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Breighton airfield opened for operation in January 1942. It became No. 44 Base substation in November 1944. It was eventually closed just after the war in 1946. It was 24 feet above sea level and consisted of 3 runways. There were two "T2" hangars and one "B1" type hangar on site.

On 4 January 1942 No. 460 Squadron RAAF moved their Wellingtons from No. 8 Bomber Group at Molesworth in Huntingdonshire to Breighton in East Riding under No. 1 Bomber Group. Breighton was an outstation attached to Holme-on-Spalding Moor.

The Commanding Officer for the new Squadron was Wing Commander A.L.G. Hubbard, DSO, DFC, 40050 RAF, 267508.

In August 1942 their Wellingtons started to be replaced by Halifaxes but they were never used in any operations as they were replaced by Lancasters from October 1942 onwards.

Clarrie Taylor, an ex Navigator of 460 Squadron told me the following about Breighton in a letter on 29 January 1997:-

Breighton was only a very small village - a pub, a shop and a water pump - about 17 miles south of York. The closest large village was Howden which was the venue for the dances etc - (12 miles away). On many occasions when "Ops" were cancelled, a "Bus to York" was put on, Doc …..?....., the driver got 2/- each to stay sober to drive us home!!! The main attractions in York were 1. Betty's Bar, 2. The Half Moon and then the dance at the Guild Hall.

I sound like a real drunk but I was teetotal but enjoyed dancing and until this last bout of sickness have been a competition dancer.

The station Commander - Group Captain Crummie RAF was a wonderful man. Stood no nonsense from his men but also had no time for bull.

1656 HCU
1656 Heavy Conversion Unit, attached to No. 5 Bomber Group, was based at Breighton from the 7th to the 26th October 1942 with their Manchesters and Lancasters.

78 Squadron was based at Breighton from 16 June 1943 until 20 September 1945 with their Halifaxes.


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Subject:     Breighton Airfield / 460 Squadron
Date:              Tue, 26 Oct 99 15:51:00 PDT
From:            Magnus Roche <>

Having moved to an old farmhouse 250yds from the end of the runway at Breighton about two years ago I have a passing interest in the airfield's history. In order to swat up a little bit I managed to borrow a book called "Yorkshire Airfields in the Second World War", it is written by Patrick Otter and published by Countryside Books of Newbury, Berkshire.

There is a full chapter on Breighton Airfield which contains some detail of the missions flown and losses suffered by 460 Squadron both in Wellington VI's and latterly in Lancasters and Manchesters. It might be worth you getting hold of a copy of the book.

Best of luck




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This page first produced 29 December 1997

This page last updated 21 February 2020