Over Christmas I read Air War Over East Yorkshire, an interesting book by Paul Bright about WWII aviation in the East Riding.
It avoids the dryness of a lot of military books, and unusually has a fair amount of data about the Luftwaffe as well as the Allied forces. It discusses the radar stations in the area, including RAF Staxton Wold, possibly the oldest active radar site and with a history as an early warning site stretching back pretty much forever.
Air War Over East Yorkshire
In most accounts of the air war over Britain in summer 1940, the events over East Yorkshire are mentioned only in passing, yet it was there, on 20 August, that the first enemy aircraft fell to the guns of a Polish fighter squadron in the RAF, less than a mile from where these words are being written. It was also where the ‘north-east town’, as Hull was identified in the news bulletins of the day, suffered its prolonged agony under the bombs of the Luftwaffe. Indeed, the very last British civilians to die as a direct result of Luftwaffe bombs in World War II were killed in Hull on 17 March 1945. As the home of much of the RAF’s night-bombing force, East Yorkshire was also frequently the scene of Luftwaffe night intruder raids. This book, based on years of in-depth research into primary sources, personal accounts and experiences, reveals many new facts and gives long-overdue recognition to the events and people who fought, lived and all too often, died, in East Yorkshire during 1939-1945.
Paul Bright, now a retired history teacher, was born in Hunmanby, then a part of East Yorkshire, and as a schoolboy witnessed at firsthand quite a few of the events described in this book. His father was an auxiliary fireman in Hunmanby who participated in the response to many of the air attacks and their aftermath. Other members of his family endured the Blitz in Hull, consequently he is able to write about the period from personal experience as well as from the perspective of the dispassionate historian. He lives in Filey.
Source: Flight Recorder Publications