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South Shields Seaplane Base

Defending the skies of the north east

Type: Airfield

The seaplane base was established in South Shields during the summer of 1916. The base was designated a depot for the receipt and preparation of seaplanes. As such it was at an advantageous distance between Killingholme, Lincolnshire and bases in Scotland to be used as a stopping off and re-fuelling point. Although its primary function was the maintenance of seaplanes a number of missions were also flown from the base.

Imperial War Museum recording of Air Vice-Marshal Christopher Neil Hope Bilney who served at the South Shields seaplane base as a young flying officer in the Royal Naval Air Service:
Reel 6, 14 minutes

Civil Parish: South Shields

Contributed by Durham County Record Office