Croft Airfield in World War II | Alan Todd
Northallerton: Tue 11 Feb 2014
Northallerton & District Local History Society will give the floor to local researcher Alan Todd of East Cowton. At the outset of the Second World War, appraisals were made of all the feasible areas of land which might be developed as airfields. One of these earmarked for implementation was on land spread across the parish boundary between Croft and Dalton on Tees, formally called RAF Croft.
Initially forming a satellite of another local bomber aerodrome constructed at the same time at Middleton St. George, as time went on throughout the war, Croft developed into a separate base with two heavy four-engined bomber squadrons. Like all the other such aerodromes, Croft experienced the frenetic activity, noise and tragedy associated with that desperate period – and younger relatives of personnel who served there still make pilgrimages to the site.
At the end of the war, Croft’s major contribution to the defence of Britain was no longer required to the same degree, but that was not the end of its involvement. Various aeronautical activities continued before the defunct airfield eventually reverted largely to its original agricultural state. However, sections of the runways and perimeter tracks were retained and redeveloped to create the present motor racing circuit, which attracts enthusiasts from far and wide.
Venue | Sacred Heart Church Hall on Thirsk Road, Northallerton, where limited parking is available, at 7.00pm on Tuesday 11 February. Non-members are welcome to attend at a nominal admission charge of £2.50, while students under 18 will be admitted free.