RAF Acklington: Guardian of the Northern Skies

Author(s): Malcolm Fife 

ISBN: 9781781556221
$17.00 $25.00
A comprehensive history of one of northern England’s most important fighter fields during the Second World War.
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  • Based on original and unpublished records and documentation

  • Superbly illustrated with many photographs never seen in print

  • Appendix with detailed list of all units based at RAF Acklington

At the beginning of the Second World War, RAF Acklington was the most important fighter station in north-east England. It initially started life in 1938 as a training base for RAF aircrews but with the outbreak of hostilities against Germany, it was given the role of protecting the skies over Newcastle and its important industrial heartland.

Its Spitfires and Hurricanes were soon in action against Luftwaffe bombers and many of the earliest raids of the war took place over this part of Britain. Due to the importance of this region with its major ports and industries, it continued to attract the attention of enemy bombers long after the Battle of Britain had been won.

By late 1940, most attacks took place after dark and RAF Acklington became the host for night fighter squadrons. Unlike many military airfields, it did not close when hostilities ceased. Initially, it reverted to its training role but in 1957, it again became the base for fighter aircraft. The airfield spent its last years as 6 Flying Training School but due to defence cuts, it became surplus to requirements and closed completely by the early 1970s.

BOOK ISBN 9781781556221
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 288 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 106 black-and-white photographs



Malcolm Fife is a professional photographer with a strong interest in history. His first published articles were illustrated features for the Scots Magazine. This was followed by his book The Nor Loch-Scotland's Lost Loch, a history of the body of water that once existed underneath Edinburgh Castle. After this, he wrote a number of publications on individual airfield histories followed by an account of Scottish aerodromes in the First World War. British Airship Bases of the Twentieth Century is Malcolm Fife's first book for Fonthill Media.