Military Wiki
RAF Turnberry
South Ayrshire
Type Royal Air Force station
Coordinates Latitude:
In use 1917-1919
Occupants 1 Fighting School (North-West Area)
No. 618 Squadron RAF

RAF Turnberry was an airbase in Scotland used by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the First World War, and again by the RAF in the Second World War. Between the two wars, the site reverted to its pre-1914 use as the Turnberry Golf Course and hotel. It reverted to this use again after the Second World War. Although there is still a disused landing strip, the site is now the Trump Turnberry.[1][2]

During the First World War, the base housed No. 1 School of Aerial Fighting (Loch Doon, to the east, was used for a School of Aerial Gunnery). The school merged with No. 2 (Auxiliary) School of Air Gunnery, becoming No. 1 School of Aerial Fighting and Gunnery, renamed No. 1 Fighting School (North-West Area) on 29 May 1918. It provided pilots with three-week courses in the arts of aerial gunnery and combat. It was disbanded on 25 January 1919. The Turnberry Hotel was used during the war as a hospital for the wounded.[3] After the war, courses 1 and 2 were rebuilt and renamed "Ailsa" and "Arran". A memorial to honour lost airmen was erected on the hill overlooking the 12th green of Ailsa and still remains.

The cycle was repeated for World War II. The hotel was commissioned as a hospital, and the golf courses were seconded for air training for the Royal Air Force. Coastal Command based Consolidated Liberators there for anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic. The base was also used for training Bristol Beaufighter crews. Testing of Barnes Wallis's "Highball" bouncing bomb was also performed by 618 Squadron, flying from Turnberry. The hotel was used a Royal Navy hospital. It is thought that as many as 200 died at the base.[3]


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