Unit History: RAF Breighton

RAF Breighton
Located six miles north-east of Selby between Breighton village and the B1228 from Howden to York, work on this bomber station started late in 1940 and took just over a year to complete.
Hard runways were laid, the main 09-27 being 1,600 yards and the two subsidiaries, 04-22 and 17-35, both 1,100 yards. Unique for a Bomber Command station was their common intersection, occasioned by the restricted area of the airfield due to the land falling away to the River Derwent on the west side and to a stream on the south.
Twenty-four hardstandings were positioned round the perimeter track and were all of the large pan type. Two of these were lost when hangars were erected, one on the lead in to a T2 and B1 north of runway head 09 (the Bl northernmost) near Gunby village, and the other to a T2 on the south side of the airfield west of runway head 35.
The technical site was to the south-west between runway heads 04 and 09. Bomb stores were off the south-east side north of runway head 35.
The camp was south-west around Breighton village and in fields to the east. Two communal, a sick quarters and nine domestic sites provided for a maximum 1,223 males and 191 females.
Opened in No. 1 Group as a satellite station for Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, the RAAF-designated No. 460 Squadron arrived in January 1942 with Wellingtons from Molesworth where it had formed a few weeks earlier. The squadron first operated on the night of March 12, 1942, when five aircraft were despatched to Emden.
In the course of the next six months, the squadron participated in 61 operations losing 29 Wellingtons, which was the highest percentage loss of all Bomber Command Wellington squadrons.
Work was then underway to extend all three runways; the main to 1,950 yards and 1,400 yards for both of the others. In extending the perimeter track to the runway ends, several hardstandings were destroyed and although more pans were built the airfield total was only 34.

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