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Heroes Of Our Time

Airfield Information

 

Name

Royal Air Force West Raynham / RAF West Raynham / West Raynham Aerodrome

Opened

May 1939

Closed

June 1994

Runways

Initially Grass, then later Concrete / Tarmac

Hangers

4 x Type C

Location

5.5 miles SW of Fakenham

OS Ref

TF850245

Current Usage

Farmland / Housing / Industry

Notes

Built as a standard bomber airfield during the expansion period 1937-39, initially with grass runways. Closed for flying in May 1943 whilst a concrete runway was laid along with additional parking areas.  Reopened November 1943. Was transferred to 100 Group and first squadron moved in on December 4th. Due to defence cuts in 1975 it only had a skeleton staff with 85 Squadron remaining until 1988.  It officially closed on 1st July 1944 following a ceremony and flypast on 1st June

Links

http://www.ukairfields.org.uk/west-raynham.html

http://www.ukairfieldguide.net/airfields/westraynham

http://www.controltowers.co.uk/W-Z/West%20Raynham.htm

http://www.abct.org.uk/airfields/airfield-finder/west-raynham/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_West_Raynham

https://www.bcd-urbex.com/raf-west-raynham-norfolk-uk/

http://www.geograph.org.uk/article/RAF-West-Raynham

 

 

Introduction

 

The pace of life today can take us forward at such a velocity that we can easily be guilty of forgetting the past.  The past that was so vital to forming our present.

 

I can remember as a child many conversations with my grandparents learning of a past so different to what many youths experience today, and indeed so different to my own childhood.  I feel very privileged to have been able to listen to their stories, and was equally lucky to have heard the experiences of my three late grandmothers.  

 

One was evacuated during the war, another experienced the changes of Norfolk life with the onset of war catching her first ever sight of an aircraft, and my great grandmother who experienced being shot at by a rogue German plane returning to home looking to offload ammunition.  She was pushing a pram along a typical quiet Norfolk lane and had to dive into a ditch to avoid the gunfire.  I would hope this would be a one-off story but it has lasted in my memory for all this time.

 

It is in preserving these memories and vital history that has inspired us in carrying forward my late father’s research and RAF West Raynham also has memories that should live on and should never be forgotten.

 

The formation of the base and history leading up to the arrival of 100 Group

 

Built between 1938-1939, when purchased land from Raynham Hall became government property.  Its use was an expansion scheme airfield and like many airfields was initially a grass airfield until later in the war when concrete runways was built.

 

The main camp had housing and headquarters, also on site were bomb stores and a Watch Office with a fort-type tower.  The tower later being removed and replaced with a new and larger control room.

 

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© Janine Harrington

 

 

No.101 Squadron were to arrive at the base in May 1939 from No.2 Group, equipped with Bristol Blenheim’s.  The squadron were held in reserve by No.2 Group and by February 1940 they were involved in target towing flights.

 

Two satellite airbases were later created for the base being Great Massingham and Sculthorpe.

 

On the 4th July 1940 No.101 Squadron would be called into action for the first time, tasked with attacking German ports and oil storage tanks.  Some 610 sorties were undertaken in over a year which resulted in the loss of 15 Blenheims.  The squadron was then moved to No.3 Group and as a result left West Raynham.

 

Squadron No.114 also equipped with Blenheims then arrived and were based at Raynham for over a year before departing to North Africa to become part of ‘Operation Torch’ (British \ American invasion of French North Africa).

 

No.18 Squadron were to arrive at RAF Raynham to be refitted with Blenheim Mk Vs, during which time in 1942 squadrons No.180 and 342 were formed.  No.180 equipped with North American B-25 Mitchells were to be based at Great Massingham, and No.342 equipped with Douglas Bostons were later relocated to Sculthorpe.

 

Between May – November 1943 the grass runways were replaced with two concrete ones.  This may have been a necessity due to the increase of aircraft frequenting potentially from the two additional satellite stations.  In addition to this the base was also extended to accommodate 2456 men and 658 women.

