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Unit History: RAF Morpeth

RAF Morpeth
"RAF Morpeth, is a former World War II Airfield in the English county of Northumberland, is situated 3 miles SW of Morpeth and was an air gunners school. The site was home to No.80 (French) Operational Training Unit.
 
The official title of this airfield during WW2 was Royal Air Force Station Morpeth, or more commonly known as RAF Morpeth, and initially housed No 4 Air Gunnery School (4 AGS).
 
Accommodation was in 10 dispersal sites to the north and east of the airfield near Tranwell village and The Whitehouse Centre (following the war this area became a Childrens hospital).
 
The main aircraft used during its early existence for teaching air gunners was the unpopular Blackburn Botha, which was very heavy and under powered, often taking the whole of the runway to get airborne.
 
Following several crashes and collisions, it was eventually replaced with the Avro Anson. Most of the air gunnery practice occurred off shore at Druridge Bay where several of the original war time structures still exist at the National Trust site, and flew between Newbiggin By The Sea and Coquet Island near Amble.
 
Many of the airmen who flew here were Polish and several settled in the Morpeth area following the war. A large number of Polish casualties including airmen from this base are buried in St Marys Church, Morpeth.
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