A comprehensive history of the Second World War Fighter Command airfield at RAF Drem located near Edinburgh. It was one of Scotland's most important airfields in this conflict. Its predecessor, the Royal Flying Corps Gullane air station is included in the account.
When war broke out in 1939 among the first targets attacked by the Luftwaffe was the Royal Navy base at Rosyth. The Spitfires at RAF Drem were scrambled to protect this vital installation and were engaged in some of the first air battles over Britain. The exploits of its pilots received much attention from the press at the time.
By mid-1940, much of the fighting had gravitated to the south of England. Spitfires and Hurricanes based at Drem would, however, continue to patrol the skies over the Firth of Forth until the end of the war. Night fighter squadrons were also based here, first flying the Blenheim and later the Mosquito.
Appropriately the Drem lighting system for assisting the landing of aircraft at nightwas invented here. The Fleet Air Arm also had a presence at RAF Drem, with a squadron for the training of night fighter pilots. The airfield ended the war on a high note when three white painted Ju 52s arrived with German generals to surrender their forces in Norway.
Like many other military airfields, Drem closed shortly after the end of hostilities and the runways were ploughed up and returned to agriculture.