 

RAF No.100 (Bomber Support) take over West Raynham

 

It was December 1943 when RAF No.100 (Bomber Support) took over at RAF West Raynham.  Bringing in two Mosquito-equipped Night fighter squadrons.

 

The role they had to play was very critical in seeking and destroying enemy fighters, which in turn helped to protect the main bomber force.  This was carried out by Squadron’s No.141 and 239.

 

Serrate was a radar detection system and allowed the aircraft fitted with it to drift off slowly from the main bomber stream.  By slowly drifting off it would replicate the behaviour of a heavy bomber and draw enemy night fighter to them instead.  The rear facing Serrate detector would pick up emissions from any approaching enemy fighter allowing the pilot to turn onto the tail of the fighter and attempt to shoot it down.  

 

Bristol Beaufighters were initially fitted with Serrate before being moved over to the faster de-Havilland Mosquito.  Of course, as the Luftwaffe began to learn of the systems, they would introduce new measures to counteract it.

 

Squadrons

 

141 Squadron

 
Motto: We slay by night

 

Formed on 1st January 1918, Rochford, their initial role was a Home Defence Unit for the London area.  In February 1918 the Squadron moved to Biggin Hill being equipped with Bristol F2B Fighters, before moving to Ireland where it was disbanded on the 1st February 1920.

 

On the 4th October 1939 the Squadron was reformed at RAF Turnhouse initially being equipped with Gloster Gladiators, then Bristol Blenheims before moving onto the Boulton Paul Defiants.    

 

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© RAF [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Of course, Boulton and Paul have quite a connection to the Norfolk area, its origins date back to 1797 when its humble beginning were at an ironmonger’s shop founded in Norwich.   I recall visiting the buildings in Norwich as part of my early apprenticeship years certainly not knowing the history behind the firm and the influence it had on aircraft development and much more.   If only I had known then what I do know, then I would have appreciated much more that I had been stepping through such a valuable part of history.

 

The Squadron’s first operational mission was on the 29th June before the Squadron moved to RAF West Malling in July, the Squadron headquarters being based at Biggin Hill.  It was during this period that the Squadron would have a devastating contact with the enemy force in this case Bf109s when six out of the nine Defiants were sadly shot down shortly after being scrambled to patrol over Felixstowe.

 

It was the devastating effects of this mission which caused a change in the future of the Squadron, from a day fighter squadron they were to move over to a night fighter force which suited the new Defiants it had then received, hence its motto, ‘We Slay By Night’.

 

During 1941 it was to begin converting to Bristol Beaufighters defending Scotland and Northern England before moving South to Tangmere in June 1942.

 

By the end of April 1943, the Squadron was based at Wittering, and began intruder night missions in June.  By October their Beaufighters were replaced with Mosquitos and this was to be the dawn of a new era, embracing the technological advances in warfare.

 

December 1943 the Squadron was to arrive at RAF West Raynham where it would become part of Bomber Command joining the elite 100 Group and in turn had an introduction to the Serrate radar detector used in long range intruder operations over enemy occupied Europe.  In fact, 141 Squadron was the first under RAF No.100 (Bomber Support) Group.

 

16th \ 17th December was one of the Squadron’s first serrate guided sorties which occurred during the Battle of Berlin which resulted in a Bf110 being damaged with cannon fire.  Their endeavours and heroic efforts for the 100 Group were to continue and in July 1945 the squadron was transferred to RAF Little Snoring where it was disbanded on the 7th September 1945 at the conclusion of the war.

 

239 Squadron

 

Motto: We seek out

 

Originally formed from No 418 Squadron (Coastal Reconnaissance) on the 20th August 1918 in Torquay, main duties being anti-submarine patrols, equipped with Short 184 aircraft.  It was then disbanded in May 1919.

