South Kilduff Royal Flying Corp Airfield 1

Between Balado and Crook of Deven lies the farm of South Kilduff. It was described as a ‘3rd class landing ground’ by the NW Area of the Royal Flying Corps, 46th Wing of No. 77 Home Defence Squadron – one of the home defence squadrons formed in 1916 in response to bombing raids by German Zeppelin airships. No. 77 Squadron was responsible for the defence of the Firth of Forth and the coastline from Berwick-upon-Tweed northwards.

Such landing grounds were created in case of engine failure or if bad weather prevented an aircraft from returning to its main base. When the squadron was flying, the farmer, on whose land the strip lay, was telephoned in order to remove any of his animals that might be grazing on the landing area.

RFC South Kilduff landing strip measured 440 metres by 247 meters (11 hectares). There are no traces of its existence left. The airfield was notified for relinquishment at the end of WW1.

Royal Aircraft Factory, BE2 and BE12 fighters were allocated to RFC 77 Squadron. In 1918, they switched to Avro 504ks. The BE 12 was the single-seat version of the BE 2.  The Avro 504k was a two-seat training aircraft although some were converted for anti-zeppelin work and also converted for night fighting. The Avro 504 was used by 38 countries and more than 10,000 were built until production ended in 1940 in Japan (Yokosuka K2Y).

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