RAF High Ercall

Royal Air Force Station High Ercall or more simply RAF High Ercall is a former Royal Air Force station situated near the village of High Ercall, 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.

RAF High Ercall
USAAF Station AAF-346
High Ercall, Shropshire
RAF High Ercall
RAF High Ercall
USAAF Station AAF-346
Coordinates52.763°N 2.590°W / 52.763; -2.590
TypeRoyal Air Force station
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
Controlled by Royal Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built1940 (1940)
In use1940-1965 (1965)
Battles/warsSecond World War
Garrison information
GarrisonRAF Fighter Command
31st Fighter Group


Construction of the airfield began in 1938 and was mostly complete by 1940. The airbase was initially run by RAF Maintenance Command and civilians from the Ministry of Aircraft Production also worked at the airfield. From 1941 onward the airbase was taken over by RAF Fighter Command, and was used mainly by night fighter units, such as No. 68 Squadron and No. 255 Squadron.[1] From 1942 the airfield was also used by the United States Army 8th Air Force's 309 Fighter Squadron, which flew British Spitfires with USAAF markings.[2][3] In 1943 the role of the airbase changed to become focused on training; it was used mainly by No. 60 Operational Training Unit for this purpose.[1]


Other units

Post-military use

In 1946, a Halifax bomber stationed at High Ercall was purchased by Australian pilot Geoff Wikner who used the plane to fly home. Wikner also charged a number of passengers to embark on the flight with him. This marked the first post-war commercial flight between the United Kingdom and Australia.[3]

The airbase closed in 1965.[3]

Between the 1960s and 1990s, the site was the Multi-Occupational Training and Education Centre (MOTEC) which provided training for workers including HGV drivers and mechanics and hosted the RTITB National Junior Mechanic Competition 1987.

The majority of the runways have been removed leaving only small tracks however nine hangars still are present spread out over the site and near a local village. A local Wartime Aircraft Recovery Group also occupies a section of the site.[2]

In 2002 it was proposed to build a centre for asylum seekers on the site.[12]

In 2014 the site was sold to the Greenhous Group who later successfully applied to the council to store new cars there before they were sold on the UK market.[13][14]

See also



  1. "RAF High Ercall, Shropshire". Derelict Places. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  2. "RAF High Ercall". English Heritage - Pastscape. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  3. Neal, Toby (26 September 2018). "Haunting images of High Ercall's wartime airfield revealed". Shropshire Star. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  4. Jefford 2001, p. 38.
  5. Jefford 2001, p. 46.
  6. Jefford 2001, p. 77.
  7. Jefford 2001, p. 79.
  8. Jefford 2001, p. 83.
  9. Jefford 2001, p. 96.
  10. "High Ercall". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  11. Sturtivant 2007, pp. 198–206.
  12. BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2040324.stm
  13. Shropshire Star, http://www.shropshirestar.com/shropshire-business/2014/03/11/for-sale-former-shropshire-military-base-where-time-stands-still/
  14. "50 jobs to be created as former RAF base near Telford will store cars". Shropshire Star (15, 764). 19 May 2016. p. 1.


  • Jefford, C.G. RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Sturtivant, R. RAF Flying Training and Support Units since 1912. Air Britain, 2007. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.
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