 

The Squadron then reformed on the 18th September 1940 at Hatfield from No.16 and 225 Squadrons.  Initially equipped with Westland Lysanders, then Curtiss Tomahawks, and Hawker Hurricanes it was to convert to P-51 Mustangs in May 1942.  This would lead the Squadron into reconnaissance operations over France including the Dieppe raid and many other ground attacks.  

 

The Squadron then moved to RAF Ayr in September 1943 after being re-equipped with the de-Havilland Mosquito the objective being to train as a night fighter unit.

 

The Squadron continued the night fighter role as it moved over to RAF Raynham to join No.100 (Bomber Support Group).  Like all the squadrons involved across the board, there were acts of heroism and bravery probably many of which we will never know.  The aircraft always so pivotal and vital to the outcome also made their own mark in history during this time an example being Mosquito V1, NF30 with its trustworthy crew were who claimed five German Night Fighters including a Heinkel He219.  This particular aircraft lived on after the war transferring to the Belgium Air Force.

 

The squadron was disbanded on the 1st July 1945.

 

History in brief

 

Between 1939 and the end of the Second World War the base was home to many iconic and most distinctive aircraft that today we look back and admire.  

 

During Bomber Commands operations at the base they were to lose a total of 86 aircraft, 56 Blenheims, 29 Mosquitos and a Bristol Beaufighter.

 

Post war the RAF were to remain active at the base, and during this time saw the onset of new jet aircraft, namely the Hawker Hunter and Gloster Meteor, carrying the base forward into the role of a Central Fighter Establishment.

 

On the 8th February 1956 Central Fighter Establishment faced tragedy.  The incident involved 8 Hawker Hunter aircraft which took off on a scheduled exercise, however bad weather closed in forcing them to be diverted to RAF Marham.  One pilot was sadly killed when his plane crashed into a field, and 4 aircraft were lost whilst the pilots managed to eject from the aircraft.

 

1964 would see the base involved in evaluating the Hawker P1127 and its remarkable Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL).        

 

Part of the airfield was even developed as a SAM site, mid 1960, being equipped with a Bristol Blood Hound Mk 2 an example of which can be seen at the RAF Museum, Hendon London.  The base then would go on to form the headquarters for 85 Squadron who had reformed as a Bristol Bloodhound Mark II surface-to-air- missile unit.

 

Later the base was to become an annual location for a training camp for the Royal Observer Corps.  In 1980 the scheduled training date coincided with a three-day Tactical Evaluation (TACEVAL) inspection which caused quite a stir.  For such inspections there was no notice given and there was a great surprise in store when a ROC officer arrived at the main gate with radioactive sources intended for training.  As such the vehicle and its occupants where placed under armed guard until the situation was fully and satisfactorily explained.

 

Unfortunately, the history and heroic endeavours of the past, the unforgettable sound of the merlin engines, later the roars of the jets thrusting upwards into the air were soon to fall away into a distant memory when on the 1st July 1994 the airfield was to close.  Houses once full of life were to start to crumble away, fall into disrepair and become a sorry sight.  With the shortage of housing at that time (2002) a very respectable Norfolk MP, Norman Lamb campaigned for the houses to be offered for civilian use, eventually in December 2005 the whole site sold.

 

Over time the site has been regenerated and rejuvinated with life, some of the original accommodation and houses were modernised and new homes were also built on the site, bringing back to the fold the heart of Norfolk life.

 

 

History, how it inspires events - Tower Bridge Incident

 

Earlier I talked about memories and the importance of preserving them not only so that we can understand and learn from times gone before, but also to never forget the sacrifices people have made letting us enjoy the benefits we all take for granted today.  This leads me to a true event that was somewhat controversial, but arguable a very bold act by someone just wanting to ensure that those many years of history that had unfolded in the skies during the previous 50 Years of the RAF should truly be celebrated and commemorated in the most fitting way.  

