Site 11. C Type Hangars

During the Second World War, RAF Wick was equipped with four massive ‘Austerity C1 Type’ Hangars, which were built to allow maintenance of the various different aircraft types that were stationed at the airfield throughout the conflict.

The camouflage applied to the hangars at RAF Wick known as Hangars A, B, C, and D, was designed to prevent detection of the airfield by enemy aircraft, and in general the camouflage worked relatively well.

RAF Wick - 'A' Hangar
RAF Wick – ‘A’ Hangar

A K/Q (K – daylight, Q – night time) decoy site was set up as RAF Sarclet, to the south of Wick, to trick the enemy into thinking it was RAF Wick and was bombed on numerous occasions. The decoy site and camouflaged hangars did not however offer complete protection for the airfield, and it too was bombed several times. A Lockheed Hudson was destroyed and one of the hangars damaged during a bombing raid on the 26th october 1940, but the most significant damage caused to the airfield occurred on the 4th June 1941 when a single Junkers Ju88 dropped three 500lb bombs on C Hangar. The raid resulted in the destruction of the hangar along with an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V bomber of 612 Squadron, and further damage to three other Whitleys.

Lockheed Hudson undergoing an engine change
A Lockheed Hudson undergoing a starboard engine change

In the 1950s the burnt out remains of Hangar C, as well as Hangar D were pulled down, and all that remains today are A and B. Today Hangar B is privately owned and is used for storing grain and agricultural equipment. However, Hangar A was refurbished in the 1980s and is used by the airport for civil aircraft. The current airport terminal stands on the former site of the burnt out Hangar C, and the main terminal carpark occupies the space where Hangar D once stood.

The burnt out remains of Hangar C that was hit in a bombing raid in 1941 being demolished in the 1950s
The burnt out remains of Hangar C that was hit in a bombing raid in 1941 being demolished in the 1950s.
Austerity C1 Type hangars at RAF Wick
The four massive Austerity C1 Type hangars at RAF Wick at the end of the Second World War.  To the far right is Hangar A with, B in the middle, the bomb damaged Hangar C is on the far left, and D is at the rear.