of the most notable events at the end of the war was when
the in late November 1918 the rigid and non rigid fleet
photographed and filmed the surrendered German fleet anchored
in the Firth of Forth, before the ships proceeded to Scapa
Flow. Unlike many other RNAS stations, the rigid and non
rigid airship fleet continued airship operations and flying
in to 1919, whereas many other bases were closed down after
hostilities were ceased.
the end of 1918, East Fortune had had six operational airships,
the R29, NS.7 & NS 8, Coastal C*3 and C*8 and the smaller
Submarine Scout SSZ 60.
the arrival of the R34 from Inchinnan, in March 1919, the
ship later made a flight over Germany armed with machine
guns as a statement of British air superiority, at this
point, the Germans had still not signed the Treaty of Versailles.
In July of 1919, the R34 left East Fortune for its
transatlantic voyage, only to be ordered to return to Pulham
in Norfolk, instead of East Fortune.
after the success of the R34s record breaking double
crossing of the Atlantic, came the unexpected announcement
that the the East Fortune base would be closed. The R29
which was based there, was scrapped in the shed in October
1919. There was hostility in Scotland as it was at the time
loosing its only airship base, and questions were
raised in the national press, and in the Houses of Parliament.
final death knell came for East Fortune on 4th February
1920, the R34 and NS7 were the last airships to leave the
base. A care and maintenance detachment remained on the
site continuing the radio station operations and maintenance.
The Airship sheds were used for storage and also recycling
of ammunition. After this work was completed, the work began
on dismantling the 3 sheds.
here for a link
to a video showing the demolishion of the sheds
The land of the airfield was sold off and the base buildings
were later used as established a tuberculosis hospital.
East Fortune site was later used in 1940 was requisitioned
as a satellite aerodrome for RAF Drem. The aerodrome was
later closed down after the Second World War. The land was
later returned to agriculture, but the buildings on the
south side of the airfield were preserved and are now the
home of the Museum of Flight.