Concept

RAF Dishforth

Summary
Royal Air Force Dishforth or more simply RAF Dishforth is a former Royal Air Force station near to Ripon in North Yorkshire, England. Opened in 1936, the base was used as a bomber airfield during the Second World War with both British and Canadian squadrons flying missions from the airfield. After the war, the base was used by various squadrons and training units before being disposed of in 1992 and handed over to the Army Air Corps. The site at Dishforth was elected during the expansion period of the Royal Air Force in the 1930s. Named after the village of Dishforth, just to the north of the main runway, the base was opened in September 1936. Just like RAF Leeming further north, the airfield was adjacent to the Great North Road (now the A1(M)), and even extended over the road for some of its dispersal areas in the late 1930s. Five C-type hangars were built at the south-east boundary of the airfield, with the technical areas beyond the hangars. The creation of hardstanding hangarage, and brick-built accommodation blocks and messes, made Dishforth a preferred posting over the wartime built airbases which operated mainly from Nissen huts (such as Dalton, Tholthorpe, and Wombleton). The first squadrons to arrive were No. 10 Sqn in January 1937, who immediately transferred from Handley Page Heyford aircraft to Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk 1 aircraft, and in February, No. 78 Sqn arrived, also with Heyfords, and were re-equipped with Whitleys in July of that same year. It was the dispersals across the A1 road that the Whitleys of No. 78 Sqn were stored, with barriers having to be placed across the carriageway to allow the aircraft to move back and forth. When the Second World War started, No. 10 Sqn were engaged in leaflet dropping over Europe (known as Nickel raids, or Nickelling), whilst No. 78 Sqn in the pre-war period had been used to assimilate new crews fresh from training. At this time, the base was under the command of No. 4 Group, and whilst some bombing raids did take place, the squadrons were mostly engaged in leaflet dropping, including one raid over Berlin which was a round trip.
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