Unit History: Tealing (Airfield)
During the Second World War, the Ministry of Defence built an aerodrome at Tealing and No.56 Officer Training Unit opened in March 1942, equipped with Hurricane, Master and Lysander aircraft. The number of pilots training at the unit varied from about 35 to 40 in 1942, reaching a peak of 150 on 1943.
It was at the aerodrome that Tealing’s most famous visitor arrived. On 20 May 1942, a strange four-engined aircraft appeared in the circuit at Tealing. It was one of the first Russian TB7s to visit Britain and it brought Vyacheslav Molotov, Russian Foreign Minister and Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of Defence, on a military mission to meet with Sir Winston Churchill at Chequers. Tealing airfield was probably chosen to attract as little attention as possible and, for security reasons, there was a local news blackout at the time.
Molotov was given the choice of two aircraft in which to continue his journey to England. The one he did not select, as later revealed by Sir Archibald Hope, Senior Controller of Fighter Command in Scotland in 1942, crashed in the Vale of York, killing various members of Molotov’s staff and senior RAF personnel. Molotov arrived safely in London for the signing of the Anglo-Russian Treaty on 26 May 1942.