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Boyndie Airfield, Control Tower

A Category B Listed Building in Boyndie, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.6663 / 57°39'58"N

Longitude: -2.6336 / 2°38'0"W

OS Eastings: 362301

OS Northings: 864221

OS Grid: NJ623642

Mapcode National: GBR M8VG.J7S

Mapcode Global: WH8LT.JK4T

Entry Name: Boyndie Airfield, Control Tower

Listing Date: 27 April 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397462

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49835

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Boyndie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Banff and District

Traditional County: Banffshire

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Description

1943, renovated 1976. 2-storey, flat-roofed, rectangular-plan disused Second World War control tower with cantilevered balconies. Rendered brick with concrete balconies.

NE ELEVATION: 3 horizontal windows at ground giving way to full-width balcony wrapping around outer angles, and 3 further windows to 1st floor.

NW ELEVATION: ground floor with narrow vertical opening to left of centre and horizontal opening to outer left, 3 regularly-disposed windows to right, further window to left at 1st floor (over balcony) and small window to right.

SE ELEVATION: door to right of centre at ground with horizontal window to right (under balcony) and 2 further windows to left, door with adjacent window leading to balcony at right, 2 windows to left and small canopy projecting from centre above.

SW (ENTRANCE?) ELEVATION: door off-centre right at ground, 2 small windows to left and tiny window to outer right, vertical stair window to right of centre, further vertical window off-centre right at 1st floor and 2 windows to left.

Some replacement steel window frames remain.

Statement of Interest

Group with Boyndie Airfield Operations Block. In 1976 the control tower was renovated and a runway was cleared for the Banff Amateur Flying Club, opened by Group Captain Max Aitken (see below). Banff Aerodrome, known as Boyndie Drome, operated as a World War II military airfield from 1944 - 1946. The site rivalled Lossiemouth and Kinloss in terms of scale, and is (uniquely) built on a slope, with some 6000' of concrete runway. It was built for Coastal Command as a two-squadron General Reconnaissance station with a satellite at Dallachy. RAF Banff was transferred to the control of 21 Group Flying Training Command on 5th April, 1943, and the newly completed airfield was opened on 21st April, 1943. During the first year a substantial number of flying hours were spent on twin-engined pilot training, and in early September 1944 the training aircraft were replaced by a mixed Strike Wing consisting of Beaufighters and Mosquitoes.

On 1st September, 1944, RAF Banff was taken over by 18 Group Coastal Command under the command of Group Captain Max Aitken, DSO, son of the then Lord Beaverbrook. Operating as a six squadron multi-national unit, the Strike Wing consisted of the 333 Squadron Royal Norwegian Air Force, 143 Sqn, 248 Sqn, 404 Sqn, 144 Sqn and 235 Sqn Royal Air Force. Strikes from Boyndie largely included concentrated attacks on German surface vessels and U-boats in the North Sea and along the Norwegian coastline. Coastal Command continued operating after VE Day due to fear of enemy submarines, with the Mosquitoes flying convoy escort sorties until May 25, 1945. The airfield closed in the middle of 1946 and subsequently became a target for simulated bombing attacks by Royal Navy aircraft from Lossiemouth units.

After the war, but during rationing, the hangars were used as an egg store and distribution centre for the supply of eggs to the whole of Scotland; and as part of the 1953 Coronation celebrations, every child in Banffshire was invited to a party in No 1 hangar.

On 28th September, 1989 The RAF Banff Strike Wing Memorial Trust unveiled a granite memorial at a site near to the airfield on the A95, four miles west of Banff. The stone was unveiled by Group Captain Bill Sise, former CO 248 Squadron, RAF Banff.

Further examples of listed Second World War control towers are at East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian (category B), Fearn Royal Naval Air Station, Highland and Findo Gask Airfield, Perthshire.

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