Opened in 1941 as RAF Ballykelly as a Coastal Command base. Runway extended in 1943 but closed at the end of WWII in 1945. In 1947 it was re-opened with the RAF Joint Anti-Submarine School training flight. It closed again briefly in 1951 to allow works to be carried out for the arrival of the Shackleton in 1952. Further work was carried out in 1962 to prepare for the arrival of displaced RN units, following closure of nearby RNAS Eglinton. It was known by the RN as HMS Sealion.
In 1963 the runway was again extended and scramble platforms near the runway ends were added for potential V-Bomber dispersal. In 1964/65 a large hanger and workshops were completed to house Shackletons under cover. In Jan 1968, the RAF announced the base was to close and after a delay due to the late introduction of the Nimrod to the RAF inventory, the last Shackleton left RAF Ballykelly on 31 Mar 1971. The base was handed over to the British Army on 2 Jun 1971, when it re-opened as Shackleton Barracks. Since then the Army has improved facilities and accommodation and it is now an important helicopter base.
|Units||Login to Edit|
|Years||Rotary Wing Aircraft Unit||bold : Current Model|
normal: Unit no longer at this base
|1982/91||655 squadron||Lynx 1991/now |
SA341B Gazelle AH.1 1982/91
|1963/71||819 squadron||sea king 1971/78 |