 

A man who in his youth could recall the old Anderson shelters and the sound of doodlebugs (another term for V-1 rocket), rasping overhead, he certainly had the life experiences to back his morality in thought.  

 

So surely to commemorate in the air the history of the RAF 50th year, was the most fitting answer.

 

How the events proceeded would definitely ensure that people would be reminded of the occasion to this very day.

 

April Fool’s Day 1968 was to mark the 50th Anniversary of the forming of the Royal Air Force.  An occasion you would think should be held in the highest regard with the turbulent years of war that had gone before, however moral was still very low in the nation at that time, for many reasons.

 

Based at RAF West Raynham at the time was the world’s oldest and most senior military air squadron aptly named No.1 Squadron.  Proud to be part of this heritage was senior operational Flight Commander Alan Pollock.

 

With the Anniversary of the RAF approaching he grew increasingly frustrated at the lack commemorative event planning,  but with persistence and persuasion that at least something should be done, let alone proving an invaluable training exercise he was granted permission to carry out celebration leaflet dropping raids.

 

The leaflet drops were successful but did cause a few complaints amongst some station commanders but still frustrated there was certainly more of a stir to come.

 

After a trip to RAF Tangmere where there was a least one event a cocktail party and dance, Pollock became unwell with a heavy cold that would eventually turn into pneumonia.   Trying to control the onset of the cold with anti-histamine drugs, the cocktail of this and sleepless nights would undoubtedly have an adverse effect and the return trip back to Raynham would prove to be most eventful, the ‘Tower Bridge Incident’ was about to unfold.

 

With perfect flying conditions and London on the return route to Raynham, Pollack was able to lose contact with the rest of the formation and begin his personal commentative display for the 50th Anniversary of the RAF.

 

He went over several bridges, Battersea, Wandsworth, Chelsea, amongst many others and flew over the Houses of Parliament to make a point, ironically it is rumoured that they were debating aircraft noise at the time.  That said for the majority of the flight Pollack was very conscious of air noise and not wanting to distress or alarm people he done his best to compensate for the noise by cutting speed and dropped his flaps over the built-up areas.   In fact, it does seem that all through the incident and after he was concerned about the well-being of those that had witnessed the event.

 

Honourably he was then to pass the RAF Memorial and statue of Viscount Tenchard, dipping his wings in respect as he flew on to the final act.

 

It then appeared, Tower bridge, which “just became an interesting target”, with considerable traffic and a typical site in London of a red double decker split decisions had to be made.   There was only one way to do this – go under it.

 

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© Used with the kind permission of Michael Rondot

 

 

One man fell off his bike but was unharmed and even made contact several years later.  The offer to reimburse him for his trousers which did not need replacing for any unfortunate incident, rather they were just torn was not required in the end and by all accounts the conversation was quite amicable.

 

Finally, before leaving London

“I opened up a separate Anniversary sortie callsign on the R/T, Romeo Alfa Foxtrot 01 (rather lost on the controllers).”

He would then fly over RAF Wattisham, Lakenheath (where he caused a sonic boom), and Marham before finally landing back at RAF Raynham to hear his fate.  

 

Although never court-martialed as expected he was to be discharged on medical grounds.  Later in 1982 the whole situation was reviewed again and his case was finally vindicated.

 

I have only abbreviated the events of that day but the most accurate account of the entire incident should only come from Alan Pollock himself.  Therefore, I would highly recommend reviewing the link below, as it gives you a true insight into Alan Pollock, his career, thoughts, feelings and character, so that you can form your own opinion.

 

http://www.rafjever.org/4sqnper004.htm

 

 

Images

 

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© Lionel Campbell

 

 

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© Lionel Campbell

 

 

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© Peter Gunn

 

West Raynham, 1946

 

 

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© Janine Harrington

 

West Raynham map from the Luftwaffe, 1939

 

 

Squadron Information

 

101 Squadron

 

Code: LU / SR

Dates

May 1939 - July 1941

Planes

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV

Vickers Wellington Mk IC

Information

A bomber squadron which flew few operations in early days due to mainly being a reserve unit involved in training. From July 1940 started operations against channel ports, operating from Manston, Kent.  In April 1941 Wellingtons started to arrive and after training, night bombing operations over Germany were flown.  Moved to Oakington, Cambs in July 1941.

