The Baedeker Raid on York

At RAF Clifton

The Commanding Officer of RAF Station Clifton recorded that the Guardroom received a direct hit and seven RAF Clifton airmen were killed and seven wounded. In addition, two airmen from 4 Squadron were wounded.



The ORB of RAF Clifton also records that bombs damaged a significant number of buildings.
Click
here for a larger version in a new window.



The RAF Clifton Guardroom, situated by the main gate was probably something like this......the photograph above shows the old Guard Room at RAF Wick.
(photo credit: www.caithness.org)




The Guardroom and Fire Party building is No:16 next to the main gates and near the Station Headquarters (41a).
Map courtesy of Dave Ruddock (York Past & Present Facebook page).




Looking towards the entrance today (2015). The main gate is on the LHS by the white/silver vehicles and the Guardroom was on the right of the picture close to the dark coloured truck.

4 Squadron who were based at RAF Clifton record slightly different figures for the numbers of wounded.



From the Operational Record Book of 4 Squadron RAF who were based at RAF Clifton.

No:87 Maintenance Unit reported the raid in their ORB and reported that they suffered no casualties and no damage.



The ORB of No:87 MU

No:4 Delivery Unit made no mention of the air raid.

The CO of RAF Station Clifton reported that all personnel had "conducted themselves very well and played a considerable part in the rescue work". He records that seven bombs landed on the aerodrome; five medium and two very large. They left craters 100ft wide and one, 50ft deep. These were filled in by the evening of the next day.
He states that three airmen have been recommended for the George Medal for "conspicuous courage and devotion to duty."
Two further Station staff were to receive a citation in Command Routine Orders for "excellent work".



Click this link to view a large version of the image and a transcript of the handwritten comments.
 



This photograph is dated 29.4.42 at 1255hrs.......just a few hours after the raid.
Image via the "Clifton Without Parish Council" website.

The airfield is at the top of the photograph and several bomb craters can be seen.



The photograph was taken by a No.4 Sqn Lysander (V9587) flown by P/Os Frost and Eyre.

Sadly, a RAF Bomb Disposal Officer was killed later that morning when an unexploded bomb went off.



This photograph (from a similar angle but closer view) was taken in 1956 and shows the site of the Guardroom (circled).
Map courtesy of Dave Ruddock (York Past & Present Facebook page).


In a report on the effect of the raid on the Handley Page factory the numbers of people absent or missing two days after the raid was 65. It also comments on people's reaction to the raid. Some workers in the factory were drafted in from towns that had more experience of air-raids and these workers were more sanguine about the experience. Amongst the local workers it noted, "abnormal behaviour since the raid such as bursts of weeping, even from men, over their work."



The section of the report describing the effects of the raid on the Handley Page factory.
Document copyright of the National Archives.


Images of RAF Clifton are very difficult to locate. The picture below, courtesy of Robert Truman's website Control Towers, shows RAF Clifton in 1945. The buildings in the background are the Handley Page factory (a Halifax can be seen outside the LHS hanger).



ORB extracts are copyright of the National Archives.