Seven miles due north from the centre of York in the parish of Sutton-on-the-Forest, this airfield was built to the east of the B1363 road to Helmsley, largely on the moor for which it was named. Built 1941-42, the concrete runways were main 17-35 at 1,610 yards, 04-22 at 1,540 yards and 08-26 at 1,300 yards. Before the airfield was completed runway 17-35 was extended to 1,900 yards at the 35 end and 08-26 to 1,430 yards on the end of 26. The encircling perimeter track led to 36 pan type hardstandings although none were situated on the western side where the technical site was built. A T2 hangar lay just north of runway head 04 and another on the opposite side of the airfield midway between runway heads 35 and 26. A B1 hangar was erected on the north side between runway heads 17 and 22. The camp was to the west consisting of fourteen dispersed sites for accommodating a maximum 2,094 males and 407 females.
First opened as a No. 4 Group station, No. 158 Squadron, in the process of converting to Halifaxes, moved in from Driffield in early June 1942. The squadron flew the first raid from East Moor on the night of June 25, also its first with the Halifax. In October No. 158 left East Moor for Rufforth as part of the plan to establish an all-Canadian bomber group in the area north of York. To this end, No. 429 Squadron, RCAF, was formed at East Moor early in November, although for the time being it was under No. 4 Group. Equipped with Wellingtons, it made its first raid on the night of January 26/27, 1943 and continued operations from East Moor until early August when it transferred to Leeming. The squadron lost 30 Wellingtons on operations while at East Moor.
In May 1943, No. 1679 Heavy Conversion Unit was formed at East Moor to provide crew training on the radial-engined Lancaster II, which was to equip three of the Canadian squadrons. No. 1679 HCU departed in December that year for Wombleton.
No. 432 Squadron had arrived in September 1943 to convert to the Mk II Lancaster, flying its first raid with this version from East Moor on November 26/27. However, the supply of Lancaster IIs was limited and in February these were exchanged for similarly powered Halifax IIIs.
In late July 1944, No. 415 Squadron was transferred from Coastal Command to No. 6 Group and bomber operations at East Moor. Equipped with Halifaxes, it carried out its first raid from the station on July 28/29. There were no further changes of occupation during hostilities, Nos. 415 and 432 Squadrons continuing on bombing operations until April 25, 1945. No. 415 flew 104 raids from East Moor losing 20 Halifaxes and No. 432 carried out 183 missions losing 10 Lancasters and 47 Halifaxes. Both squadrons were reduced and disbanded during May 1945. Total operational losses from East Moor, including crashes in the UK, amounted to 107 aircraft. Ten were Lancasters, 67 Halifaxes and 30 Wellingtons.
No. 54 OTU with Mosquito night fighters came to East Moor in May 1945 and remained for a year before finally moving to Leeming. East Moor was closed to flying in June 1946 and thereafter left to decay. The hangars were sold and removed in the `sixties and most of the domestic site buildings demolished. A decade later the runways were being broken up apart from some sections retained as bases for poultry houses. Agriculture has now reclaimed practically all the airfield, the former technical site being occupied as a gypsy encampment for several years but now replaced by a caravan park and light industrial estate.