Unit History: RAF Idris

RAF Idris
RAF Castel Benito (later RAF Idris) was a Royal Air Force station in Libya between 1943 and 1968. Following the withdrawal of the RAF from Libya the airfield became Tripoli Idris Airport now Tripoli International Airport.
During the second world war the base was used by a number of operational squadrons involved in the desert war, sometimes for only a few days or weeks at a time. In 1952 the station was renamed RAF Idras at the request of the Libyan government. The station was used as a staging post for flights from the United Kingdom to the middle east and far east. It was also used in the 1950s as a base for aircraft using the Libyan desert bombing ranges for practice. The station was closed in the late 1960s when the Libyan government became a republic.

Added on 01/07/2010

An out ststion of A&AEE Boscombe Down known as TEU (Tropical Experimental Unit) operated from RAF Idris and closed around 1958

Added on 01/07/2010

An out ststion of A&AEE Boscombe Down known as TEU (Tropical Experimental Unit) operated from RAF Idris and closed around 1958

Added on 01/07/2010

An out ststion of A&AEE Boscombe Down known as TEU (Tropical Experimental Unit) operated from RAF Idris and closed around 1958

Added on 12/07/2010

this unit was renamed the
overseas experimental unit and the o.c. when i was there
was flt.lt.foreman.

Memories of RAF Idris

(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)

RAF Idris in 1960

Written by robert wood

Did anyone serve at Idris? It seems to be a place people would rather forget, except for the OEA which while not good was preferable to the canned stuff the naafi sold

RAF Idris in 1963

Written by stanley west

I was based at RAF Thorney Island, and we spent 10 days or so ever 6 -7 weeks Night Flying at RAF Idris. ( we understood that the Powers that be living in the Chichester Area didnt like the noise of Hastings or Beverleys swanning around in the early hours.
On one occasion the afternoon before take off back to U.K it was discovered that one Aircraft had a Wireless fault, and we were not allowed through Paris Airspace without the relevant operational equipment. As a Radar fitter I had limited knowlege of this particular equipment. However a Wireless fitter recently posted to Idris offered his assistance and worked most of the night to get the Aircraft serviceable for morning take off. During our chat he informed me that his wife who lived in Southsea, (just down the road from Thorney Island) was joining him in a few days time, but his "boxes" had to go by Sea and would take weeks. After having a Chat with the Flight Commander it was agreed that if his boxes could be taken to the camp the next day ,they would be put on an Aircraft going back to RAF Idris for a further period of Night Flying. Needless to say he was extremely chuffed with the idea.
We arrived back to Thorney about 1500hrs.and after completing unloading Radio Stores etc, I went to visit his wife in Southsea. On,knocking the door,a voice asked who I was and what I wanted. Withoput thought I said I had been speaking with her husband that morning. She said that was impossible as he was stationed overseas,it was then that I realised how incongruous the situation was , I had not even thought about the fact I had just flown from North Africa . After a full explanation she opened the door and arrangements were made for the "boxes " to be taken to camp. I am happy to say they arrived safely the next day, and on my following visit to RAF Idris I was treated to a magnificent meal at their home. Regrettably I cannot remember their names, but hope they are still enjoying life together.

RAF Idris, in 1963

Written by robert devlin

i was one of those guys who went out on camels for the weekend.the raf idris camel expeditionary group, led by flying officer les fletcher.where is he?

RAF Idris in 1962

Written by Derrick Mellas

Spent our honeymoon at Idris. Married in the January 1962, off to Idris April. Probably the best 30 months we can remember. Lived just outside married quarters on an olive/orange/peanut farm, owened by Italian wine makers. Lots of samples forthcoming. The Beverleys used to do night flying, they even brought our lovely Fiat 1300 home for us. Do remember one of the Desert rescure team writing to a well nown razor blade company saying his blade had lasted well over a month in the desert. They sent him another months supply. 1 blade

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