Cluntoe - Site Description

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Site Description - CLUNTOE AIRFIELD

Defence Heritage Project Number 036    Irish Grid Reference H94697569
         
Location: County

Four miles East of Coagh, East Tyrone 

  Easting 947
         
District /Townland

Kinrush/Mullianhoe, Cookstown

  Northing 757
         
Date of Construction

1942 - 1951

  Site Type Airfield
         

Description of the site: RAF Cluntoe, also referred to as Ardboe airfield or AAF 238, Combat Crew Replacement Centre B. was a military airfield located 38 kilometres west of Belfast.

Construction of the Cluntoe airfield was started in December 1940 however, work was not completed until July 1942.  Originally planned to be an RAF Operational Training Unit (OTU), however, when it was opened it was only used as an emergency landing ground. Anti-sabotage patrols were flown from the airfield. August 1943 seen the airfield transferred to United States Army Air Forces (USAAF).

The airfield consisted of three runways (2,600 yards, 2,200 yards and 1,300 yards long), a three-mile perimeter taxiway, 30 hardstands, 50 fighter pads and two twinned T2 hangars. The airfield had communal buildings, headquarters, a hospital, a cinema, a church, sewage facilities, a shooting range, fuel and bomb dumps and Nissan huts for living quarters; over 500 buildings in all. The airfield split the local parish of Ardboe in two. (http://www.forgottenairfields.com/united-kingdom/northern-ireland/tyrone/cluntoe-s941.html).

Runways were lengthened from October 1943 until 1944. The Americans stopped using the facility in November 1944, and handed it back to the RAF. It closed in June 1945 and went on care and maintenance.

The airfield was refurbished in 1952 as a training station for pilots going to the Korean War. In 1955 the airfield was closed again, recorded to have been a ‘station in reserve’ for the Royal Navy, the airfield saw no further use and was finally sold off in 1957.

The airfield is now used by local businesses and known as Ardboe Business Park, the hangars are all gone but the tower still survives and the three runways.

Site remains: Construction materials known to have been used: Concrete, brick metal and timber.

Runways, hardstands, various buildings and airfield defence structures, dispersed sites to the west of the airfield site itself.

Condition of identified remains at site: Site remains are recorded to be in “bad” condition.

Information in this document was obtained from:

The Northern Ireland Defence Heritage Project: http://go.qub.ac.uk/DefenceHeritageNI

List of Former RAF Stations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_former_Royal_Air_Force_stations

Control Towers: http://controltowers.co.uk/C/Cluntoe.htm

Smith D. J. 1983. Military Airfields of Scotland, the North-East and Northern Ireland. PSL Publishing Ltd.

 

DESCRIPTION - Cluntoe

Image courtesy of Laura Wing

 

DESCRIPTION - Cluntoe_1

Image courtesy of Laura Wing