escorting duties. 160 Sqn left on 30 May for RAF Lyneham, while 220 Sqn left the following month for RAF Ballykelly . 120 Sqn left Nutts Corner for RAF Ballykelly in July 1942. From 1943 it was used for the Trans Atlantic Supply Route with USAAF Flying Fortress aircraft arriving in the UK.
Although without any units of its own, Nutts Corner continued to be used by the RAF throughout the remainder of the war. For instance: Liberator LB30B AM910 (ex 40-2349), the trial installation machine for the Coastal Command Liberator MkI, crashed on landing at RAF Nutts Corner on 13 December 1944.

King George VI inspects the crews of 120 squadron coastal command at RAF Nutts Corner ( Flickr ).

1944 map of the airfield ( AirfieldInformationExchange ).

Undated, but believed to be during World War II, aerial view of the airfield ( ).

Supermarine Spitfire VII MD159 and an unidentified Halifax bomber overflying Nutts Corner in 1945 ( AirfieldInformationExchange )

In 1946 civil air operations were transferred from Belfast Harbour Airport (todays George Best Belfast City Airport) to Nutts Corner, mainly due to the longer runways available at the airfield. Other reasons included the limited space available at Belfast for expansion and the danger associated with the obstacles present around Belfast harbour, such as cranes. The RAF station then became known as Belfast-Nutts Corner Airport.
On 5 January 1953 a BEA Vickers Viking (G-AJDL0 crashed after striking landing lights and then a building at the airfield, killing 27 people out of 35 on board. It was (and still is) the worst air distaster in Northern Ireland.
On 23 October 1957 a BEA Vickers Viscount (G-AOJA) crashed at the airport, killing all seven on board. By the end of the 1950s it became clear that Nutts Corner became unsuitable, because of the comparatively steep approach necessary for aircraft flying to the airfield. The location of the airport, close to the Belfast mountains and the obstacles located there, and the fact that of Nutts Corner's three runways, only one was suitable for modern aircraft, led to this conclusion. The decision to restore civil flights to Aldergrove was taken in July 1959. The move was made official in September 1963 and a month later the present terminal was opened.
Nutts Corner closed soon after.

Nutts Corner 1947, a BEA Ju-52/3m (G-AHOJ) awaits new passengers (ww2images archive, via Flickr )

An oblique photo from a Shell/BP book of airfields dated early 1950s ( AirfieldInformationExchange )

Although the airfield was closed almost 50 years ago, it is still very much recognisable. Large sections of runway and taxitrack, as well as dispersals still exist. One of the runways is now in use as a major route, the A26 Moira Road.
Between 1984 to 2004, the airfield was used for events such as the Irish Superbike Championships and Rallycross, but this was restricted due to noise complaints from local residents. A small section of the circuit continues to be used by the Northern Ireland Carting Club (NICA) and the Ulster Karting Club. The site is also used for a weekly market and a model aircraft club is on the site.
The platforms and parts of the runway are used as parking lots.

Overview of the former airfield in 2002 (Google Earth)

Overview of the former airfield in 2010 (Google Earth)


The Anglican Parish of Tamlaghtfinlagan originally was located a mile southwest of the current village it is recorded in Papal Bulls of the mid C12th. The name Tamlaghtfinlagan comes from the Irish, "the resting place of Finliganus", one of Columba's monks who was, according to tradition, the founding abbot of the abbey. This abbey building still exists, although in ruins. In the mid C16th the parish church moved to Walworth, where it was gutted by the retreating troops of James II following the defeat in the battle of the Boyne, 1689.

The current church was dedicated in 1795, and is a simple perpendicular church, with three aisles, a small chancel and a gallery, much of which was built by the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers.

