Royal Air Force

RAF Millom in World War II

Discover the effort from the RAF of Millom and Haverigg to help our cause in World War II.

In January 1941 RAF Millom opened as No2 Bombing and Gunnery school later to become No2 Air Observer School which was to then be re designated No 2 Observer advanced Flying Unit  and remain in that role until the station closed in 1945.

Although RAF Millom was essentially a training airfield it did not escape the horrors of World War II. Many lives were lost both in the air and on the ground – the 17 graves in St Luke’s churchyard, Haverigg serve as testament to this.

Two young visitors enjoy learning about RAF Millom

After a period of care and maintenance the airfield opened again in 1953 as No 1 Officer Cadet Training Unit closing after a year to be then used by various Army units until the site became HMP Haverigg, a role it still fulfils to the present day.

In 1992 Prison Officer John Nixon opened the RAF Millom museum and established an annual reunion for ex RAF Millom personnel which was attended each year by over 300 veterans from the UK and overseas and resulted in a wonderful collection of memories and photographs. In addition to this a museum team recovered many artefacts from crash sites in the surrounding mountains and Southern Scotland providing the south of our County with a well established museum with friends and supporters all over the world.

In 2006 John Nixon handed control of the Museum to a community team. The museum closed in 2010.

Following John Nixon’s joining our team we are proud to announce that after many hours of work phase one of the return of the RAF Millom museum collection is now in place.

During the wartime years RAF Millom was the birthplace  of the RAF mountain rescue service we know and admire today. Our museum maintains very strong links with the RAF Mountain rescue association and input from them will be included as development of our local RAF displays enter phase two including photographs and artefacts from RAF Cark and RAF Walney (to be on site by autumn 2015) so come along and celebrate with us South Cumbria’s aviation heritage.

Read about the experiences of those stationed in Millom from numerous letters, diaries, accounts etc written at that time.

See the Spitfire DVD. Learn about the role of the Spitfire in the war and listen to the tunes popular at that time.