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Historic England Research Records

Raf Catfoss

Hob Uid: 912166
Location :
East Riding Of Yorkshire
East Riding Of Yorkshire
Brandesburton
Grid Ref : TA1339048730
Summary : A former military airfield, begun in 1929 and expanded under the RAF expansion programme of the late 1930s, further expanded in 1942 for heavy bomber aircraft. During its pre-war and Second World War phases it was mainly used by Operational Training Units, paricularly in for instruction in air gunnery and bombing (the actual ranges were at Donna Noooks Lincolnshire, and Skipsea on the east Yorkshire coast). In 1934 it was designated as Number 1 Armamament Training Camp, redesignated in 1944 as the Central Gunnery School. After the war the base was all but closed, remaining as a relief landing ground until 1947. It reopened in 1959 as a `Thor' ballistic missile base (operated by 226 Squadron). It was de-activated in 1963. By 1999 much of the airfield runway layout was intact but covered with industrial and agricultural buildings. A number of the features, mainly the defences of the airfield have been recorded as seperate records: please see child records TA 14 NW 38 to TA NW 51 and TA 14 NW 59 to TA 14 NW 61.
More information : (TA 1339 4873) RAF Catfoss Military Airfield.

This airfield, situated to the east of of Brandesburton on an area of
flat land, has been in use since before the Second World War, and was enlarged in 1942. All the surviving structures on the site are recognisably military, and either show the attractive 1930's
`expansion period' design, or that of the more standard `austerity
period'.

The airfield started life in the early 1930's as a simple grass
airstrip, but the site was massively expanded in 1942 with three
concrete runways being built to accommodate the heavier aircraft of the period.

In the event of an invasion, the capture of an airfield would be very
high on the list of the invaders' priorities. Therefore, Catfoss was
very heavily defended, being surrounded by by pillboxes and even
having its own six pounder gun. The importance of the airfield is
demonstrated by the much thicker concrete used in comparison to the pillboxes situated nearer the coast, up to a foot thicker than the standard army pillbox. Some of the 1940 defences still survive but many were swept away in the expansion of 1942 as the RAF began its major offensives.

The airfield was closed after the war, only to re-open as an inter-
continental ballistic missile site in 1959 with Thor missiles. This
was the last period of operation for the airfield and it was
de-commisioned in 1963.

When the site was surveyed by the Fortress Studies Group in 1992 many of the original buildings still survived, and were in good condition; these are described separately (see parent-child relationship).
(1-1a-1b)

Catfoss Airfield, TA 135485. The source gives a statistical profile of the site as it was in 1944, also included is a small sketch plan of the location. (2)



RAF Catfoss began in 1929 and was expanded under the RAF expansion programme of the late 1930s. It was briefly known as "Bridlington (Catfoss) Summer Camp" but the shorter name was quickly adopted. During its pre-war and Second World War phases it was mainly used by Operational Training Units, often visiting from their normal bases for the duration of a training course, paricularly in for instruction in air gunnery and bombing (the actual ranges were at Donna Noooks Lincolnshire, and Skipsea on the east Yorkshire coast). In 1934 it was designated as Number 1 Armamament Training Camp, redesignated in 1944 as the Central Gunnery School. In addition, air crews that made emergency landings at the nearby Carnaby airfield were often temporarily housed at Catfoss until repairs could be made. After the war the base was all but closed, remaining as a relief landing ground until 1947. It reopened in 1958-1959 as a `Thor' ballistic missile base (operated by 226 Squadron). The missiles were withdrawn in 1963 and the base closed. By 1999 much of the airfield runway layout was intact but covered with industrial and agricultural buildings. Many buildings survived in 1999, reused for industrial and manufacturing purposes.The source contains plans of the base in 1929 and in about 1937. (3)

RAF Catfoss airfield, TA 135 485, extant but condition unknown. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : David Clarke/10-APR-1992/FSG,RCHME:Holderness Survey
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 1a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Smith, David J. Britains World War II Airfields.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 1b
Source : Action stations, 4 : military airfields of Yorkshire
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Military airfields in the British Isles 1939-1945
Source details :
Page(s) : 43
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Airfield review
Source details :
Page(s) : 21-25
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 84, 1999
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) :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : construction begun late 1930's
Monument End Date : 1939
Monument Start Date : 1937
Monument Type : Military Airfield
Evidence : Extant Building, Structure
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : 1959-63
Monument End Date : 1963
Monument Start Date : 1959
Monument Type : Missile Base
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : World War II
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Military Airfield
Evidence : Extant Building, Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : S0003952
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TA 14 NW 37
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1465620
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1465647
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1445928
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 913140
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912207
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912214
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912237
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912294
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912323
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912345
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912360
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912378
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912422
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912425
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912188
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1391041
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1391045
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1415704
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1415705
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1415707
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1415711
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1415713
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1415714
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1415715
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1415727
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912250
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 912339
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FSG/RCHME: HOLDERNESS SURVEY
Activity type : THEMATIC SURVEY
Start Date : 1992-04-09
End Date : 1992-04-13
Associated Activities : THE DEFENCE OF BRITAIN PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-04-01
End Date : 2002-03-01