90 Squadron

 

Code: TW

Dates

May 1939 - September 1939

Planes

Bristol Blenheim Mk I and IV

Information

A light bomber squadron which trained Blenheim crews in the weeks before the outbreak of WW2. Moved to Upwood, Hunts at start of the war.

2 Group TT Flight

Dates

February 1940 - January 1942

Planes

Bristol Blenheim Mk I

Fairey Battle Mk II

Westland Lysander Mk II

Avro Tutor

Information

2 Groups target towing unit which provided gunnery training for squadrons based in the area.  Renamed 1482 B and G flight in January 1942 and remained at West Raynham.

76 Squadron

 

Code: MP

Dates

April 1940 - May 1940

Planes

Avro Anson Mk I

Handley Page Hampden Mk I

Information

This squadron came here to train as a bomber unit and to equip with Hampdens, due to a change of plan it was disbanded before fully trained or equipped.

139 Squadron

 

Code: XD

Dates

May 1940 - June 1940

Planes

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV

Information

Came back from France in May 1940 and reequipped with new aircraft before moving to Horsham St Faiths days later.  Suffered severe losses during the fighting in France.

18 Squadron

 

Code: WV

Dates

June 1940 - September 1940

Planes

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV

Information

Arrived from France to reequip and rest before training.  Moved to Great Massingham on September 9th to commence operations.

90 Squadron

 

Code: WP

Dates

May 1941 - June 1941

Planes

Boeing Fortress Mk I (B17C)

Information

Arrived from Bodney as airfield too rough for these heavy bombers.  Was the only RAF bomber squadron to use the Mk I Fortress.  Came to West Raynham to carry out experimental high altitude flights.  Proved unsuitable due to severe icing.  A lot was learnt from these trials and helped improved the B17 Fortresses which later were used by RAF and USAAF.  Squadron moved to Great Massingham in June 1941.

1420 Flight

Dates

July 1941 - November 1941

Planes

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV

Information

Training unit for 2 group aircrews. Disbanded in November 1941.

114 Squadron

 

Code: RT

Dates

July 1941 - November 1942

Planes

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV and V

Information

Light bomber squadron which took part in many raids on shipping, ports and power stations in occupied Holland and Belgium. Took part in famous low-level daylight raid against Cologne power station on 11th August 1941.  Reequipped with Blenheim V's in October 1942 and moved to North Africa.

1482 Squadron

Dates

January 1942 - December 1943

Planes

Westland Lysander Mk II

Boulton Paul Defiant TT III

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV and V

Miles Martinet TT I

Douglas Boston Mk III

Lockheed Ventura Mk II

Mitchell Mk II

Curtiss Tomahawk Mk II

Hawker Hurrian Mk IV

Information

Formed from 2 Group Target Towing Unit providing target and gunnery practice.  They also provided aircraft for bombing practice over the Wash.  Moved to Swanton Morley in December 1943.

614 Squadron

 

Code: LJ

Dates

May 1942 - July 1942

Planes

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV

Information

On loan to 2 Group at the time of the "Thousand Bomber Raids" by RAF Bomber Command.  Its job was to attack enemy night fighters on airfields in Holland and Belgium.  Returned to Macmerry, Scotland in July 1942.

18 Squadron

 

Code: WV

Dates

August 1942 - November 1942

Planes

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV and VD

Information

Arrived from Scotland, exchanged its Blenheim IV's for VD's and after training moved to North Africa.

