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Declassified: RAF Lissett's New Mission Tackling Climate Change

In its day, RAF Lissett was at the forefront in the fight against fascism but today it's playing an important role in climate change.

To mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force, we have been taking a look at how former RAF bases are being used today, after being closed at the end of the Second World War - this time we're at RAF Lissett.

In its day, RAF Lissett was at the forefront in the fight against fascism but today it is playing an important role in climate change.

Built during World War Two, the base is now home to a wind farm but it was formerly home to 158 Squadron, bomber command.

Key features remain, though, to remind people of the sacrifices made there.

One memorial shows the names of the 851 personnel who lost their lives - their names etched on the structure which overlooks the turbines.

RAF LISSETT Gill Pudsey
Gill Pudsey's father, Flight Lieutenant Strange, served at Lissett.
RAF LISSETT Gill Pudsey's father
Flight Lieutenant Strange won the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Gill Pudsey's father served there and survived.

He flew 33 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Gill shared his citation with Forces News:

"Flight Lieutenant Strange has been four times to Berlin, once to Leipzig and twice to Düsseldorf and to many of the rural areas.

"He has further assisted the work of the Squadron in the capacity of an Assistant Flight Commander and has given generously of his time and knowledge in the training of crews new to operations."

RAF LISSETT
Onsite is a memorial of seven men - representing a bomber command crew of seven.

On the ground by the memorial lays a stone, depicting 158 Squadron’s badge containing seven links.

It reinforces the motto "strength in unity", with every link as important as any other. 

From a distance, the turbines look like identical – but they do have unique features.

Each contains an individual tribute.

On 11 of the 12 turbines is the name of one of the WWII planes that flew from RAF Lissett.

The twelfth has a list of six names – remembering those killed in an explosion on the site, in 1943. 

The area where the turbines now sit was once a bomb site. Seven people had been working there when a thousand pound bomb went off. Remarkably one man survived. 

RAF LISSETT
Six names are etched onto a turbine to pay tribute to those that died in an explosion on the base.

Russell Hill has a more personal link to the forces: "Personally myself I'm ex-forces. I was in the Navy and my father was in the RAF - he served in Aden. 

"It's a very fitting memorial - we're quite close to an operational air base - a couple of times a day you get a couple of fighter jets above here flying around the wind farm." 

He added: "Occasionally they'll dip their wings - I've noticed them do that and it's almost in significance to what's happened here in the past - perhaps they're paying tribute. 

The farmer who owns the site says its been in his family for generations, but that they had to hand part of it over during the war in 1943 to allow it to become RAF Lissett.

Now it is back in their hands, Jim Tennant and his family are proud of what happened there:

"We're the caretakers of something until the next generation, so we try to distil upon our family about what happened here. 

"Without them, we wouldn't be here."

The site now acts as a memory of those that served and lost their lives there.