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RAF Castle Archdale
Ensign of the Royal Air Force
Lisnarrick, County Fermanagh
Type Royal Air Force station
Coordinates Latitude: 54.480
Longitude: -7.728
Built 1940 (1940)
In use 1940-1945 (1945)
Current
owner
Air Ministry
Controlled by Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Battles/wars Second World War

RAF Castle Archdale, also known for a while as RAF Lough Erne[1] was a Royal Air Force station used by the RAF and the Royal Canadian Air Force station in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

HistoryEdit

Sunderland and Catalina flying boats of RAF Coastal Command at Castle Archdale in Northern Ireland, January 1945. CH14837

Various flying boats are being hauled out of Lough Erne as the water begins to freeze in January 1945.

RAF Castle Archdale was located on the eastern shore of Lower Lough Erne, near the village of Lisnarrick. It was used during the Second World War by flying boats of No. 209 Squadron RAF. From Castle Archdale, Consolidated Catalinas and Short Sunderlands could patrol the North Atlantic for German U-boats. A secret agreement with the government of Ireland allowed aircraft to fly from Lough Erne to the Atlantic along the Donegal Corridor, providing vital air cover from one of the most westerly RAF bases in the United Kingdom.

In May 1941 the German battleship Bismarck was found during a routine patrol by a Catalina flying out of Castle Archdale boat base on Lower Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.[2][3]

PostwarEdit

The base was closed after the Second World War and today is part of Castle Archdale Country Park. The slip way remains in use and the concrete stands for parking the Catalina aircraft are now part of a caravan site. Other buildings lie derelict and overgrown in the surrounding forest. A museum in the park grounds has a section devoted to its role during the Second World War.

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