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RAF Tealing

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RAF Tealing was a World War II airfield which lay to the north of Dundee, opened in 1942, and constructed in a hollow overlooked by a range of hills to the west. It lies to the west side of the A90 road.

In March 1942, No 56 OTU (Officer Training Unit) opened at the field, and was equipped with Hawker Hurricane, Miles Master and Westland Lysander aircraft. Initially training as few as thirty pilots when it opened, number of pilots training at the unit varied from about 35 to 40 in 1942, reaching a peak of 150 during 1943.

  • March 1942: Site opened.
  • March 1942 to July 1944: 56 OTU moved to Tealing from Sutton Bridge with Hurricanes, Lysanders and Masters. Training for all types of fighter, ground and anti-shipping exercises.
  • October 1943: Renamed 1 Combat Training Wing, then 1 Tactical Exercise Unit.
  • February 1944: Hurricanes replaced with Spitfires.
  • August 1944 to June 1945: 9 (P)AFU, Flying Training Command with Masters then Harvards.

Russian connection

During May 1942, the airfield received an unusual visitor in the form of a Petlyakov Pe-8 four-engined Russian bomber. This aircraft was the only four-engined bomber the Russians built during the war, and had originally been designated the TB7, until its creator died in an air crash in January 1942.

The aircraft was piloted by Endel Puusepp, [1] and was carrying a Soviet delegation en route to Washington, and stopped at Tealing, Prestwick, Reykjavík, and Goose Bay. Included in the passengers was 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. The route would have been chosen to avoid attention, and there was also a news blackout in force at the time. The Germans were aware of the flight, and Hitler had given the order to destroy the aircraft. On the return flight, mis-information on the flight plans was given to the press to deceive any attackers, and succeeded in doing so, as the delegation made its way back to Moscow, to angering Hitler.

It was later revealed, by Sir Archibald Hope, Senior Controller of Fighter Command in Scotland in 1942, that Molotov had been given the choice of two aircraft in which to continue his journey to England. The alternate aircraft crashed in the Vale of York, and various members of Molotov's staff were killed, together with senior RAF personnel also on the flight.

Molotov arrived safely in London to complete the signing of the Anglo-Russian Treaty with British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden on May 26, 1942. Also known as The Twenty-Year Mutual Assistance Agreement Between the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, this agreement established military and political alliance between the USSR and the British Empire during World War II, and for 20 years after it.

Postwar

The airfield was placed on Care and Maintenance in June 1945.

Although the runways can still be seen, one has has broken up, while the sheds of a poultry farm run along most of the remains of the other.

The control tower remains on the site, together with other buildings remaining around the site, but the hangars have gone.

The accommodation site was also use as a PoW (prisoner of war) camp towards the end of the war.

References

1 Известия.Ру / История / Эндель Пусэп - эстонский брат Бронзового солдата Retrieved 02 May 2011 18:32:45.

External links

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