Against All Odds: Yorkshire WW2 airbase roars back to life

The Yorkshire Air Museum came alive this weekend as specially invited re-enactors brought the site to life, recreating the atmosphere of an operational wartime airbase.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
The Yorkshire Air Museum came alive this weekend as specially invited re-enactors brought the site to life, recreating the atmosphere of an operational wartime airbase. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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A SOARING Spitfire fly-past saw a small corner of North Yorkshire’s wartime history roar back into life.

During the Second World War RAF Elvington, near York, played host to French air crews who played a major role in the bombing offensive against Germany.

And this weekend hundreds of visitors flocked to the Yorkshire Air Museum as its operational wartime base history was recreated.

Generations of families visited the site to catch a glimpse of the museum’s unique collection as part of the Against All Odds War Weekend.

The site’s Halifax Bomber, famously named “Friday the 13th”, which has rarely been seen outdoors for a public event was among the star attractions on display.

The RAF at War Association, based in Kent, fielded a full Halifax air and ground crew and visitors were given the chance to look at displays of kit and weapons with members of the Normandy Arnhem Society on hand to explain their significance.

Dave Hebden from Skipton. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Dave Hebden from Skipton. Picture Bruce Rollinson

And visitors, who donned authentic wartime clothing, looked to the skies on Saturday as a Spitfire circled the site.

RAF Elvington was originally a grass airfield but in the early 1940s it was entirely reconstructed.

During the Second World War it played host to French air crews who played a major role in the bombing offensive against Germany.

French airmen were based at RAF Elvington, near York, from 1944, with the base becoming host to two French squadrons called 346 Guyenne and 347 Tunisie, which went on to fly sorties deep into Nazi territory. Many pilots were to lose their lives in the conflict.

1940's singing group the Seatones. Picture Bruce Rollinson

1940's singing group the Seatones. Picture Bruce Rollinson

RAF Elvington was closed by the authorities in March 1992 and the former airfield it was later sold by the Ministry of Defence.

The Yorkshire Air Museum came alive this weekend as specially invited re-enactors brought the site to life, recreating the atmosphere of an operational wartime airbase.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

The Yorkshire Air Museum came alive this weekend as specially invited re-enactors brought the site to life, recreating the atmosphere of an operational wartime airbase. Picture Bruce Rollinson