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Doncaster Airfield (disused)

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Doncaster Airfield (EGCI) (disused)

N.B. this airfield is disused.
Submitted by: Oliver Ferguson

Doncaster Airport (EGCI) [Not to be confused with EGCN] undeservedly appears on your list as a rather inconspicuous airfield however Doncaster was in fact one of the first airports in the WORLD!

Doncaster opened its doors to manned flight in 1909

More information is available by following the attached link:

http://www.doncaster.gov.uk/

For your information, and as the attached link and book will collaborate, Doncaster hosted International flights to Europe for decades before the Airport Terminal and Control Tower burned down in the late 70s. (I remembering it happening) However flying continued at the airport for many years to come.

Population density brought an end to the airport in its location and the former site has now been made over for retail and leisure.

However, MANY ORIGINAL BUILDINGS EXIST! The old WWII barracks are positioned on the site of South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum.

Please visit the link or even better visit the museum

http://www.aeroventure.org.uk/

Here's some history for you. I must be clear. This is not my writing, simply extracts from the above websites.

Thank you

Aviation In Doncaster 1909 to 1992

Poster of aviation meeting

In 1909, after the world's first air display in Rheims, Doncaster racecourse was chosen as the venue for the second. All the world's leading aviators were present. Samuel F. Cody, no relation to William F. (Buffalo Bill), in an attempt to win a prize offered by The Daily Mail for the first British pilot in a British aeroplane to fly a circular mile signed British naturalisation papers in front of the crowd with the band playing both the Star Spangled Banner and the National anthem. Unfortunately, he crashed his British Army Aeroplane No.1 whilst taxiing.

During the first World War fighters based, first from the racecourse then a temporary airstrip near Finningley (later RAF Finningley and now Doncaster Sheffield Intl) and finally, in 1916, from a newly built airfield alongside the race course, were deployed to defend the east coast against Zeppelins. On a number of occasions fighters took off to search for the intruders hut none were ever seen. The RFC station trained pilots for the war in France. Within months of the war ending the entire station was put up for sale and two of its three Belfast hangars, the same type of hangar now forms the basis for The Royal Air Force museum at Hendon, were sold to a Sheffield motor manufacturing company for storage and assembly at Finningley. The third of the hangars stayed in place, mainly housing buses, until the seventies when someone thought that this historic building should be knocked down and replaced by a modern monstrosity.

In 1920 the Government asked local authorities to assist in the formation of a chain of airfields so this country would not lack behind other nations in the provision of civil air services. Doncaster took heed and with expert advice from Alan Cobham on May 26. 1934 open a grandly called 'aviation centre'. Development of the airfield continued and on July 1, 1936 an international service was open to Amsterdam On November 1, 1938, after long discussions with the Air Ministry, 616 (South Yorkshire) fighter squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force was formed. Shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939 the squadron went to its battle station and played an honourable part in the Battle of Britain. After the departure of 616 squadron its place was taken by the formation of 271 (Transport) Squadron composed mainly of requisitioned civilian aircraft and obsolescent twin engined bombers. In 1944 after being re-equipped with Dakotas the squadron moved south to take part in operation 'Overlord' and later in the airborne invasion at Arnhem where Flight Lieutenant David Lord was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. After the war the airfield reverted to civilian flying and finally closed in 1992.

Aviation in Doncaster 1909-1992 by Geoffrey Oakes

Price £8.95

For further details contact:

Richard Oakes
35 Poppyfields Way
Branton
Doncaster

Tel: 01302 535981


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History

Doncaster Airfield (disused)

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