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RAF Ballyhalbert
RNAS Ballyhalbert
HMS Corncrake
Ensign of the Royal Air ForceNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom
Ballyhalbert, County Down
Type Royal Air Force station
Coordinates Latitude: 54.496
Longitude: -5.470
Built 1940 (1940)
In use 1941-1947 (1947)
Air Ministry
Controlled by Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Garrison RAF Fighter Command
Battles/wars Second World War

Royal Air Force Station Ballyhalbert or more simply RAF Ballyhalbert is a fomer Royal Air Force station at Ballyhalbert on the Ards Peninsula, County Down.

RAF Kirkistown was a satellite to the larger Ballyhalbert.

Construction began in 1940.[1]


Royal Air Force useEdit

It opened provisionally in May 1941, prior to completion of the works, as a RAF Fighter Command base where the primary weapon was the Supermarine Spitfire, and officially on 28 June of that same year.[1] The base provided local protection from Luftwaffe raids on Belfast and the rest of the province. Other aircraft operated from the base were the Hawker Hurricane, Bristol Beaufighter, North American P-51 Mustang and Boulton Paul Defiant night fighter. During its lifetime, Ballyhalbert was home to RAF, Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), British Army, Royal Navy and United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) personnel. Servicemen from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Poland also saw duty at Ballyhalbert.[1]

Fleet Air Arm useEdit

As HMS Corncake the airfield was used by the Fleet Air Arm for squadrons working up for carrier duty. On 13 November 1945 the airfield was closed and placed on Care and Maintenance. By 1947, with no further use made of the site it was abandoned. The airfield was sold to developers in March 1960, and is in use for several popular caravan parks.


Other unitsEdit

See alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "RAF Ballyhalbert". Ballyhalbert website. Retrieved 25 February 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jefford 2001, p. 33.
  3. Jefford 2001, p. 45.
  4. Jefford 2001, p. 58.
  5. Jefford 2001, p. 59.
  6. Jefford 2001, p. 63.
  7. Jefford 2001, p. 77.
  8. Jefford 2001, p. 79.
  9. Jefford 2001, p. 85.
  10. Jefford 2001, p. 86.
  11. Jefford 2001, p. 94.
  12. Jefford 2001, p. 95.
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 13.16 13.17 13.18 13.19 13.20 13.21 13.22 13.23 13.24 "Ballyhalbert". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 


  • Jefford, C.G, MBE, BA, RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.

External linksEdit

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