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Woodvale

Royal Air Force Woodvale or RAF Woodvale (ICAO: EGOW) is a Royal Air Force Station located 4 mi (6.4 km) next to the town of Formby in an area called Woodvale which is located to the south of Southport, Merseyside.

Details

  • Area:75.973 km2
  • Elevation:154 m
  • Population:449
  • Local Government Area:City of Greater Bendigo

Description

Royal Air Force Woodvale or RAF Woodvale (ICAO: EGOW) is a Royal Air Force Station located 4 mi (6.4 km) next to the town of Formby in an area called Woodvale which is located to the south of Southport, Merseyside. Woodvale was constructed as an all-weather night fighter airfield for the defence of Liverpool. However, it did not open until 7 December 1941 which was just after the Liverpool Blitz which peaked in May of that year. # History ## Second World War Woodvale opened in December 1941, six months after the end of the Liverpool Blitz. It was used for short periods by RAF squadrons that were rotated out of the zones in southern of England closest to German-occupied Europe. During their time at Woodvale, squadrons defended Merseyside. Polish 308 (Krakowski) Squadron was the first to arrive, on 12 December 1941, from RAF Northolt before leaving on 1 April 1942. Squadrons were rotated regularly. Several were Polish, including 315 (Deblinski) Sqn and 317 (Wilenski) Sqn. Spitfire IIs and Vbs were operated by these units.Support units working with all three Services also served there, calibrating anti-aircraft guns and towing targets for the Royal Navy. In April 1945, Woodvale briefly became a Tender for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm airfield at Burscough, HMS Ringtail, being given the name HMS Ringtail II. ## Cold war After a period of inactivity, Woodvale reopened on 22 July 1946, when the Spitfire Mk.14s of No. 611 (West Lancashire) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, moved here from Liverpool Airport at Speke. The squadron re-equipped with Spitfire Mk.22s in February 1949. Gloster Meteor F.4 and F.8 jets were flown between May 1951 until 9 July 1951. Because of the need for better facilities, the Squadron moved to RAF Hooton Park, joining No. 610 Squadron, where it remained until its disbandment on 10 March 1957. The Temperature and Humidity Flight, operating Spitfires and Mosquitos, was based there from 1953 to 1958.The last operational flight by an RAF Spitfire was flown from Woodvale in 1957. Its mission was related to the work of a meteorological unit stationed at the base.No. 5 Civilian Anti-Aircraft Co-Operation Unit moved to Woodvale on 1 January 1958, and operated target-towing Meteors until 30 September 1971 when the unit was disbanded. ## Training station Since 1971, RAF Woodvale has remained a training station. Liverpool University Air Squadron- LUAS moved in from RAF Hooton Park on 2 July 1951. Manchester and Salford University Air Squadron (then named Manchester University Air Squadron) (MUAS) (now MASUAS) moved in from Manchester's Barton Aerodrome in March 1953. 10 Air Experience Flight was formed at RAF Woodvale on 25 August 1958 and 631 Volunteer Gliding Squadron moved in from RAF Sealand in March 2006.The current station commander is Wing Commander D Hooton.A BAe Hawk T1A, number XX247, was installed as the site's gate guardian in November 2017, replacing an earlier Jet Provost. # Weather # Things to do

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