Validation date: 06 12 2011
Updated on: 26 11 2016
runway: 10/28 - 1081x45m/1190yards - concrete
Catterick air field name was an airfield 335 kilometers north-northwest of London.
It was one of the earliest military airfields in the world and opened in 1914. It was tasked with training and defending North East England.
When the Royal Air Force was formed in 1918, it was renamed RAF Station Catterick and became 49 Training Depot Station. In 1927 the airfield came under Army Cooperation Command. In 1935 the whole complex was largely rebuit under the expansion programme. While most of the buildings standing today are from this period, the original watch office still stands. In July 1939 Catterick transferred to Fighter Command. In September it became a Fighter Station within 13 Group.
In 1943 the Sector Operations building was replaced with a protected operations block. Shortly after it was commissioned RAF Catterick was downgraded however, as it was no longer considered an important fighter base. In March 1944 the last fighter unit departed the airfield and it was relegated to second line duties.
A Spitfire Mk1 of 41 (F) Squadron at RAF Catterick 1939 (spitfiresocietyeastern.org.uk).
At end of war in 1945, the station became an air crew allocation centre and in 1946 the Band of the RAF Regiment and the RAF Regiment depot moved to Catterick. The station functioned as a training establishment where all ranks gained their professional skills. Having only a single runway, it proved inadequate for the jet age. Also, because of its location between a river and the A-1 motorway it could not be extended. Therefore it was destined to become home to non-flying units such as The Band of the RAF Regiment and the Fire and Rescue School. The Fire and Rescue School used real ex-service aircraft to set alight and extinguish for training, inclding a complete Vulcan bomber in 1983. The runway was still active though, and used by light communications aircraft and gliders.
Catterick simply depicted as 'airfield' on a 1986 map
The Fire and Rescue School moved to RAF Manston in 1989. The RAF left the station in July 1994. It was transferred to the Army's 8th Transport Regiment, who operate it as Marne Barracks. Until 2003, the runway was still used during the weekends by the RAFs 645 Volunteer Gliding School. They then moved to RAF Topcliffe though.
Aerial view of the airfield in 2009 (Google Earth)
Aerial view of the airfield in 2011 (Google Earth)
Although it had nog been used as such since 2003, Catterick was still shown as an airfield on maps in 2011.
Former RAF Catterick in November 2008 (Photobucket, via AirfieldInformationExchange)