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Wig Bay Seaplane Base

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Wig Bay Seaplane Base was located on the west side of Loch Ryan between Low Salchrie farm and Kirkland, about a mile north of the Lochryan Caravan Centre.

All that remains of the seaplane base are the concrete hardstandings and taxiways, together with evidence of hangars and other buildings.

From the faded tourist plaque on the site:

Construction of a flying boat base at Wig Bay was begun by the Americans early in World War II. It was handed over to the RAF in March 1942 who established No 1 FBSU (Flying Boat Servicing Unit) and No 57 MU (Maintenance Unit).

In June 1942 Winston Churchill left Loch Ryan on a highly secret flight to confer with President Roosevelt. By January 1945 there were over 1,000 RAF personnel stationed at Wig Bay, and 170 flying boats on charge.

The servicing and reconditioning for sale of the flying boats was transferred to the civilian firm of Short and Harland Ltd in 1951, and the last RAF unit departed in November 1955.

No 1 Marine Craft Training School, based in nearby Corsewall House, trained RAF personnel in boat handling skills - including the use of high speed air-sea rescue launches - and provided marine craft services for RAF Wig Bay. At its peak, there were 970 staff and trainees based at Corsewell.


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