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RAF Ballyhalbert. Traditional Geocache

This cache has been archived.

Croaghan: Hi,

There has been no response from the cache owner so I'm Archiving this cache.

In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to reactivate it. If you wish to do so please contact me via my profile and quote the cache name and GC Code for the cache so I know which one you are referring to.

If you are sending me an email through my profile please make sure you tick the box to send a copy of your email address. If you don't then I won't be able to reply.

Please be aware that reactivation is not guaranteed and will depend on individual circumstances.

Many thanks,


Croaghan - Community Volunteer Reviewer for Geocaching HQ (Ireland)

Hidden : 12/17/2012
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

Geocaching is an opportunity to see new sites and learn new things.

I try, I don't always succeed, but I try to set Caches in places that have a view, have an historical element, or are of personal significance to me (The "Why Would You Hide One There" series excepted, they're hidden for the sake of hiding!)

Unless it's just about numbers or FTFs, finding this Cache in the dark is pointless!!


When the Second World War broke out, there were 3 airfields in Northern Ireland. Ballyhalbert was one of around 23 new sites chosen to be RAF Airfields. One of the reasons for building airfields in Northern Ireland was a contingency plan that, in the event that Hitler invaded England, the RAF would fight the war from Northern Ireland.
Construction at Ballyhalbert began in 1940 and the Windmill Stump at Clydesburn was demolished during the process. The airfield was officially opened on 28th June 1941.
Over the years Ballyhalbert saw service from RAF, WAAF and Royal Navy personnel. Servicemen from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Amercia and Poland also saw duty at Ballyhalbert. A short distance away from Ballyhalbert Airfield in two local Churchyards lie Canadian, Australian and Polish men who died whilst serving at Ballyhalbert.

One important event that happened during the lifetime of the airfield was on 19th May 1944 when General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Forces visited the station en route for RAF Bovington. General Eisenhower later went on to become President of America in 1953.
The primary weapon at RAF Ballyhalbert was the Supermarine Spitfire. The base provided local protection from Luftwaffe raids on Belfast and the rest of the province. Other aircraft operated from the base were the Hawker Hurricane, Bristol Beaufighter, P-51 Mustang and the Paul Defiant Night Fighter.
Polish pilots of 315 Sqn posing on and in front of one of their Spitfires

130 Sqn Spitfires at Ballyhalbert in spring of 1943

130 Sqn Spitfires at Ballyhalbert in spring of 1943

 Panorama of the airfield during the stay of 315 (Polish) Sqn

It seems however, there were lighter moments...

After the final RAF unit (1494TT Flight) departed the airfield in April 1945, Ballyhalbert was turned over to the Admiralty to become a Royal Navy Air Station. The RAFs 1402 Met Flight stayed behind as a tennant unit. On 17 July the airfield was commissioned as HMS Corncrake. The Admiralty decommissioned the field on 13 November however. The airfield was returned to the RAF, more specifically Coastal Command, but remained on Care and Maintenance.

It was finally sold off at an auction in March 1960 and for years the airfield was in use as a recreational caravan park. The airfield has been torn up for housing development and little of the original airfield is left.
The view from GZ is hardly spectacular, but the Control Tower is still standing (Just) and there are various other buildings still standing.
My opinion.......These wartime remains should be preserved as monuments to those who served.


As I said at the start, if it's just about FTFs and Smileys on a map, this is a simple Cache and Dash. Why not take your time, have a nosey about, enjoy the Geocaching experience.



Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Ab fcrrqyvzvgf sbe Fcvgsverf!!

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)