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RAF Brackla

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Building remains, 2007
Building remains
© James Allan

RAF Brackla was located near the small village of Piperhill, approximately four miles southwest of Nairn, and operated as a Relief Landing Ground (RLG) for RAF Dalcross, now Inverness Airport, about six miles to the east. The site lies to the northwest of Brackla House and farm, and the Royal Brackla Distillery (1812).

The airfield was opened during 1941, supplied with four Type T2 hangars, and surfaced with wire-mesh runways. It was the home of No 2 Air Gunnery School aircraft from RAF Dalcross, but also used by Whitleys of 19 OTU (Operational Training Unit), and Oxfords of both 14 and 19 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Units (PAFU). In 1944 the airfield became the Aircrew Allocation Centre where airmen were sent for a month whilst final postings were found for them where they would be most valued.

Perimeter road remains, 2007
Perimeter road remains
© James Allan

In early 1945 hundreds of surplus aircraft, including around 130 Halifax bombers (some straight from the factory), were ferried to the airfield and scrapped. RAF Brackla closed towards the end of 1946 and most of the buildings were removed along with the wire-mesh runways, with complete abandonment by the early 1950s. RAF aerial photographs taken in 1946 showed the airfield in its storage phase, when over 100 aircraft (Halifax) were recorded. The technical area was also visible then, based on the site of the distillery, with a bomb store located to the southwest.

Although much of the concrete perimeter track has been removed over the years, large sections can still be found, and the path of the perimeter road is clearly evident in aerial views, and is depicted on OS maps together with the dispersal areas. Little survives of the original buildings.

Main units:

  • No 29 Group (1944)
  • Air Crew Allocation Centre (May 1944 - February 6, 1945)
  • RLG for No 19 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit (October 20, 1942 - June 14, 1943; December 3, 1943 - February 25, 1944)
  • RLG for No 14 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit (June 17, 1944 - September 1, 1944)
  • No 102 Storage Sub-Site (April 1945 - September 1947)

External links

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

 

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Aerial views


Map

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