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RAF aerodromes in Ireland during 1918?


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#1 Lyffe

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 10:06 AM

I'd like list of Irish aerodromes occupied by the RAF during 1918; I think there was one at Baldonnel, but were there many others? Can anyone help please?

Brian



#2 HERITAGE PLUS

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 11:22 AM

Brian

Although the link below is WW2 there is some data on WW1 use. Aldergrove being the first airfield in Ireland on the list.

Dave

http://www.controlto...uk/Site Map.htm

#3 Dolphin

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 11:25 AM

Brian

The full list of Irish aerodromes used by the RAF at any time is (working around the island in a clockwise direction): Eglinton; Maydown; Ballykelly; Limavady; Mullaghmore; Aldergrove; Nutts Corner; Maghaberry; Long Kesh; Sydenham; Newtownards; Ballyhalbert; Kirkistown; Gormanstown; Tallaght; Baldonnel; The Curragh; Fermoy; Limerick; Birr; Oranmore; Castlebar; St Angelo; Killadeas; Castle Archdale/Lough Erne; and Omagh.

Obviously, those in Northern Ireland were used after, as well as possibly before, 1921.

I hope that this helps you.

Gareth

#4 ADRIAN58

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 11:46 AM

Major Sholto Douglas 84 Squadron RFC in May 1917 set up aerodromes at Baldonnel (Now Casement Aerodrome, Irish Air Corp) Collinstown (Now Dublin Airport) and Aldergrove (currentlt RAF Aldergrove). There may have been a sites at Fermoy, Cork and Tralee, Kerry

#5 irishmen1916

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 12:02 PM

The one in Tallaght Dublin was situated near the Belgard Road, behind the Fire Station, a number of years
ago some builders discovered a UXB which was dated back to the time that the RAF occupied the site.

The following is taken from the Irish Air Corps. site.
"In mid 1917 Capt. Sholto Douglas came to Ireland with instructions to survey sites for permanent airfields in the country. In all, five sites were selected - Gormanston, Tallaght, Aldergrove, Colllinstown and Baldonnel. Construction started almost immediately and was followed to a common standard. Baldonnel’s hangers are the only remaining ones in their original style, in addition, landing sites were constructed at Fermoy, Oranmore and Castlebar. There was also a landing ground at the Curragh from as early as 1913. Baldonnel has been occupied on a permanent basis since 1922 and all the aircraft operated by the Air Corps have been based there."

Peter

#6 Connaught Stranger

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 07:58 PM

Having lived in the location of Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland and from my research

it was a R.F.C. / R.A.F. grass strip with wooden huts and canvas hangers, located parallel to the road

and railway line in the area, where now the "Baxter Factory" is situated,

on the old Breaffy Road.

The Officers were billeted in nearby "Maryland House", which was rented from the owner.

There were at least 5 aircraft from the Aerodrome lost (mainly to mechanical failure)

at the strip or in the area, with at least 3 fatalities, and a member of the Aerodrome guard tragically

shot another member of the guard who jumped out in the dark as a prank. (Royal Scots, as I recall

but I will check my reference files).

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#7 Lyffe

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 08:40 PM

Thank you all for your useful responses. Just to make sure I don't put my foot in it am I correct in believing that Gormanston and Tallaght were, like Baldonnel and Collinstown, in the vicinity of Dublin.

My interest arises from the fact that in 1918 the RAF proposed to establish a network of Meteorological Flights based at Stonehenge, Orford Ness, Newcastle (obviously in England), Berck and Nancy (France) and an unnamed airfierld in Ireland. I'm trying to determine the probable location of the unnamed Irish airfield. Since a Met Flight was established at Baldonnel in Jan 1920 I suspect that was probably the favoured airfield, but 'Dublin' will do as a catch-all.

I have discounted Aldergrove although a Met Flight was established there during Jan 1937.

Brian

#8 irishmen1916

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 09:12 PM

QUOTE (Lyffe @ Aug 12 2009, 09:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you all for your useful responses. Just to make sure I don't put my foot in it am I correct in believing that Gormanston and Tallaght were, like Baldonnel and Collinstown, in the vicinity of Dublin.

