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Dallachy Airfield

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Dallachy Strike Wing Memorial, 2008
Dallachy Strike Wing Memorial
© Ann Harrison

Dallachy Airfield was a World War II airfield located approximately eight miles east of Elgin.

Dallachy was built for Coastal Command during 1942 and early 1943, and only had two concrete runways because of the configuration of the land. 11 dispersal areas were provided. Coastal Command took the site over September 1, 1944. The Navy declined because having only two runways meant crosswinds could compromise training operations, and Bomber Command had a problem as the short runways excluded heavy bomber operations from the field. Runway 05/23 was 1,463 m x 46 m while runway 11/29 was 1,280 m x 46 m.

Dallachy was operational from March 1943 to June 1945, and opened as a Pilot Advanced Flying Unit (PAFU).

The Dallachy Strike Wing, part of 18 Group Coastal Command, operated with distinction from October 1944 until the end of World War II in Europe. Bristol Beaufighters of 144 Squadron RAF, 404 Squadron RCAF, 455 Squadron RAAF, and 489 Squadron RNZAF were operational against heavily defended coastal shipping, mainly on the west coast of Norway.[1]

On November 24, 1945, the airfield was placed on care and maintenance, thereafter the buildings transferred to the Army and were used as a Territorial Army (TA) training centre until 1958.

Dallachy control tower, 2006
Dallachy control tower
© Christopher Gillan

The derelict control tower lies in a field approximately 400 metres northeast of the Strike Wing monument near the entrance to the former camp at Bogmoor, on the road from Fochabers to Spey Bay. The two storey tower has a flat roof and was provided with an external viewing balcony at first floor level facing the runways to the northeast, both roof and balcony have guard rails. The building has been modified and appears to have been reused by the owner of the field. The concrete runways, taxiways and perimeter road are believed to be extant, but are heavily overgrown, and the remains of the bomb store are reported to lie in the Wood of Auchenreath to the east. The airfield had two T2 and five blister hangars, all now believed to have been lost, although one may have been reused as a shelter with no walls.

Postwar development

Dallachy Airfield, 1987
Dallachy Airfield, 1987
© Anne Burgess

The picture to the right, taken in 1987, was accompanied by the following explanatory text:

Dallachy was a WWII airfield, no longer in use as such. This was taken from a glider shortly before landing on the grass strip to the right, which was originally alongside part of the perimeter. The main runways are the tarmac strip on the left, and the one which crosses it halfway along. It is a historic shot, because the gliding club is no longer based there, and a recycling plant has been built on the runway at the far right corner of the field.

References

1 Strike and Strike Again 455 Squadron RAAF 1944-45, Ian Gordon, Banner Books, 1995. ISBN-10: 1875593098. ISBN-13: 978-1875593095.

External links

Related Canmore/RCAHMS and ScotlandsPlaces (SP) entries:-

 

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