Military Wiki
RAF Acklington
RAF Southfields
RFC Southfields

RAF type A roundel.svg Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
'B' flight, No. 409 Sqn RCAF with one of their Bristol Beaufighters in January 1942.
IATA: none – ICAO: none
Airport type Military
Owner Ministry of Defence
Operator Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Location Acklington, Northumberland
Built 1916 (1916)
In use 1916–1920
1938–1975 (1975)
Elevation AMSL 95 ft / 29 m
Coordinates 55°17′46″N 001°38′04″W / 55.29611°N 1.63444°W / 55.29611; -1.63444Coordinates: 55°17′46″N 001°38′04″W / 55.29611°N 1.63444°W / 55.29611; -1.63444

Lua error in Module:Location_map at line 510: Unable to find the specified location map definition: "Module:Location map/data/Northumberland" does not exist.Location in Northumberland

Direction Length Surface
ft m
05/23[1] 5,700 1,740 Asphalt
01/19[1] 4,554 1,390 Asphalt
12/30[1] 3,624 1,100 Asphalt

Royal Air Force Station Acklington, simply known as RAF Acklington, is a former Royal Air Force station located 3.2 miles (5.1 km) south west of Amble, Northumberland and 8.8 miles (14.2 km) north east of Morpeth, Northumberland.

The airfield was operational initially from 1916 being used the Royal Flying Corps and from April 1918 its successor the Royal Air Force (RAF) before being closed in 1920 however it was reopened in 1938 being used by the RAF until 1975. After 1975 the site was turned over to Her Majesty's Prison Service for the creation of two new prisons.


First World War

Acklington was an aerodrome during the First World War and known as Royal Flying Corps Station Southfields.[2]

Second World War

The airfield was reopened on Friday 1 April 1938 being renamed to RAF Acklington where No. 7 Armament Training Station was formed which on 15 November 1938 transformed into No. 2 Air Observers School. During September 1939 the school moved to RAF Warmwell and the airfield was handed over to RAF Fighter Command as part of 13 Group where it became a sector airfield.[3]

The following squadrons were at some point posted or attached to RAF Acklington:[4]

Battle of Britain

RAF Acklington was home to the following squadrons during the Battle of Britain:

October 1940–1945

The following squadrons were at some point posted or attached to RAF Acklington:[4]

Postwar use

The following squadron were at some point posted or attached to RAF Acklington:[4]

Airfield units

The following units were at some point posted or attached to RAF Southfields/Acklington:[2]

  • No. 1 Fighter Command Servicing Unit
  • No. 3 Aircraft Delivery Flight
  • No. 3 Tactical Exercise Unit
  • No. 4 Aircraft Delivery Flight
  • No. 6 Flying Training School
  • No. 13 Group Target Towing Flight
  • No. 24 (Base) Defence Wing
  • No. 59 Operational Training Unit RAF
  • No. 147 Airfield
  • 416th NFS
  • No. 1460 (Fighter) Flight
  • No. 1490 (Target Towing) Flight
  • No. 1630 (Army Air Corps) Flight
  • Fighter Armament Trials Unit

Current use

RAF Acklington closed in 1975 and is now the site of Acklington and Castington prisons.[2]

See also




  • Delve, Ken. The Military Airfields of Britain: Northern England: Co. Durham, Cumbria, Isle of Man, Lancashire, Merseyside, Manchester, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Yorkshire. Ramsbury, Wiltshire, UK: The Crowood Press, 2006. ISBN 1-86126-809-2
  • Jefford MBE, Wg Cdr C G (1988). RAF Squadrons. A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-053-6 CITEREFJefford1988. 

External links

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