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RAF Sullom Voe
Ensign of the Royal Air Force
IATA: none – ICAO: none
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Sullom Voe, Shetland Isles
Built 1938 (1938)
In use 1938-1952 (1952)
Elevation AMSL 10 ft / 3 m
Coordinates 60°28′00″N 001°16′30″W / 60.4666667°N 1.275°W / 60.4666667; -1.275Coordinates: 60°28′00″N 001°16′30″W / 60.4666667°N 1.275°W / 60.4666667; -1.275
Shetland UK location map
Airplane silhouette.svg
RAF Sullom Voe
Location in Shetland Isles
RAF departed 1945. The base is now an Oil Terminal run by Ninian and Brent Partners.[citation needed]

Royal Air Force Station Sullom Voe or more simply RAF Sullom Voe[1] is a former Royal Air Force station[2] near the village of Brae, in the Shetland Isles of Scotland. It was a Flying boat base and was closely associated with the adjacent airfield of RAF Scatsta[3]



The building of this flying boat station started well before the Second World War during 1938 and became home to various Coastal Command squadrons that patrolled the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and North Atlantic for enemy ships and U-Boats. In the early days accommodation was provided by the Clyde-built SS Manella,[4] a ship built in 1921, requisitioned by the Royal Navy in 1939, renamed HMS Manella and sent to Sullom Voe as a supply ship to provide temporary accommodation prior to suitable accommodation being built on-shore at nearby Graven. 201 Squadron was posted there just 25 days before the declaration of war on 3 September 1939. 240 Squadron was posted there a month later on 4 November 1939 then Sullom Voe became the first location in the British Isles to be bombed on Monday 13 November 1939 when four bombs landed in a field. No damage was formally reported apart from the death of a rabbit![5]

The complex was added to when a nearby airfield was built during 1940 and named RAF Scatsta.


Squadron Aircraft Posted from Posted to From > To Notes
190 Consolidated Catalina IB & IV 17 February 1943 1 January 1944 Formed > Disbanded Formed from the nucleus of disbanded 210 Squadron and subsequently reformed back to 210 Sqn again.[6]
201 Saro London I & II
Short Sunderland I & II
9 August 1939
26 May 1940
6 November 1939
9 October 1941
RAF Calshot > RAF Invergordon
RAF Invergordon > RAF Lough Erne
Squadron moves twice to Sullom Voe.[7]
204 Short Sunderland I 2 April 1940 5 April 1941 RAF Mount Batten > RAF Reykjavik [8]
210 Short Sunderland I 24 November 1939
13 July 1940
21 May 1940
4 October 1942
RAF Invergordon > RAF Pembroke Dock
RAF Oban > RAF Pembroke Dock
Detachment from RAF Invergordon then from RAF Oban.[9]
240 Saro London II 4 November 1939
27 March 1940
12 February 1940
27 May 1940
RAF Invergordon > RAF Invergordon
RAF Invergordon > RAF Pembroke Dock
Squadron moves twice to Sullom Voe.[10]
330 Short Sunderland II, III and V 12 July 1943 14 June 1945 RAF Oban > Stavangar Airport, Sola, Norway Squadron disbanded 21 Nov 1945 and transferred to Norwegian control.[11]
333 Consolidated Catalina I & IV 5 May 1943 June 1945 RAF Woodhaven > Fornebu (Oslo, Norway) On detachment before being disbanded 21 November 1945 and transferred to Norwegian control.[12]
413 Consolidated Catalina I & IV 1 October 1941 4 March 1942 RAF Stranraer > En route to Sri Lanka [13]

During the WarEdit

During the latter period one of 210 Sqn's pilots, Flying Officer John Cruickshank, carried out a successful attack on a German U-boat, which by this time possessed heavy anti-aircraft guns. Despite severe injuries, he managed to fly his aircraft home and circled until daybreak before he was able to land it safely saving his crew, an achievement for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.[14]

Post WarEdit

After the Second World War: See Sullom Voe, Sullom Voe Terminal and Scatsta Airport.




  1. [a] Jefford, p.166 (RAF Sullom Voe)
  2. [b] Falconer, p.184 (RAF Sullom Voe)
  3. [b] Falconer, p.174 (RAF Scatsta)
  4. "S.S. Manela". Clydesite Scotland. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  5. "Sullom Voe". Shetland Museum. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  6. [a] Jefford, p.69 (No. 190 Sqn)
  7. [a] Jefford, p.70 (No. 201 Sqn)
  8. [a] Jefford, p.71 (No. 204 Sqn)
  9. [a] Jefford, p.72 (No. 210 Sqn)
  10. [a] Jefford, p.78 (No. 240 Sqn)
  11. [a] Jefford, p.89 (No. 330 Sqn)
  12. [a] Jefford, p.89 (No. 333 Sqn)
  13. [a] Jefford, p.92 (No. 190 Sqn)
  14. Seymour and Balderson 1999, p. 100.


  • [a] Jefford, C G MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). (2001). R.A.F Squadrons, A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84037-141-2. 
  • [b] Falconer, Jonathan. (2012). RAF Airfields of World War 2. UK: Midland Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85780-349-5. 
  • Seymour, Mike and Bill Balderson. To The Ends Of The Earth: 210 Squadron's Catalina Years, 1941–1945. Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, UK: Paterchurch Publications, 1999. ISBN 1-870745-08-6.

External linksEdit

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