My interest arises from the fact that in 1918 the RAF proposed to establish a network of Meteorological Flights based at Stonehenge, Orford Ness, Newcastle (obviously in England), Berck and Nancy (France) and an unnamed airfierld in Ireland. I'm trying to determine the probable location of the unnamed Irish airfield. Since a Met Flight was established at Baldonnel in Jan 1920 I suspect that was probably the favoured airfield, but 'Dublin' will do as a catch-all.

I have discounted Aldergrove although a Met Flight was established there during Jan 1937.

Brian


Hi Brian,
Gormanston is Co.Meath which is north of Dublin, still in use as a Irish Army camp. Tallaght is in west Dublin and was closed in the late 1920's. Baldonnel is called Casement Aerodrome and is the
main base of the Irish Air Corps. also in Co. Dublin. As mentioned Collinstown is now Dublin Airport.
Your best bet is Baldonnel, as this has been in use longest.

Peter

#9 corisande

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 03:31 PM

Can I tack my question onto this thread.

One of the aircraft lost at Castlebar appears to have been on 28 Aug 1920.

I assume it was a Bristol F2, but cannot confirm that

I am researching the man killed a Major Chads -my notes on this link - and the plane appears to have been flown by Norman Herford Dimmock AFC (trying to get round local press inaccuracies). He was a pilot in the RFC and stayed with the RAF after the war. His WW1 MIC gives an address of 27 West Hill Highgate, which ties in with the newspaper reports. The local press reports are on the link, but there is not a lot said

Has anyone anything more on this crash, Dimmock appears to have survived in as much as he is not on Irish or English GRO deaths

#10 Connaught Stranger

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:49 PM

Can I tack my question onto this thread.

One of the aircraft lost at Castlebar appears to have been on 28 Aug 1920.

I assume it was a Bristol F2, but cannot confirm that

I am researching the man killed a Major Chads -my notes on this link - and the plane appears to have been flown by Norman Herford Dimmock AFC (trying to get round local press inaccuracies). He was a pilot in the RFC and stayed with the RAF after the war. His WW1 MIC gives an address of 27 West Hill Highgate, which ties in with the newspaper reports. The local press reports are on the link, but there is not a lot said

Has anyone anything more on this crash, Dimmock appears to have survived in as much as he is not on Irish or English GRO deaths


N.H.Dimmock AFC/RFC survived with two badly broken legs.

Off the top of my head, and maybe of some interest, with regards Major Chads gravestone, in the Church of Ireland graveyard located next to the Traveler's Friend Hotel, near the hospital, details on the other side of the stone are in reference to his brother killed in action in France.

Will see if I can locate my notes with regards this grave.

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#11 corisande

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:26 PM

Thanks,I would be grateful for anything you can ferret out

Another crash I have come across is 14 Aug 1920 when a Private Nunn was killed whist guarding a crashed aeroplane near Clonbanin, Kanturk in Cork

My notes with press report here

Apparently downed aircraft were very useful to IRA because of the machine gun that they carried

#12 jdoyle

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:18 PM

picked up a copy of "A View from Above" by Donal MacCarron at the Collins Barracks museum last year. A good read.

One chapter deals with the flight of No 2 Squadron made up of 6 BE2as and a Farman Longhorn from Montrose to take part in Army exercises in 1913. Their destination was Rathbane, Co Limerick.

Another chapter titled The RFC Returns deals with Major Sholto Douglas and his work. Mentions the RNAS at Johnstown Castle and Malahide and the US Navy flying boats and kite balloons at Wexford, Cork, Bantry Bay and Lough Foyle. A gale at Fermoy destroyed several BE2s, DH6s, DH9 and RE8s.

Next chapters is RAF versus IRA. 141 Sqn stationed at RAF Tallaght. 100 Squadron at RAF Baldonnel. RAF HQ in Merrion Square, Dublin. No 2 Squadron reformed at Oranmore with detatchments at Fermoy and Castlebar. A flight from No 4 Squadron was detached to Aldergrove. Mention of mail runs, forced landings, taxi service for Gen Crozier etc and a passage from No 2 Sqn diary re the burning of Bristol Fighter 1487 by the East Limerick Flying Column.