    : Tamlaghtfinlagan Parish Church
  • Presbyterian: Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, built in 1827 by the Fishmongers Company. [2]
  • Roman Catholic: St Finlough's


The airfield was closed at the end of the Second World War, but re-opened in 1947 as the home of the RAF Joint Anti-Submarine School, a training flight flying Avro Shackleton aircraft. It closed briefly in 1951 to allow preparatory work to be done for the arrival of the Shackleton aircraft in 1952. [1]

In 1955, RAF Ballykelly was home to three squadrons of Shackletons, 204 Squadron, 206 Squadron and 240 Squadron. There was also a station flight with two Lockheed Hudsons, two Douglas Dakotas and an Auster. In 1957 and again in 1958, 240 Squadron was among those involved in Operation Grapple, nuclear weapon testing on Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean. [3]

By 1959, 206 and 240 Squadrons had been replaced by two other Shackleton squadrons: 203 Squadron and 210 Squadron. The three Squadrons were part of the ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) force. They also covered search and rescue (SAR) standby duties together with their counterparts at RAF Kinloss and RAF St. Mawgan. [3]

Some Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm units including 819 Squadron moved onto the station in 1962 and the navy referred to it as HMS Sealion or RNAS Ballykelly. The runways were extended again in 1963 to allow for potential dispersal of the RAF's V bomber force. In April 1968, 204 Squadron flying from Ballykelly suffered the loss of an RAF Shackleton. Sqn Ldr Clive Haggett and his crew, a total of 12 men, were killed when their aircraft flew into the Mull of Kintyre early one rainy morning. [3]

During a transatlantic yacht race in 1967/8 a French competitor was lost. One of the Shackletons from Ballykelly found him by adopting search positions well before the expected search location. They dropped life preserving equipment to him and marked his position to enable pick up by surface vessels. [3]

The last of the Shackleton aircraft left RAF Ballykelly on 31 March 1971, the airfield closed and the site was handed over to the British Army as Shackleton Barracks on 2 June 1971. [1]

Buildings at RAF Ballykelly - History

Shackleton Barracks was a former British Army base which closed in 2008. From it's conception in 1971, it served as the HQ of the 5th Battalion Ulster Defence Regiment until 1992. In 2003 it became the HQ of the 8th Infantry Brigade until it was disbanded and merged with another regiment. Latterly it was home to the 2nd Battalion, Princess of Wales Regiment until the base was closed.

Formerly known as RAF Ballykelly, served as the location for the Vulcan Bombers in Northern Ireland. The large hanger, complete with underfloor heating, was built and designed to house the Vulcans - with a nearby V Bomber Dispersal Point designed so that the planes could take off together with very short notice. At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 it was reported that the bombers sat on the edge of the runway with their engines running ready to take off with a minutes notice.

We were't too sure what to expect from this site. Military installations in Northern Ireland are heavily fortified and sites are graced with exceptionally high fences. However, I was pleased we persevered with getting to see inside. I'd say this was probably only a 1/4 of the place. The main site is over 700 acres and we simply ran out of time. Hopefully we could have another go at some of the other parts.

Inside 5 fascinating abandoned military buildings in Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire is crisscrossed with remnants of the role it played in the 20th century&aposs most significant conflicts.

From RAF airbases to bunkers built during the Cold War, what is so remarkable is how few people are aware of their existence.

Many have sadly fallen into ruin or are covered in graffiti but that hasn&apost stopped historians and urban explorers from showing a keen interest.

Below are five remarkable military sites in our county along with fascinating rare pictures from the sites and inside the forgotten buildings.

RAF Collyweston

The base, straddling the boundary between Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, was a satellite station of the nearby RAF Wittering.

Founded in 1917 as No. 5 Training Depot Station, it was renamed RAF Collyweston following the formation of the Royal Air Force in April 1918.

Throughout World War Two, a number of different units were stationed there including the 133 Squadron, which was one of the famous Eagle Squadrons formed from American volunteers.

In 1941, the runways of Wittering and Collyweston were joined together to make one 2-mile long, grass runway.

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In April 1943, No 1426 Enemy Aircraft Flight (nicknamed the Rafwaffe) was moved to Collyweston airfield.

