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Royal Air Force Woodvale, near Formby in Merseyside, is currently home to flying units providing flying training to future University Air Squadron students and giving air experience flights to Air Cadet Organisations within the North West.
It is also home to 611 (West Lancashire) Squadron RAuxAF who meet there to conduct regular training.
Following previous service with the Royal Navy Wing Commander Hooton transferred to the Royal Air Force in 2004. On completion of a number of operational tours he undertook training at the Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) to become a Qualified Helicopter Instructor in 2007. On promotion to Squadron Leader he completed a staff tour at DHFS as Staff Officer 2 Training Policy. Remaining with DHFS he took command of 60 (Reserve) Squadron in 2011. During this time he was responsible for providing support to Op Olympics in 2012.
He retired from full time service in 2014. However, on completion of a Qualified Flying Instructor Course he took command of Number 10 Air Experience Flight here at RAF Woodvale.
In 2016 he was selected for the new post of University Air Squadrons Wing Commander North and Station Commander RAF Woodvale.
Royal Air Force Woodvale
1941 - Station opened with 308 (Krakowski) Squadron being the first flying unit.
1945 - Station closed at the end of the War after acting briefly as a Royal Naval Air Station.
1946 - Re-opened with 611 Squadron RAuxAF flying Spitfires, and later Gloster Meteors.
1957 - Saw the last operational RAF Spitfire flight as part of the meteorological unit based there.
2006 - 631 Volunteer Gliding Squadron moved to the Station.
2018 - 631 Volunteer Gliding Squadron Disbanded and reformed as 631 Aerospace Ground Training Squadron
RAF Woodvale was opened in 1941 as a night fighter station for the defence of Liverpool and the docks there after the Liverpool blitz in May. The station was used as a rest area for fighter squadrons after being in combat in the south of the UK throughout the war. The Station closed in 1945 after a brief period of use by the Royal Navy. In 1946 Spitfires of 611 Squadron reopened the airfield and the squadron stayed there until it was stood down in 1957. Since 1971, the Station's role has been largely training, with 611 reforming there in 2013.
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