"The Big Fella" chapter deals with Michael Collins and the start of the Irish Air Corps. Mentions ex-RAF men Charlie Russell and Jack McSweeney, the marching of ex-Auxiliary Captain Tom Arnott to the mailboat (he'd been lined up to test fly the plane acquired for Collins).

MacCarron's WW2 book "Landfall Ireland" shows Gormanstown, Collinstown, Baldonnel, Rathduff, Shannon and Foynes as operational at the start of "The Emergency".


Jerry Murland's excellent book "Departed Warriors" make reference to a relative being posted to 23 Training Depot Squadron at Baldonnel just after the armistice. The unit had Avro 504, RE8 and BE2c aircraft.

From Thomas Toomeys book re the War of Independence in County Limerick :

8th Nov 1920, East and Mid Limerick flying columns ambushed a convoy. Instead of 2 lorries of Black and Tans, they encountered an armoured car and 8 lorries carrying RAF men from Fermoy to Oranmore. Lt Watling wounded and claimed £2000 for head injuries. Reference to a wounded soldier in the convoy here :
http://www.fusilierm...AND-1920-22.pdf

17th Nov 1920 an aeroplace crashed at Cratloe on flight from Oranmore to Fermoy. Guarded by Ox and Bucks soldiers who were attacked. Pte Spackman killed. Pte Robbins wounded.

2nd/3rd December 1920 Capt David Tidmarsh ambushed by IRA party whose target was Col Michael Williamson, the local magistrate. Tidmarsh has just been demobbed from the RAF and was not the intended target. The IRA apparently apologised for the error and let him go on his way.

8th Feb 1921 an RAF plane crash lands at Thomastown, Kilfinnane and is captured and burned by the IRA. The navigator F/O MacKay is taken prisoner and held for some time but released unharmed on 13th Feb 1921. F/O Moreton had gone for help and was unharmed. The propellor from this aircraft is on display in the museum at Collins Barracks.

The bibliography makes reference to an article in The Irish Sword by Patrick McCarthy "The RAF in Ireland 1920-22" which I'd like to get to see.

"RAF Ireland" info can be found here : http://www.rafweb.org/Cmd_H2.htm

Hearts and Mines by William Sheehan carries a passage that "It was not until the end of May 1921 that permission was given for aeroplanes to carry machine-guns and bombs." Not sure if this relates to all Ireland or just the 5th Division area of operations. The book also mentions that the aerodromes at the Curragh and at Aldergrove had been dismantled but could still be used for landing purposes. Emergency landing grounds used during 1920/21 were a field 3 miles east of Athlone by the thrice weekly mail service and a private park near Carrick on Shannon used during a "Cavalry Drive" in June 1921 by Galway Brigade troops and RIC hunting for the IRA who had killed Capt Cornwallis and Lt McCreery of the 17th Lancers..

I'd had a query a while back re an RAF officer killed in an accident at RAF Tallaght

http://1914-1918.inv...howtopic=146723

This station was used as a demob centre after the armistice before being auctioned off.



#13 jdoyle

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:40 PM

CLARKE, Second Lieutenant, FRED, 105th Sqdn., Royal Air Force. formerly,Surrey Yeomanry (Queen Mary's Regiment), Died of accidental injuries receivedin aeroplane accident at Castlebar, Co. Mayo 6 June 1919. Age 34. TerritorialForce Efficiency Medal. Husband of Doris Florence Clarke, of"Highbury," Grovehill Rd., Redhill. Born at Sutton Bridge, Lincs.Grave Ref. I. 3907.

http://www.cwgc.org/...casualty=400736



Web snippets :

Formed at Andover as a day bomber unit on 14 September 1917, it was redesignated as a Corps Reconnaissance unit in April 1918. Equipped with RE8s it was sent to Ireland, instead of France as originally planned, to provide support to local security units. Bristol Fighter replaced the RE8s in December 1918 and the squadron remained in Ireland until disbanding on 1 February 1920.

