Project highlights one of WW2's best kept secrets

Silloth Tourism Action Group want to preserve Silloth Airfield for future generations, and highlight the part the seaside town played during the war. During WW2 thousands of American, Canadian and British pilots were trained there.

Airfield preserved for its wartime past

It starred in the opening sequence of the famous film The Dambusters, and was responsible for training thousands of pilots during the Second World War.

Now a local action group fighting to preserve the airfield at Silloth in West Cumbria has received a grant, ensuring the role the town played during the war won't be forgotten.

Paul Crone has this report:

Many lost their lives training for the war

Silloth Airfield opened in 1939 and trained thousands of servicemen during the Second World War.

So many accidents occurred over Solway Bay, it became known as 'Hudson Bay', after the Hudson planes that were notoriously difficult to fly.

Not far from the runway is a cemetery for those who lost their lives training for war.

Lawrence Marshall has vivid memories of living next to the airfield during the war:

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Silloth Airfield trained thousands during WW2

The Hudson planes were notoriously hard to fly Credit: Gordon Akitt

A project to highlight one of the best kept secrets of the Second World War has been launched in West Cumbria.

Silloth Airfield opened in 1939 and trained thousands of American, Canadian and British pilots to fly fighters and bombers during the war.

Dozens lost their lives during their training Credit: Gordon Akitt

The Silloth Tourism Action Group has received a Heritage Lottery Grant to preserve the site for future generations, and to highlight the part the seaside town played during the war.

Training the pilots, navigators and wireless operators to fly the notoriously difficult Hudson planes came at cost.

In the cemetery, just a few hundreds yards from the end of the runway, are the graves of dozens of aircrew who lost their lives training for war.

The Silloth Tourism Action Group would like people to get involved Credit: Gordon Akitt

It’s hoped many other residents will come forward to assist in the project with memories and photos of the town’s wartime years.