Observation post – Burgh by Sands

Memories of two conflicts are to be found on the salt marshes near to a small village called Burgh by Sands in North Cumbria.

Edward 1 Monument. In the background can be seen the observation post.

Edward 1 Monument. In the background can be seen the observation post.

King Edward I is remembered in the monument most people associate with this area however a few hundred meters to the north is a monument to more recent conflict, World War II.

The concrete bunker with it’s roof covered with soil and grass was an observation post for a firing range used by the RAF based at RAF Crosby-on-Eden.

Observation Post overlooking Burgh Marshes

Observation Post overlooking Burgh Marshes

This range stretched from Glasson in the west, through Drumburgh, and over to Burgh-by-Sands in the east

No 9 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit, were based at the airport now known as Carlisle Airport.

The airfield to the north east of Carlisle was, during WWII, the home to a number of training units and from late 1944 transport command, who flew Dakota aircraft.


Can you add to the history of this building, where you stationed at it? Let us know via the comments box below or get intouch via the contact us tab above.

More information about No 9 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit,
based at Crosby-on-Eden in Cumbria

Dover War Memorial Project – Former trainees at the unit

Details about the former RAF Crosby on Eden site

  • No 59 Operational Training Unit (20 Feb 1941 – 10 Aug 1942)
  • No 1383 (Transport) Conversion Unit (1 Aug 1945 – 6 Aug 1946)
  • Sub-site, No 14 Maintenance Unit (1 Apr 1952 – xxx xxxx)

Control Towers Website:

  • 03/41 to 08/42, 59 OTU training day fighter pilots on Hurricanes, moved to Milfield.
  • 08/42 to 08/44, 9 OTU, 17 Group Coastal Command, training long-range fighter crews. Beaufort and Beaufighter Conversion Sqns also air firing and night flying Sqns.
  • 08/44 to 05/46, 109 OTU, Transport Command with Dakotas. Renamed 1383 TCU 01/08/45.
  • /1946 to /1947, British European Airways flights to Ronaldsway and Belfast.
  • Purchased by Carlisle Council 1960 and reopened as Carlisle airport.

Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve) (RAF(VR)) Officers 1939-1945

  • Leonard Hugh Bone – 9 Operational Training Unit RAF, Crosby on Eden (on Beaufighters) More details

214 (Federated Malay States) Squadron Royal Air Force

All about one of the Dakota aircraft that passed through the air training unit

The relation between the Douglas C47 Dakota and the Belgian military aviation can be traced back to october 1944 when a group of Belgian pilots were detached to the Royal Air Force training squadrons based at Welford and Crosby-on-Eden for flight training.

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