Acaster Malbis

Acaster Malbis Airfield (RAF Acaster Malbis)

Construction of the airfield began in 1941 and it opened in January 1942 as a satellite to RAF Church Fenton. The first unit to arrive was 601Sqn, flying Bell Airacobras. The combination of technical problems and bad weather conditions resulted in many serious accidents. Constant problems with mist and fog, due to the station’s proximity to the river Ouse, combined with low elevation continued to plague the airfield.
After the end of the war, RAF Acaster Malbis became home to No 91 MU (Maintenance Unit), responsible for the storage and disposal of vast amounts of surplus ammunition. It closed as a airfield in February 1946, but continued to be used as a storage site. Large stocks of explosives were laid out on the runways, waiting for disposal.
The pre-war road across the site was quickly re-opened in 1946. The storage and disposal of vast amounts of ammunition was not complete until well into the 1950s. RAF Acaster Malbis was decommissioned in 1963 and the land sold by public auction.
It reverted to farmland, although many of the local people remember learning to drive on the disused runways.

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