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Speke

Military site : airfield

Speke served as a reception centre for the assembly of Lockheed aircraft types from USA 1938-44, and as despatch centre for the return from UK of Eighth Air Force and Ninth Air Force fighters in 1945. The current runway for the Liverpool John Lennon Airport is located to the south of the original Speke airfield.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

A Second World War military airfield is visible as a structure on air photographs. RAF vertical photography of 1940 shows the site to be an open field. 1943 oblique RAF photographs show a runway has been constructed. Elements of the airfield are still extant on the latest 1984 Ordnance Survey vertical photography.

A civil airport, opened in 1930 and used for both civil and military purposes in World War Two. Scheduled flights from Speke began in 1930, there was an official opening ceremony in 1933. Airport buildings were built in the late 1930s, The original terminal and aircraft hangars are extant but now converted to other uses (please see SJ 48 SW 15 and SJ 48 SW 16 and SJ 48 SW 26 for further details). During World War Two military aircraft were produced at Speke in the Rootes and Lockheed aircraft factories at the site. Because of the more intensive use of the airport, three hard runways were laid to deal with larger heavier aircraft. Extra hangars in the form of Bellman and Blister designs were added. The airport was protected by anti-invasion defences, some of which were reportedly extant in 1996. The airport was under the control of the Air Ministry (Department of Civil Aviation) during the conflict. The local authority did not regain control until 1961. In 1966 further new runways were opened to cope with air traffic. In 1986 the old terminal facilities and buildings were closed, with new terminal buildings being constructed on the southern airport site. There was further expansion of the airport's terminal facilities in the mid 1990s and 2002. In 2001 the airport was renamed Liverpool John Lennon airport.

Service

Aircraft

  • 44-14350 'Connie II'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return on bomber escort to Swinemunde, coolant leak caused abandonment Mon, Denmark 12-Mar-45, pilot Maj John D Mcfarlane EVD.

  • 43-6623 'Spare Parts'

    P-51 Mustang

  • DL679

    Master
    Miles Master DL679, assigned to 6th Fighter Wing, 8th AF USAAF. Transferred to 376th Fighter Squadron.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2019 13:40:38 Emily Changes to english heritage description
Sources

Historic England National Monument Record SJ 48 SW 24

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:18 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / David J. Smith. Action Stations 3: Military Airfields of Wales and the North-West (Cambridge, 1981)

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