Tyne and Wear HER(1824): Usworth, Sunderland Aerodrome (RAF Usworth) - Details
Usworth, Sunderland Aerodrome (RAF Usworth)
Military Airfield Site
Started life in October 1916 as a Flight Station for "B" Flight of 36 Squadron and was known as Hylton. By 1917, when it was used by "A" Flight, it was just beginning to be called Usworth. Site now largely under Nissan. Usworth was a training station for most of its wartime career. In 1934, 607 Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force was based at Usworth. The trainee pilots were mostly local miners and shipworkers. The squadron was transferred to Fighter Command in September 1937. There were two squadrons based here in World War II, one of which was the 607 squadron (City of Durham) whose squadron leader was called Blackadder. In 1940 the site was a fighter command. It was singled out for a major Luftwaffe attack during the Battle of Britain, but due to successful action of the 13 Group and the Anti-Aircraft guns Usworth was left untouched. During the Battle of Britain, Usworth Sector came under the direction of No. 13 Group. Hurricane Squadron No. 43, based at Tangmere in the south, were sent to Usworth in September 1940. Later the No. 55 Operational Training Unit was based there. 607 Squadron continued to operate from Usworth throughout the War. They were disbanded on 19 August 1945. In July 1963 it became Sunderland Aerodrome - a successful light aviation centre. The site is now home to the North East Aircraft Museum.
<< HER 1824 >> Pers. Comm. Ray Selkirk, 2001 Aerial Photograph, T. Gates, 2001 C.S. Dobinson, 2000, Appendices, Airfield Themes, Twentieth Century Fortifications in England, Vol IX 2, p 250 and 262; D.J. Smith, 1983, Action Stations, No. 7, Military Airfields of Scotland, the North-East and Northern Ireland, pp 215-217; Rob Kirkup, 2009, Ghostly Tyne and Wear; TWM Archaeology, 2010, North East Aircraft Museum, Washington Road, Usworth - Archaeological Watching Brief