Back to top
After an original idea by Paul Freeman.
First published 7 Nov 2010. This collection of airfields is © 2010 - 2018 RonaldV
uk

Millisle

25-12-2011


656

54°36'50"N005°35'00"W

runway: 01/19 - 1800x45m - concrete (uncompleted)
runway: 07/25 - ....x45m - concrete (uncompleted)
runway: 14/32 - ....x45m - concrete (uncompleted)

Millisle airfield (to be known as RAF Millisle, also known as Killaughey or Killaghy airfield) was a planned airfield 22 kilometers east of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Construction of the airfield had already begun when the entire project was cancelled. According to AirfieldInformationExchange the airfield was planned to become a USAAF B-29 bomber base. While I could not get the B-29s confirmed on line, it is certain it was to become a USAAF bomber airfield.
Building materials were delivered by tractor and trailer or 50 trucks. When the Air Ministry ordered Sunday working, the local Presbyterians held a series of prayer meetings. The runway under construction began to show undulations on the north side, but likely that was not caused by devine intervention. Construction of the runway had begun directly on top of boggy grassland.
Local houses and farms were blown up to make room for the new airfield. Only one survived, because it was in use as an office by the construction company. In late 1944 a second house was blown up only one day before construction was halted.

millisle-killaughey-1970.jpg
Ca. 1970 view of the airfield from a Tiger Moth 'in the circuit' (Archie Lindsay, via AirfieldInformationExchange).

After the war the extensive buildings on the north side of airfield (Donaghadee Rd) were used by farmers and later small businesses. The WAAF accomodation and post office were small buildings off to the west (Gransha Rd) and demolished after the war. Although the airfield was never completed, the runway that was built was used severeal times after the war. On AirfieldInformationExchange the crash of an Auster, an emergency landing and several landings of Tiger Moths until circa 1970 are described. Today the runway is on private property, and thus not accessible, although it is possible to see it up close. A local road crosses the runway about midway.
On aerial photography the beginnings of the other two runways can still be recognised on the northern half of the runway. The northern half is the only part that is still at its original width (45m/50yds). To the west of it the remaining barracks, a platform and small sections of taxiways can be found. These are still in used with local small businesses. Millisle holds the dubious distinction of being the only uncompleted airfield of World War II in the UK.

millisle2010.jpg
Overview of Millisle airfield in 2010 (Google earth)

millisle-intersection2010.jpg
Enlargement of the photo above, showing the nearly completed runway 01/19 and two beginnings of the other two planned runways (Google Earth).

millisle-technical2010-flashearth.jpg
Another enlargement showing the technical site, with a platform and part of a taxiway (FlashEarth).



Related airfields Millisle

Ballyhalbert
54°29'49"N 005°28'19"WRunway: ../.. - ...meters/...feet - tarmacRunway: ../.. -...
Long Kesh
54°29′22″N 006°06′16″WRunway: ../.. - ...x...m -...
Kirkistown
54°27'18"N 005°27'57"WRunway:  04/22 - 1189x46m - asphaltRunway:  10/28 -...