Unit History: RAF Ballykelly
RAF Ballykelly opened in June 1941 as a base for RAF Coastal Command. In 1943 the main runway was extended and acquired an unusual characteristic in that it crosses an active railway line. Rules were put in place giving trains the right of way over landing aircraft. The base was used to carry out anti-submarine patrols and escort convoys over the Atlantic Ocean. At various times B-24 Liberator aircraft flew from Ballykelly in the fight against the U-boats, ranging from the Bay of Biscay to northern Norway. By the end of the war, Ballykelly-based squadrons had been responsible for sinking twelve U-boats, sharing with other aircraft and surface ships in the destruction of several others, and damaging many more.
During World War II an RAF bomber on a training run clipped a telephone line behind a church in Ballykelly and crashed, claiming the lives of the crew.
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