'The Royal Air Force, an Encyclopedia of the Inter-War Years, Vol. I, 1918 to 1929' by Ian M. Philpott, pub. by Pen & Sword, says that No. 105 Squadron were located at Omagh, with detachments at Oranmore and Castlebar on 11th Nov. 1918 to December 1918. On 28th January 1919 they were relocated at Oranmore, with detachments at Castlebar, the Curragh, Tallaght and Fermoy. They ceased to operate RE8s in December 1919, they being replaced by Bristol F2B 'Fighters'. The Bristol.Fighters were given up at the time of the squadron's disbandment, 1st February 1920.

http://www.crossandc...sts.asp?TID=116

Nice pic of WRAF at Tallaght
http://source.southd... uncropped.jpg

#14 corisande

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:05 PM

Thanks for that very full answer.

Looks as if I need to buy a few more books. I have "Hearts and Mines" on order at the moment

It is surprising how you have to educate yourself in so many specialist areas when researching soldiers lives

#15 jdoyle

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:50 PM

Thanks for that very full answer.

Looks as if I need to buy a few more books. I have "Hearts and Mines" on order at the moment

It is surprising how you have to educate yourself in so many specialist areas when researching soldiers lives


have you read Jerry Murland's book? Chapter on his relatives the Smyth brothers who I know you have an interest in.

John

#16 corisande

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 06:00 AM

Thanks

Ordered it just now on your recommendation :)

#17 jdoyle

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 07:18 PM

Thanks

Ordered it just now on your recommendation :)


hope you enjoy it. Either way, you might want to add your tuppence worth to my review of the book

http://1914-1918.inv...howtopic=163626

#18 Connaught Stranger

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 04:21 PM

N.H.Dimmock AFC/RFC survived with two badly broken legs.

Off the top of my head, and maybe of some interest, with regards Major Chads gravestone, in the Church of Ireland graveyard located next to the Traveler's Friend Hotel, near the hospital, details on the other side of the stone are in reference to his brother killed in action in France.

Will see if I can locate my notes with regards this grave.

Connaught Stranger.


The epitaph on the grave reads as follows:-

TO THE DEAR MEMORY OF

HARRY FRANCIS

MAJOR ADJ. THE border REGIMENT

ELDEST AND BELOVED SON OF MAJOR & MRS. CHADS

OF DELAFORD, IVER, BUCKS.

KILLED IN A AEROPLANE ACCIDENT CASTLEBAR 28 - AUG - 1920

AGE 29.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

ALSO THEIR YOUNGEST BELOVED SON HERBET CHARLES

KILLED IN ACTION 6 - JAN - 1915, AGED 20.

BURIED AT CHAPELLE, ARMENTIRRES, FRANCE.


I have asked my brother when he gets a chance to nip into the Cemetery

and locate the grave for a picture or two.

For some reason the website keeps changing the word "border" from being in capital letters??!!??

Connaught Stranger. :D

#19 corisande

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 04:26 PM

Thanks, that's very kind of you

Just back from hols and Jerry Murland's book has arrived along with a stack of others, so plenty to read

#20 corisande

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:26 PM

Here is another air accident, 1919 Nov 6. Can anyone add anything for me ?

Richard Balfour Bourne died age 22 at Baldonell Aerodrome, Dublin as a result of aero accident.

I have fuller notes on him on this link - click

And I have his service record on this link - click

The bit about his death on service record is as below, but I cannot get anything from press

Posted Image



#21 corisande

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:15 PM

OK here is another Irish Airfield that does not seem to have featured here "Crinkill" near Birr.

"Training for the trenches was carried out in the 14 acres at Crinkill where trenches were formed for tactical exercises. In 1917 an aerodrome was built in the 14 acres and three planes were kept there. The first air crash recorded in the area occurred when Sergeant Allen was killed. The plane crashed into Crinkill House south of the barracks and Sergeant Allen is buried in the military cemetery."


I am just starting to research Allen - click for notes on CQS Allen

Can anyone tell me anything about Crinkill or Taylor the pilot of the plane, or what the plane was?


If this link works it should take you to Irish OS sat map showing what I think was the strip - click for map