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