The building housing the main collection is the former Headquarters of Royal Air Force Montrose Thismap shows the site of the airfield at the time of the Battle of Britain in 1940. The original site was expansive and some parts still remain such as the 1913 hangars, probably the oldest in the world, although currently not part of the visitor complex.
The squadrons and individuals who served here are represented by a rare and often unique range of objects including a silk scarf which belonged to Major James McCudden VC, a warrant signed by Winston Churchill and a piece of the Red Baron’s Fokker Triplane.
Squadrons that have a Montrose connection have dedicated displays such as No 25, No 43, No 83 and No 108 who were formed here and No 603 and No 111 both stationed here in the 1940s.
Other sections portray the ‘Montrose Ghost’, the dangers of flying, air-sea and mountain rescue, the Home Front, Bombing of Montrose and the social and economic impact on the town.
The addition of the Romney hangar and Nissen hut, made possible via two Heritage Lottery Fund grants and the valiant efforts of volunteers and members, has given us the opportunity to house larger exhibits under cover as well as providing a suitable environment for renovation.
These buildings now exhibit a life sized replica Sopwith Camel, the only World War One aircraft on show to the public in Scotland, prototype Derwent, Spey and Olympus jet engines, original Mann Egerton engine crane fully refurbished, 2 Rolls Royce Merlin engines with the story of the fatal bomber crash they are from, Gipsy Queen engine and Hercules radial engine, an original 1944 Staff Car, Unipower Carmichael Fire Appliance. There is a display on War Dog Bamse in the 'Home Front' room. A new 'wartime house' has also been completed in the north end of the Centre. The Richard Moss Memorial Collection is now open to the public. A recent arrival is a Sea Vampire, one of only 8 in existence.
For a modern fighting force, communications are vital. Radio was used extensively by the RAF at Montrose for air-to-air and air-ground communication. Facilities were also in place to train pilots to fly along ‘beams’ generated by radio for navigation and guidance purposes.
To continue in this theme a Radio Section of was set up. Through the generosity of a local family, the GM3KC call sign was re-issued. The section meets every Sunday afternoon, but can be heard on the air using GB2MAS (Montrose Air Station) at special events. Visitors wishing to see the station on air or the exhibits on days other than Sunday please contact Ewan (MM0BIX) or 01674 676740.
For any information on the museum call 01674 678222 or email