Cottam Airfield

For local stories, memories and Information of the RAF bases and their crews.
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Post by mandy55 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:25 pm

Hello Ray.

I read your very interesting topic of your posting at Acaster and wondered if you knew my dad William Ruck ( Bill ). He was posted at Acaster Malbis from 1946 to 1949 and was a corporal and was a rear gunner in the lancaster bombers. I am trying to find out the number of his squadron but am not having much luck. Thanyou from Mandy his daughter.

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Post by plook » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:57 am

I remember my dad telling me that Cottam was used as a Ammunition Dump when he was stationed in the Driffield area after Dunkirk and before D day. He told me of a serious explosion either on the aerodrome or near to it. My dad was in the Artillery and they used to go up there to practice.

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Post by Kitty » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:25 pm

I was up at Cottam today, not a lot left but some buildings and a chunk of runway.
Not enough to land a Halibag left but here you go!

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Post by wilfthreader » Wed May 06, 2009 6:49 pm

going into 1947 fromkirkham lancs to cottam for may be 2 two three
months then to acaster for a short while then a short visit to
eskrick and ricchall, then back to hq then my last posting was
scorton near darlinton un till 1949, it would be nice to ray dawson on old memerys my trade was 7 weekof guns 7 weeksof bombs 7 weeks
of turrets and 1 week of flame floates all at kirkham near blackpool
how nice demob n0 119 once again kirkham. sorry it would be nice
to contack mr Ray Dawson, thank you Wilf Threader

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Post by Driffix » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:25 pm

I am working at a farmhouse near the old Cottam Aerodrome. The old boy in his 80's who has lived there all his life used to deliver produce to the airmen during the war. He recalls Fairy Battles operating from Cottam while it still had a grass strip prior to the concrete runways going in. Can anyone confirm this?

Kevin Egan
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Post by Kevin Egan » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:04 pm


I found your reference to my Father Cliff Egan when searching around on the Internet thanks for your comments I will pass them on to him I am sure he will enjoy reading the posts on this site is I print them out for him, its his 80th birthday this week and he now lives in Frinton on Sea Essex.


quote:Originally posted by Ray Dawson
I was posted to Cottam in about May/June 1949 from the 91 MU HQ at RAF Acaster Malbis. Cottam was a sub unit. Other sub units were Marston Moor, Bowes Moor, Scorton, Escrick and Riccall.

Cottam was being used for the storage, sorting and disposal of bombs and ammunition. I was sent there with my newly reconditioned Bedford QL lorry. This was taken off me and I was assigned to the Fire Section which was led by Cpl Cliff Egan, a very nice bloke, (he was from Kirby Moorside).

As we were short of drivers the off duty fire tender driver was generally asked to take one of the Austin 6 wheeler bomb tenders and deliver/collect bombs from Driffield Station. There were five of these vehicles and we had a"Lorraine" crane and one of the bigger "Thorney Coles". This was a continuous daily occurrence (apart from Sundays for the whole time I was there. At other times we drove the station Morris ambulance to Driffield with the sick parade or dentistry patients and also the ration wagon. We received most of our stores, food etc. from RAF Driffield. A liberty wagon, an Austin 2 tonner took station personnel to Bridlington on a couple of nights each week, always driven by a corporal.

It was a lovely place in the summer but very cold in the winter with quite a lot of snow. Two of my more vivid recollections are towing a 22,000 lb bomb case on a bespoke trailer and nearly overturning it on the runway when turning, (the MT corporal went ballistic; and having to move a crystallising 4,000 pounder from one part of the airfield to a more remote location so that it could be boiled out. I left the scene at high speed as soon as it cleared the tailboard of the bomb tender.

There was about 50 erks on the site, one or sometimes two Flight Lieutenants an SWO and and Equipment X sergeant. There was a sick bay run by a medical orderly, who was a mate of mine and came from Rochdale. I went home with him once. We also had a small NAAFI.

I was demobbed from there in May 1950 and didn't go back until I was passing on the way to Scarborough in the early 1980s. Most of the site had gone but I drove up the hill and found that work was in train to remove the runways. I suppose there is no trace now.

I subsequently went back to Acaster Malbis during the same trip and found the geater part of the old RAF buildings intact. I remember the CO at the time I was on 91 MU was Group Captain Thomas Inglis Illyffe. He was a very nice bloke as well.

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