The flight flew captured German aircraft on tours to British and American airfields to give their crews a chance to brush up their recognition skills and spot weaknesses.

This unique unit was based at Collyweston until 17th January 1945.

On 13th October 1944, F/Lt Lewenden was piloting a Focke-Wulf FW.190 and the engine caught fire. He tried to return to Collyweston but sadly crashed on the Stamford to Collyweston road at the bottom of Racecourse road.

His plane crashed through stone walls, skidded across the road, and came to rest in the garden of a house. F/Lt Lewendon was killed aged 30.

Nuclear Bunker at Wootton Hall Park

At the height of the Cold War, it was believed everywhere in the UK needed to be prepared for nuclear attack - not least Northamptonshire.

The Subterranea Britannica website - which catalogues bunkers around the world - claims that there are at least 31 located in the county.

Most of the bunkers were operated by the Royal Observer Corps and were manned between 1955 and 1991.

The posts were often manned by volunteers who were tasked with monitoring nuclear activity for the military.

The bunkers were built deep underground, in order to survive an attack, but many can still be spotted due to large concrete hatches in the ground.

Almost half of the UK&aposs posts were closed in 1968 after the ROC was shrunk in size, while many others closed over the next 40 years.

This was often due to structural problems, such as flooding.

The remainder of the bunkers were then closed in 1991 following the break-up of the Communist Bloc.

But while most bunkers have been left to ruin of the years, there is one that has stood the test of time.

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The nuclear bunker at Wooton Hall Park has managed to survive in relatively good condition because it is located under the Northamptonshire Archives.

The bunker is normally off-limits to the public but local film company ScreenNorthants was able to shoot one of their projects at the site and has shared its pictures.

From the outside the bunker looks like an old utility door, possibly leading to a storage area but, in fact, it opens up to a set of stairs that takes you deep underground.

While the bunker is mostly empty it has been kept in a good state of repair, due to it being connected to the archive building.

A number of uncovered pipes protrude from the walls and still seem to be in use.

It also seems to have a working toilet and still has paper towels in the dispenser.

The bunker&aposs doors are also still in working order and are considerably thick. It could mean that site may still be used in an emergency.

However, a number of cupboards suggest its most recent use was probably for storage.

RAF Upwood

The base was first built in 1917 near the village of Upwood, just over the Northants border in Cambridgeshire, and functioned as an emergency landing ground for pilots during World War One.

When the conflict ended, the airfield reverted to agricultural use before the Royal Air Force (RAF) returned in January 1937 when Squadrons 52 and 63 were stationed there.

Although the Upwood units were not taking a direct part in the war, they did see some action.

On two occasions in 1940 and once in 1942 the airfield was attacked by Luftwaffe aircraft, with one person killed during these raids.

On February 1, 1941, German spy Josef Jakobs was captured by farmers after he had parachuted into the area - breaking a leg in the process.

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He was discovered to have maps of the RAF Upwood area, a code device and almost £500 cash in his possession.

After being interrogated by MI5 officers, Jakobs was executed by firing squad at the Tower of London on 15 August 1941 - becoming the last person to be executed in the tower.

Flying squadrons were based at RAF Upwood up until 1981 when the site became one of three in Cambridgeshire - along with RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth - to come under the control of the United States Air Force.

Much of the 1953 war film Appointment in London, starring the late Sir Dirk Bogarde, was also filmed there before Upwood was shut by the Ministry of Defence in 1994.

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Yardley Chase Ordnance Explosives Stores Depot

The Yardley Chase Ordnance Explosives Stores Depot (OESD) on Denton Road southeast of Northampton was constructed by McAlpine Ltd in 1942 to store bombs and other missiles.

According to experts at Sywell Aviation Museum, 36 bunkers in two distinct groups were built at the site along with associated railway lines.

The bunkers measure around 12 metres (39 ft) long and six to eight metres (20–25 ft) wide - spacious enough for rail and vehicle access for bomb transfers.

