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World War II Airbase

Did you know Castle Archdale was once an RAF base and home to the flying boats of 209 Squadron RAF? 

Short Sunderland
Short Sunderland

From Castle Archdale, Consolidated Catalinas and Short Sunderlands could patrol the North Atlantic. A secret agreement with the government of Ireland allowed aircraft to fly from Lough Erne to the Atlantic along the Donegal Corridor, providing vital air cover from one of the most westerly RAF bases in the United Kingdom. 

The above image from the Air Ministry Second World War Official Collection of a Short Sunderland believed to be of No. 422 Squadron RCAF (identified by squadron code 2), at RAF Castle Archdale, Loch Erne, Northern Ireland. By Royal Air Force official photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.  

Logh Erne froze over in January 1945
Logh Erne froze over in January 1945

The big freeze. Nearly all the aircraft on strength with three Coastal Command squadrons are visible here, drawn up out of the water at Castle Archdale in Northern Ireland as Logh Erne froze over in January 1945. More than 30 aircraft can be seen, including Sunderlands of No’s 201 and 423 RCAF Squadrons and No 202 Squadron’s Catalinas. By HQ Coastal Command, Royal Air Force official photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

You can visit the World War II display in Castle Archdale showing many fascinating items from the era.

 

Posted on 18th April 2016 by Castle Archdale

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