YOU have recently published two letters on the subject of the test flying of military gliders in Yorkshire during the Second World War, but neither author got the story correct.

The test flying of troop-carrying gliders and other weird contraptions that included a flying Jeep was the responsibility of the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment based at Sherburn in Elmet.

However, due to that airfield not having concrete runways at that time the flight testing of heavier gliders was carried out at neighbouring Burn from July to November 1943.

I can find no evidence of this ever being employed.

There was indeed a wartime "decoy airfield" near Sutton Bank but this was located above Lake Gormire, many hundreds of yards north of the gliding club site near the White Horse.

Another of Yorkshire's indirect contributions to the success of the D-Day landings, and subsequent advances into France, was the testing of a metal mesh temporary runway that was pinned to the surface of Huggate Wold in October 1943.

Mustang fighter aircraft were flown over from Hutton Cranswick near Driffield to test the suitability of this 1,500 yard airstrip.

Similar strips, known as advanced landing grounds, would be created at scores of locations in the south of England and later in France, thus enabling the concentration of fighters to protect the land forces that otherwise would not have been possible in such vast numbers.

Guy Jefferson,

Airfield historian,

Ings View, York.

Updated: 12:06 Monday, June 14, 2004