Wartime evidence remains in the bunks with items such as coat hooks mounted on wooden battens. On the battens many soldiers, mainly from 1944, have also engraved their names.

The two munitions storage buildings are surrounded by water-filled moats and earthen banks, with both measures in place to help limit the damage of a blast in the event of an accident.

The eastern and western sites were connected by a rail track, as was each bunker. Three diesel shunters were purchased for use on the site, which closed for depot purposes in 1980.

As well as storing bombs and other explosives, it may well have housed chemical weapons with its exact contents unknown.

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Sywell Aviation Museum, posting on their Facebook page, said: "There is some debate as to whether Yardley was ever used to manufacture, rather than store, weapons.

"The Royal Ordnance Depot at Weedon was principally used for small arms and shell storage rather than their manufacture

"There does not appear to be any evidence of filling factory buildings which would be required to undertake manufacture at the site."

The Yardley Chase site covers around 600 acres and was originally part of The Earl of Northampton’s estate of Castle Ashby.

It was due to be returned to the estate after remedial work but the cost of removing the bunkers was so high that it was cheaper for the Ministry of Defence to retain it.

In 2014, the site was redeveloped as a Cadet Training Ground and is now a designated site of Special Scientific Interest.

RAF Harrington

Built in 1943 during World War Two, RAF Harrington near Kettering was selected to be one of several missile sites at the request of Dwight D Eisenhower.

Concerned at the Soviet Union&aposs missile capabilities, the US president met British prime minister Harold Macmillan in Bermuda to discuss the deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBM) on British soil.

The weapons the Americans asked to locate in Britain had nuclear capability and were known as Thor.

Nearly 20 metres in length and weighing around 50,000 kilogrammes, the missiles would carry a thermonuclear warhead capable of causing mass destruction.

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Project Emily was given the go-ahead for the delivery of 60 Thor missiles across 20 sites in the UK in 1959 - with RAF Harrington one of these.

Three rocket launch pads were constructed together with other support buildings and the whole area was declared top security, fenced off and floodlighted.

According to Historic England, at RAF Harrington "buildings, runways and most of the roads and taxiways of the airfield" were eventually demolished in 1965.

The area has been declared a Grade ll listed site since 2011 as an example of Cold War architecture and the facility was snapped by 16-year-old urban explorer and photographer Myles Bradbury.

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“The U-Boats were intended to strangle the whole of Great Britain. They were sinking anything that came into Britain. The idea was to starve the country into submission.”

He continued: “So what they had to do was find some way of attacking the U-Boats and one of the first bases to be used was in Limavady, with University Squadron 502. They were working on Ballykelly at that time and it came into operation a year later. It opened with three squadrons of Liberator aircraft.”

Mr Thorpe said the families of former airmen have been in touch to support his calls for the building to be preserved.

“From an historical point of view it is a very important building,” he said.

“We have a petition out now on Facebook and we’ve had people from as far away as New Zealand and Australia who had family who were stationed in squadrons there looking to keep the building.

“A lot of the airmen who were killed were actually buried in the local area, so there is a lot of significance locally. The danger now is that if this goes, we are going to lose that vital bit of tourism.”

Northern Ireland Water, however, said it has “no knowledge” of the historic significance of the building but said it was “more than willing” to meet “any interested party to discuss the proposals”.

A spokesperson said: “Within the area of land NI Water has purchased at the former Shackleton Barracks MOD site, there are some old buildings whose origins may stretch back to World War

“NI Water has no knowledge of these buildings being listed and has no knowledge of them being of historical significance. The buildings can be observed to have been heavily modified and extended over the years and now incorporate PVC windows, roofs and rain water goods. It was anticipated that these will be demolished to facilitate the construction of a Wetland Treatment facility. NI Water is more than willing to meet with any interested party to discuss the proposals.”

Buildings at RAF Ballykelly - History

Ballykelly may refer to :

The Ballykelly girls' Under 14 team was registered in the spring of 1994, twenty years after the first All Ireland ladies' football final was played. The squad consisted of 21 players in an age group from 10 to 14. The squad comprised players who came from families who supported all three clubs in the parish.

