Unit History: RAF Weeton
Royal Air Force Weeton was opened as the home of No.8 School of Technical Training on 21st May, 1940 and the Fabric Worker, Parachute Packer, Metal Worker, Mechanical Transport Mechanic and Motor Cyclist Courses were transferred there. Between 1st July and 3rd July, 1940, 31 Officers and 754 Men of the Polish Air Force arrived at RAF Weeton, after evacuation from France , followed by a further 358 Polish personnel two days later. In July, 1940, the Fire Fighting School was transferred to RAF Weeton from Cranwell. This may have been a very handy move as on 29th August, 1940 bombs were dropped in the vicinity of the Station, although no damage was reported to have been incurred. (As the area was mainly open countryside, it meant that the Germans must have been well informed).
In September, 1940, courses for Fitter Armourer and Aero Carpenter began and the trainees at Weeton assisted in the manufacture of Hurricane and Spitfire parts for the Ministry of Aircraft Production. In December, 1940, the Mechanical Transport School , which had previously been located at No.3 Technical Training School, Blackpool , moved to RAF Weeton and in December, 1941, the M.T. Instructor Course commenced.
Between August, 1940 and August, 1942, a total of 41,863 personnel successfully passed out from RAF Weeton, including MT Mechanics, Blacksmiths, Motor-cyclists, Drivers, Crane Operators and Cooks, to name only a few of the diverse trades in which courses were available there. Between September, 1941 and March, 1942, the average personnel strength of the Station was approximately 9,000.
In August, 1943, the Fire Fighting School left RAF Weeton for RAF Sutton-on-Hull and September, 1943, saw the arrival of the R.A.F. Police School , which remained there until moving to RAF Great Sampford in January, 1946. In August, 1950, No. 9 School of Recruit Training was formed as a lodger unit at RAF Weeton and subsequently left RAF Weeton in July, 1952. In September, 1950, the Hospital, on a separate site, which had been there since the opening of RAF Weeton, became separately established as a lodger unit and came under the Control of H.Q. No. 63 Group.
In November, 1954, No. 2 Police District H.Q. moved to RAF Weeton and in November, 1958, RAF Weeton became the parent Station to RAF Warton, taking over the responsibility for No. 29 Recruit Centre at Preston and the Air Traffic Control Unit, Preston .
In July, 1959, No. 2 Police District H.Q. left RAF Weeton and in November the Station Entertainment Centre was opened. On 31st December, 1959 the Hospital was closed.
RAF Weeton was home to No 8 School of Technical Training from 21 May 1940 to 30 Sep 1965. It ran conversion courses for Flight Mechanics and Flight Riggers, and there were many instructional airframes on the ground to practice on.
It was also home to Fire and Rescue Training Unit from July 1940 to 1943
Royal Air Force Weeton ceased as an RAF unit some time after 1970.
Memories of RAF Weeton
(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)
RAF Weeton square bashing in 1952
Written by philip lovell
March 1952 was cold & bleak. Arrived to be greeted by Cpls Shackell & Toocock who vowed to make us hate them (Good blokes though !). Great esprit de corps, good bunch of lads and we soon became 'smart airmen'. Good weekends at Tower Ballroom,Blackpool and an unforgettable experience. If you two DIs are still with us - thanks for turning a bunch of boys into men ! Anyone from billet W41 reading this - Hope you've survived the last 50 years.So Maynard,Lancaster,McKeen,Lambert etc. Keep your memories dry !
No1 MICentre RAF Weeton in 1950
Written by Thomas Brian Bell
I served as LAC nursing att under a Flt sergeant Ibbotson and 2 MOs and also at the hospital for a period during 1949/50
RAF Weeton Naffee in 1952
Written by moyra Douglas
Does anyone remeber the Naffe burning down in 1952 at RAF Weeton One wing .I was in charge of the NCO club and I had been more or less drafted into Naffee by the new dierection of labour laws. It was cold and hard Yaker .I was just out of collage not used to it . Frost bitten heels and scrubbing floors at five in the morning.
We had a pot belly stove in our billets. Ticked off for wearing dress uniform( Blue) I hated khaki. We had been told we had to wash and dry them ourselves. We did and hung them over chairs to dry. We had been eating chocolates and winging about the job.
Called for tea, we went over to the cook house . In the middle of tea a girl said. "Don’t look now but i think the billet is on fire" Our reply , "Yea and pigs can fly."
It was. I remember I grabbed a fire extinguisher. Banged it on the wall for foam and it ran away with me . An airman grabbed me by the pants and hauled me out of there
The fire bell , some on had pinched the hammer, and there was no water till they found some so it went up like Blackpol illuminations. Mrs Garside was carried out , Kathy left her knickers on the window catch . We all lost just about everything !
Some one could have lost their lives . luckily no one was hurt, just scared. I lived in Blackpool so I was sent home . I collapsed on the door step.
O never went back to Weeton.
A month later my sister went out with an Airman that my mother invited in for a cup of tea. We were telling him the tale of the fire when he anounced he was some kind of insurance investigator for the RAF. Astoundingly he could piece together the whole senario, chocolates and all.
I didn’t think this was clever. I was scared to death and worried about the girls sleeping in the billets. It may sound frivilous or callus now but at the time it was traumatic and a stupid accident that could have been avoided.