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World War One Audit of Surviving Remains

Date 5 June 2013

Event ID 961284

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type World War One Audit of Surviving Remains


Whiteburn NT76SE 30 was a Home Defence Station for aeroplanes of No. 77 Home Defence Squadron, the HQ of which was at Turnhouse and, later, Penstone aerodrome. Whiteburn was one of the first Home Defence bases built in Scotland in late 1916 to deal with the threat of Zeppelin airship bombing raids. Its function was described in 1918 as “Home defence Station for “A” Flight of No. 77 Squadron (6th Brigade) … This squadron carries out the duties of Aerial Co-operation for Coastal Defence”. The reference to coastal defence refers to liaison by radio with coast defence batteries and the squadron’s role in supporting the army in dealing with any German invasion.

At first “B” Flight of the Squadron was based at Whiteburn equipped with old BE 2c and BE12 aircraft. Eight newly-delivered modern Avro fighter planes of “A” Flight were stationed at Whiteburn at the time of the RAF aerodrome survey of November 1918. At that time the aerodrome was described as covering an area of about 49 hectares, and measuring a maximum of 780m by 730m. The aerodrome buildings, of which there were over 15, were concentrated in the SE corner of the aerodrome and included a single aeroplane hangar, workshops and accommodation for the establishment of 51 station personnel based there.

There is now no trace of the aerodrome or its buildings.

Information from HS/RCAHMS World War One Audit Project (GJB) 31 May 2013

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