RAF Ballykelly opened in June 1941 during the Second World War as an airfield for RAF Coastal Command. In 1943, the main runway was extended and acquired an unusual characteristic in that it crossed an active railway line. Rules were put in place giving trains the right of way over landing aircraft. The airfield was used for anti-submarine patrols and escort convoys over the Atlantic Ocean. At various times Consolidated B-24 Liberator aircraft flew from Ballykelly in the fight against German U-boats, ranging from the Bay of Biscay to northern Norway. By the end of the war, Ballykelly squadrons had been responsible for sinking twelve U-boats, sharing with other aircraft and surface ships in the destruction of several others, and damaging many more.

During a transatlantic yacht race in 1967/8 a French competitor was lost. One of the Shackletons from Ballykelly found him by adopting search positions well before the expected search location. They dropped life preserving equipment to him and marked his position to enable pick up by surface vessels.

In 1955, RAF Ballykelly was home to three squadrons of Shackletons, 204 Squadron, 206 Squadron and 240 Squadron. These were housed in the huge Ballykelly Cantilever Hangar which was more than 700 feet wide and 130 feet deep. There was also a station flight with two Lockheed Hudsons, two Douglas Dakotas and an Auster. In 1957 and again in 1958, 240 Squadron was among those involved in Operation Grapple, nuclear weapon testing on Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean.

RAF Ballykelly was a Royal Air Force station which opened in 1941 in Ballykelly, County Londonderry. It closed in 1971 when the site was handed over to the British Army as Shackleton Barracks. A small part of the base has been used as a refuelling point by army helicopters and small fixed-wing aircraft usually operating out of RAF Aldergrove near the town of Antrim.

Ballykelly Gaelic Football Club is a Gaelic football based Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club in County Kildare, Republic of Ireland, north of Monasterevin. Following the progress of many modern GAA clubs, they field teams from U6 to senior in both ladies' and men's football.

During the Second World War, an RAF bomber on a training flight clipped a telephone line behind a church in Ballykelly and crashed, claiming the lives of the crew.

On 29 March 2006, an Airbus A320 aircraft operated by Eirjet on behalf of Ryanair landed at Ballykelly after the pilot mistook the runway for that of nearby City of Derry Airport. The 39 passengers who boarded the flight at Liverpool airport continued their journey to the airport by bus.

Some Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm units including 819 Squadron moved onto the station in 1962 and the navy referred to it as HMS Sealion or RNAS Ballykelly. The main runway (the one which crossed the railway) was extended again in 1963 to 7,500 feet to allow for potential dispersal of the RAF's V bomber force. This included the addition of V-bomber Operational Readiness Platforms at the eastern end. In April 1968, 204 Squadron flying from Ballykelly suffered the loss of an RAF Shackleton. Sqn Ldr Clive Haggett and his crew, a total of 12 men, were killed when their aircraft flew into the Mull of Kintyre early one rainy morning.

Ballykelly railway station served Ballykelly in County Londonderry in Northern Ireland.

Ballykelly is a village and townland in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It lies 3 mi west of Limavady on the main Derry to Limavady A2 road and is 15 mi east of Derry. It is designated as a Large Village and in 2001 the population of Ballykelly (excluding Walworth) was 1,827. It lies within Causeway Coast and Glens district.

RAF Ballykelly opened in 1941 as an airfield RAF Coastal Command and closed in 1971, because of the British Government's defence cuts. The station was transferred to the British Army, who renamed it Shackleton Barracks. The Army was due to leave Shackleton Barracks in early 2008. During World War II an RAF bomber aeroplane on a training run clipped a telephone line behind a church in Ballykelly and crashed, claiming the lives of the crew. The aircraft was carrying out a trials mission involving low level parachuting, but a parachute became entangled with the tailplane, putting the aircraft out of control.

