A Detailed History of RAF Manston 1945-1999


Having been classified by the Air Ministry as a ‘Master Diversion’ airfield, RAF Manston was for many years open twenty-four hours a day and available to both civil and military aircraft 365 days a year. It was also later equipped with the Pyrene foam system, which both civil and military aircraft could use when they had problems with their undercarriage: there is no doubt that the foam carpet saved many lives. The most spectacular occasion that it was used was on 20 April 1967 when a British Eagle Britannia made a complete wheels-up landing. It is claimed that Manston was the only station to serve in every command of the RAF and until its closure in 1999; it probably dealt with more diverse types of aircraft than any other station. During its eighty-three years as a Royal Naval/ RAF airfield, it played host to the Sopwith Camel, Spitfire, Bf 109, He 111, B-29, B-47, Tu-104, F-84 and Concorde, plus many other types that are too numerous to mention.


JOE BAMFORD joined the RAF as an assistant air traffic controller and served at Manston and Cyprus; he later set up The Salford Lancaster Memorial Appeal.

JOHN WILLIAMS joined the Army and served for nine years with the Royal Ordinance Corps. Williams has been involved with a number of local history organisations, including the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Building at Manston.

PETER GALLAGHER worked for British Telecom and was called up for National Service where he joined the Royal Signals Regiment in Germany.


  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Fonthill Media
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781557640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781557648
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23.5 cm

Details from https://www.fonthill.media/products/a-detailed-history-of-raf-manston-1945-1999

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