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Historic England Research Records

Raf High Ercall

Hob Uid: 1397458
Location :
Telford And Wrekin
Telford And Wrekin
Ercall Magna
Grid Ref : SJ6030018500
Summary : A World War Two military airfield with post war civilian use of the site. Construction of the airfield began in 1938, it was partly complete by 1940, though work on the airfield buildings continued into 1941. From 1940 the airfield was operated by Maintenance Command, particularly by 29 Maintenance Unit. Civilians from the Ministry of Aircraft Production were also worked at the base. From 1941-1942 the airfield was taken over by Fighter Command, and it was used by 68, 255 and 257 Squadrons, also 1456 Flight. These were mainly night fighter units. From 1942 the base was also used by the United States Army 8th Air Force's 309 Fighter Squadron. The role of the site changed in 1943 to training: it was used mainly by 60 Operational Training Unit for this purpose. By the end of the war High Ercall had a variety of hangars including the initial J and K types, with added L, T2, Robin and Blister type aircaft hangars: none of the last three types have survived. Most of these were grouped around the south and western edge of the flying fields, with two additional sites further to the west and dispersals to the east side. Living quarters were to the south of the flying field. There were a range of permanent technical buildings at the main unit site and the technical site. The site was used post-war by the Royal Air Force for storage and scrapping of aircraft and from 1968 by the Road Transport Industry Training Board. By the late 1990s the main flying field had been destroyed, but a number of buildings survived including J, K and B1 type hangars, stores, office and workshops mostly at the main unit site- please see SJ 61 NW 30 for further details. Sub site number 2 has been used as a museum by a local "Wartime Aircraft Recovery Group", please see SJ 51 NE 34 for further details. A number of defensive installations have also been noted, please see SJ 61 NW 31 to SJ 61 NW 34 and SJ 51 NE 35 to SJ 51 NE 38.
More information : RAF High Ercall is described in a detailed article in "Airfield Review" by Barry H Abraham. Construction of the airfield began in 1938 (by Walker and Slater Limited) it was partly complete by 1940, though work on the airfield buildings continued into 1941. Initally the airfield was operated by Maintenance Command, particularly by 29 Maintenance Unit. Civilians from the Ministry of Aircraft Production were also worked at the base. From 1941-1942 the airfield was taken over by Fighter Command, and it was used by 68, 255 and 257Squadrons, also 1456 Flight. These were mainly night fighter units: the 1456 flight were a special unit with a searchlight mounted in the nose of their aircraft. From 1942 the base was also used by the United States Army 8th Air Force's 309 Fighter Squadron. The role of the site changed in 1943 to training: it was used mainly by 60 Operational Training Unit for this purpose. By the end of the war High Ercall had a variety of hangars including the initial K and K types, with added L, T2, Robin and Blister type aircaft hangars. Most of these were grouped around the south and western edge of the flying fields, with two additional sites further to the west and dispersals to the east side. Living quarters were to the south of the flying field There were a range of permanent technical buildings at the main unit site and the technical site. The site was used post-war by the Royal Air Force for storage and scrapping of aircraft and from 1968 by the Road Transport Industry Training Board. By the late 1990s the main flying field had been destroyed, but a number of buildings survived including J, K and B1 type hangars, stores office and workshops (mostly at the main unit site). Sub site number 2 (on the south-west corner of the site) was used as a museum by a local "Wartime Aircraft Recovery Group". The article contains a photographs of airfield buildings taken in the late 1990s and also plans of the base. The article gives a full list of the units that served at High Ercall. (1)

High Ercall Airfield, SJ 608 186, opened 1941, closed 1962. (Note slightly different dates from source 1. (2)

Airfield, (disused) SJ 608 186 (NAT). (3)

RAF High Ercall Airfield is noted on the Defence of Britain Database at SJ 608 186, condition given as "unknown". (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Airfield review
Source details :
Page(s) : Nov-19
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 78, 1988
Source Number : 2
Source : Military airfields in the British Isles 1939-1945
Source details :
Page(s) : 104
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:10000, 1970
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Migrated Defence of Britain Project database record originally compiled from various sources
Source details : The two databases developed by the Project can be searched on-line through the Archaeology Data Service at http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/dob/index.cfm
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Construction begun 1938
Monument End Date : 1938
Monument Start Date : 1938
Monument Type : Military Airfield, Runway
Evidence : Extant Building, Destroyed Monument
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Post war to 1968
Monument End Date : 1968
Monument Start Date : 1945
Monument Type : Military Airfield
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : After 1968
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1968
Monument Type : Training Centre
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Operational from 1940
Monument End Date : 1940
Monument Start Date : 1940
Monument Type : Military Airfield, Blister Aircraft Hangar, Robin Aircraft Hangar, Aircraft Hangar (Type T2)
Evidence : Extant Building, Demolished Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Defence of Britain Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : S0004187
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : S0004187
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SJ 61 NW 29
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1414047
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1414025
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1397467
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1397479
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1397485
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1397488
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1397499
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1397507
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1397513
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1397521
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1397522
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1397524
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1414037
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1414038
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1414039
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1414043
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1414047
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1419481
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : THE DEFENCE OF BRITAIN PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-04-01
End Date : 2002-03-01
Associated Activities : NHPP: WORLD WAR II TEMPORARY AIRFIELDS
Activity type : THEMATIC SURVEY
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31