Tiree Aerodrome in 1944
Photograph of Tiree Aerodrome in 1944.
Courtesy of Sergeant Neil Owen
The origins of the Tiree airfield go back to 1934 when Midland and Scottish Airways selected a grass landing site on the Reef. A rental dispute delayed until 1937 the start of air services which continued to operate spasmodically during World War II.
The Reef was requisitioned by the Ministry of War in 1940 to provide air cover for the convoys routed from the North Sea to the Irish Channel. Contractors Melville, Dundas & Whitson and Tawse of Aberdeen were among those involved in building the airstrip, roads and living quarters for the RAF base.
Labourers were brought in from Ireland and the mainland, including prisoners from several Scottish jails. Quarries at Baugh and Balephetrish were blasted out and the ruins of the Glassary seaweed factory in Sandaig and the storehouse on Scarinish jetty were demolished and used as hardcore.
Aerial photograph of Tiree Aerodrome, 1944.
Aerial view of Tiree Aerodrome taken in 1944 showing erosion.