Bomber Command Airfields of Yorkshire

Peter Jacobs

Date Published :
September 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
80 black and white images
No associated books available.


As part of the Aviation Heritage Trail series, the accomplished military author and former RAF Officer Peter Jacobs takes us to the county of Yorkshire and to its many bomber airfields of the Second World War.

From the opening day of hostilities, RAF Bomber Command took the offensive to Nazi Germany and played a leading role in the liberation of Europe. Yorkshire’s airfields played a key part throughout, initially as home to the Whitley squadrons of No 4 Group and then to the four-engine Halifax heavy bombers; indeed, Bomber Command’s first night operation of the war was flown from one of the county’s many bomber airfields. Then, as the bombing offensive gathered pace, Yorkshire welcomed the new all-Canadian No 6 (RCAF) Group, after which all of Bomber Command’s major efforts during the hardest years of 1943/44 – against the Ruhr, Hamburg and Berlin – involved the Yorkshire-based squadrons.

Most of Yorkshire’s wartime bomber airfields have long gone, but many have managed to retain the flying link with their wartime past. For example, the former RAF airfields of Finningley and Middleton St George, and the factory airfield of Yeadon, are now the sites of international airports, while Breighton, Burn, Full Sutton, Pocklington and Rufforth are still used for light aircraft flying or gliding and Elvington is home to the magnificent Yorkshire Air Museum.

From airfields such as these came countless acts of personal courage and self-sacrifice, with two men being awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for gallantry. Stories of both men are included, as are tales of other personalities who brought these airfields to life. The stories of thirty-three airfields are told in total, with a brief history of each accompanied by details of how to find them and what remains of them today. Whatever your interest, be it aviation history or more local, the county of Yorkshire has rightly taken its place in the history of Bomber Command.

About The Author

Peter Jacobs served nearly 37 years in the RAF (1977-2013) as an air defence navigator, initially on the F4 Phantom and later on the Tornado F3\. He has written twenty books including Daring Raids of World War Two: Heroic Land, Sea and Air Attacks (2015); Bomber Command: Airfields of Lincolnshire (2016) and The RAF in 100 Objects (2017).


This is another well researched book from Peter Jacobs and one that is a handy size to keep in the car. Whether you are a historian with an interest in Bomber Command, or perhaps looking for the place where your father, grandfather or other relative served during the war and you are trying to trace more about their experiences. While areas such as these continue to be developed it is good to know just what remains to be seen of this period in our history.

- Military Model Scene

"I have seen similar books about airfields in East Anglia, now it's the turn of the county of Yorkshire to receive this special treatment. An amazing book."

- Books Monthly

It is not only a mine of informative detail, but also discloses some of the personal stories of men and women stationed at these airfields. This book is an interesting and useful addition to Bomber Command's essential role in the Second World War.

- Yorkshire Gazette & Herald

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