View Full Version : Three Spitfires return to RAF Woodvale

17th May 2007, 11:30
Don't forget three Spitfires return to RAF Woodvale tomorrow, Friday the 18th.
Details from Woodvale:
All three will fly in together at 3.30 friday. Two are still with the RAF and one is from Rolls Royce.They have never been back to Woodvale since 1957. When they left back then, they went on to form what would be The Battle of Britain Memorial flight.We have been very lucky as this is also their (BBMF) 50th year and they were very keen to come back to where it all stated in 1957. RAF Woodvale is also the last temporary World War 2 airfield still active. We also have the veterens coming back but that is saturday.
Excellent, should be a great re-union on the saturday wioth the vets.
So Saturday the North West will reverberate to the sound of the Merlins as they fly to their various bookings in Sedburgh, Haworth and Woodvale.

17th May 2007, 11:59
the North West will reverberate to the sound of the Merlins

These are the old THUM flight PR XIXs so the engines are Griffons... an even better sound in my hearing, if not quite so evocative! :ok:

Have a great day with them, hope the weather is considerably better than it has been so far today.

henry crun
17th May 2007, 22:12
I took this at Woodvale in 1957, I wonder where this one is now.


Brian Abraham
18th May 2007, 14:48
Henry, Its history is listed as,

Seventeenth order for 1884 Mk IX dated 19-4-44. Built as Mk IX/XVI between Dec 44 and June 45. Total 1053 built Castle Bromwich.

Mk XVI TE400 Issued to No 9 Maintenance Unit 16-6-45, 501 Sqdn 7-5-48, 612 Sqdn 20-5-49, Radio School Middle Wallop 12-2-52, Non Effective Stock (Scrap) 14-12-54 to 7240M 28-9-55

7240M refers to a maintenance airframe I understand. Would be interesting to know what happened to it given the history above ends at 28-9-55 and you took the photo in 57.

18th May 2007, 15:05
The M suffix indicates it was used for maintenance training or other non flying task, ie non airworthy. Given that it went to the Radio School at MW before being renumbered chances are that is what it was doing. How it got to Woodvale is a matter of conjecture, assuming that the aircraft marked as TE400 actually is TE400. When reregistered the M number was usually applied in place of the original serial.

henry crun
18th May 2007, 22:10
Thank you Brian Abraham, given the history I am unable to provide an explanation.
There were Spitfires at Woodvale while I was there in 1957, but, after all this time, my memory of that photo is vague to say the least.
It is annotated as such in my writing in the album, and I can think of no reason to be mistaken about it.

Also, I was never at any of the units you mention in the aircraft history

As Kitbag points out, an M number was applied to those aircraft allocated for maintainance and training purposes, and to the best of my knowledge, once that letter was applied the aircraft never flew again in service life.

21st May 2007, 19:25
Henry Crun,
Here is another shot of TE400 that I picked up on ebay quite recently. You may have even taken it. Note prop position, rudder, elevator, concrete, grass, shadows etc, all look like the the same place at the same time.
There is nothing written on the back save for some filing reference in pencil 87/197 and a ringed 92.
I would ask does it still look like Woodvale in 1957 from this angle/geography?
I ask because TE400 became 7240M and although incorrectly marked 'M7240', and not the first, here is a shot by M P Marsh dated 1956 and thought to be the gate at RAF Honiley.

ps TE400/7240M is no longer with us and it must be assumed scrapped some time in the mid to late 1950's.

1st Jun 2007, 16:50

Any response from 'Henry Crun'?


henry crun
1st Jun 2007, 22:37
Mark22: I can add nothing more to that which I have already posted.

I was at Woodvale looking after a bunch of Boy Entrants on their summer camp so my memory of the place is somewhat blurred by trying to control the little b******s.

I have given it a lot of thought and I cannot think of anywhere else that photo would have been taken, but after all this time, who knows ? :)

jez moore
18th Jun 2007, 11:59

A complete change of subject, whilst researching the crash of XM266 a Canberraa B.8 (I) on 21 November 1961 your name cropped up on this site, ref a posting made on 8 September 2006 by yourself.
Point of interest my Uncle Fl. Lt. Roger Moore was the pilot. A memorial at the crash site near Tiverton was recently unvailed in a ceremony attended by the Lord Lt. of Devon, family, friends and former 3 squadron members. 3 Sqn Typhoons also made a very spectacular low level fly-by to mark this occasion on the 45th anniversary 21/11/06.

juliet india mike
21st Feb 2010, 16:07
I am trying to date an event at Woodvale involving a THUM Spitfire. I have a childhood memory of seeing an aircraft on its nose, it was painted dark blue and was positioned near the railway line at the edge of the airfield. I was a passenger on the train and had a good view of it. It was stabilised by ropes I think and looked like a classic nose over following some sort of excursion. I did see a photgraph of a similar event in a book many years ago.

So, does anyone have a clue as to the year? It would be summer probably. Failing that what year did they stop using Spitfires at Woodvale to give me a latest date?

Old Photo.Fanatic
21st Feb 2010, 20:19
I had two weeks at RAF Woodvale in 1957.

It was the Annual "Boy Entrants" Cosford Summer Camp.

I remember skiving off from playing Sports and other activities to sneak out
and watch the last Spitfires and Mosquitos operating.
"Met" flight I think.
From memory it rained 12 days out of the 14.
We were all fed up, under Canvas, average age about 16 so always hungry!!! fed by Army field kitchens.
The whole "Camp" area was a health hazard.

Only worthwhile part for me was watching the Aircraft operating.

The next year, if I am correct, was the last Boy Entrant "Camp". Muted to be due to it being a health risk after outbreaks of variouis "Bug" disorders.


21st Feb 2010, 20:24
I was at Woodvale looking after a bunch of Boy Entrants on their summer camp so my memory of the place is somewhat blurred by trying to control the little b******s.

Old Photo Fanatic is 68...

That means Henry must be...???? :eek:

Pull what
10th Mar 2010, 18:28
Mark 22
Yes that does look like RAF Woodvale, it appears to be on the pan next to the tower.