The airfield on the outskirts of the small village of Wombleton, situated between the Hambleton Hills of North Yorkshire, was opened in October 1943 and was used by 6 Group, under Royal Canadian Air Force command for training purposes. With its close proximity to the Yorkshire Moors and its height well above sea level, Wombleton wasn’t exactly suitable for heavy bomber operations and many accidents occurred and the main reason why Wombleton was destined to remain a training station as the air density was causing problems with heavily laden aircraft.
First unit to move in was No1666 Heavy Conversion Unit with Halifax Mk IIs from Dalton, remaining for the duration of the war.
August 1945 saw the Canadians leave and the RAF take over with the RAF Regiment using it as a Battle School. They stayed for several years before vacating when most of the facilities were dismantled.
During the 1950s some of the old accommodation blocks were used to house homeless people.
On the verge not far from the entrance to the airfield is a memorial dedicated to the Canadian air force (RCAF) who formed No.6 Group, and to ‘the men and women of the RAF and WAAF who served at Wombleton’. The carving on the stone reflects the airfield’s role as a base for Heavy Conversion Units (HCU) 1666 and 1679, which used the airfield to train crews to fly heavy bombers.
THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED TO THE CANADIANS OFNO. 6. (RCAF) GROUP OF BOMBER COMMAND AND TO THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE RAF AND WAAF WHO SERVED AT WOMBLETON DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. THE PEOPLE OF RYEDALE EXPRESS THEIR SINCERE THANKSTO THEM FOR GIVING THEIR YOUTH AND TIME AND,
IN MANY INSTANCES, THEIR LIVES. WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
DEDICATED 28TH MAY 2001.