In 1997 an amalgamation between Ballykelly and Athgarvan was arranged, meaning that some players were now representing Ballykelly on the boys' panel and Athgarvan with the ladies' team. During this season two of the players, Maire Dowling at centre half forward and Margeret McCormack in goal, contributed to the capture of the county shield with the under 14 boys' team and the club was also being represented at intercounty level by several of the girls.

The last of the Shackleton aircraft left RAF Ballykelly on 31 March 1971, the airfield closed and the site was handed over to the British Army as Shackleton Barracks on 2 June 1971.

Northern Ireland Railways are currently constructing a new passing loop at Ballykelly to help increase service frequency on the Belfast-Derry railway line.

Ballykelly contains some of the most interesting buildings erected in Ulster by the Plantation companies, being largely developed by the London Company of Fishmongers through the 18th and 19th centuries. It features Tamlaghtfinlagan Parish Church, built by Earl Frederick Hervey, 18th-century Bishop of Derry, amongst many traditional buildings. The Presbyterian Church, Drummond Hotel and North West Independent Hospital, were all built by the London Company of Fishmongers. The village enjoys views across Lough Foyle to Inishowen in County Donegal and is bordered by Ballykelly Forest which was the first State Forest in Northern Ireland. Although there are good health and educational facilities available, there is only a limited retail sector relative to the population of the village.

RNAS Ballykelly is a former Royal Naval Air Station near Ballykelly, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Opened in 1941 as RAF Ballykelly as a RAF Coastal Command base. Runway extended in 1943 but closed at the end of the Second World War in 1945. In 1947 it was re-opened with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Joint Anti-Submarine School training flight. It closed again briefly in 1951 to allow works to be carried out for the arrival of the Avro Shackleton in 1952.

*29 March 2006 - Eirjet issued an apology after a flight it operated from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to City of Derry Airport on behalf of Ryanair landed at the wrong airfield, touching down at Ballykelly Airfield, a former RAF base and more recently an Army base some 4 miles away from its intended destination. The statement explained that the incident was caused by an "error by the Eirjet pilot who mistakenly believed he was on a visual approach to City of Derry airport". An air accident investigation report in January 2007 reported that the pilot had been unable to obtain the correct set of charts prior to the flight, only obtaining them the day after the incident. The pilot stated that if he had seen the charts, he would have been fully aware of the existence of Ballykelly and would not have landed there. The crew believed the instrument landing aid system at City of Derry was malfunctioning as what they saw of the runway did not match the instrument readings and the presence of an instrument calibrating aircraft close by added to their belief that there was a technical fault. The report also stated that although an air traffic controller thought the jet was "slightly low" he did not warn the crew about the other runway.

Buildings at RAF Ballykelly - History

Control tower may be de molished soon. 'I managed to visit Tain today, dry but a freezing wind! Control tower still there but in very poor condition, managed to get a look inside. Some other structures have recently been demolished so I think it is only a matter of time before the inevitable, regards, Roy Keen'

('There was a second tower at Tain, the other was used for the range and was pulled down in the 1990s, it was a weird wooden structure that was actually a cut down signals mast. And boy did it sway in a strong wind! via Richard Elwell')

/>09/41 to 10/41, Fighter Sector Station with 17 Sqn Hurricanes.
10/41 to 03/42, 123 Squadron from Castletown.
03/42 to 04/42, 801 Squadron Fleet Air Arm with Sea Hurricanes.
/>03/42 and 04/42, 76 Squadron Halifaxes used the airfield for two attacks on the Tirpitz in Norway.
06/42 to 04/43, Coastal Command Development Unit moved here from Ballykelly.
01/43 to 11/46, No 1 Torpedo Refresher School (later renamed Torpedo Training Unit) training RAF and RN aircrews.
02/43, Transferred to Coastal Command and used by many Sqns on recce and anti shipping patrols.
07/44 to 08/45, 86 Squadron with Liberators. 08/44 to 06/45, 311 Sqn with Liberators.

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