180 Squadon

 

Code: EV

Dates

September 1942 - October 1942

Planes

Mitchell Mk II

Information

Formed here as a medium bomber squadron together with 98 Squadron.  Were first RAF squadrons to operation Mitchells. Moved to Foulsham on October 19th.

98 Squadron

 

Code: VO

Dates

September 1942 - October 1942

Planes

Mitchell Mk II

Information

Medium bomber squadron equipped with Mitchells, trained for a month and then moved to Foulsham.

342 Squadron

 

Code: OA

Dates

April 1943 - May 1943

Planes

Douglas Boston Mk IIIA

Information

A Free French squadron formed here, trained for six weeks and then moved to Sculthorpe to commence operations

141 Squadron

 

Code: TW

Dates

December 1943 - July 1945

Planes

Bristol Beaufighter Mk VIF

de Havilland Mosquito Mk II, FB VI and NF 30

Information

Night intruder squadron in the newly formed 100 Group.  Flew operations against enemy night fighter airfields in support of the heavy bombers, attacking planes on ground to create chaos on the airfields and to keep the Luftwaffe grounded to take pressure of main forces.  141 squadron remained here for a few weeks at the end of the war before moving to Little Snoring on 3rd July 1945.

239 Squadron

 

Code: HB

Dates

December 1943 - July 1945

Planes

de Havilland Mosquito Mk II, FB VI and NF 30

Information

100 Group night intruder squadron carrying out similar operations to 141 squadron, in addition to dropping market flares in support of the Pathfinder squadrons leading the main bomber force.  During the D-Day landings they flew ground attack sorties over the Normandy beachheads.  The squadron was disbanded on 1st July 1945.

746 Squadron

 

Dates

May 1945 - January 1946

Planes

Fairey Firefly NF I and NF II

Grumman Hellcat NF II

Information

A Royal Navy night fighter trial squadron which worked with the Central Fighter Establishment at Great Massingham.  They carried out development and trials on radar interception for use in Naval aircraft.  Absorbed by 787 squadron in January 1946.

Central Fighter Establishment

Dates

July 1945 - November 1962

Planes

Hawker Tempest Mk II and V

Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIX, IX and 21

de Havilland Mosquito FB VI, NF30 and NF36

de Havilland Hornet F1 and F3

Gloster Meteor F4 and F8

de Havilland Vampire FB.I and FB.V

de Havilland Venon FB.I and NF3

F86A Sabre

Hawker Hunter F1, F4 and F6

Supermarine Swift F1 and F4

Gloster Javelin FAW1, FAW5 and FAW8

Information

Moved in from Great Massingham and by the late 1940s had grown into a substantial organization as part of RAF Fighter Command.  It carried out operation trails and developed tactics for new fighters.  It also ran courses for fighter leaders as well as RAF aircrews.

Naval Air Fighting Development Unit

787 Squadron

Dates

November 1945 - January 1956

Planes

Fairey Firefly NF I, FR4 and NF5

Grumman Hellcat NF II

Blackburn Firebrand F4

de Havilland Sea Mosquito TR33

de Havilland Sea Hornet NF21

Supermarine Seafire F47

Supermarine Attacker F1 and F2

Grumman Avenger AS4

Westland Wyvern S4

de Havilland Sea Vampire F20

Hawker Sea Hawk F1, FB3 and FGA4

de Havilland Sea Venon FAW21

Airspeed Oxford Mk I

de Havilland Dominie Mk I

Fairey Gannet AS1

Information

A Royal Navy unit forming part of Central Fighter Establishment and carrying out similar work of developing new aircraft and equipment.  Unit was dispersed in January 1956.

CFE Communications Flights

Dates

December 1945 - 1957

Planes

Airspeed Oxford Mk II

Avro Anson C19 and C21

Gloster Meteor T7

Information

This was the communications unit of the Central Fighter Establishment.

CFE Target Tug Flight

Dates

1946 - July 1963

Planes

Miles Martinet TT III

de Havilland Mosquito B35

Boulton Paul Balliol T2

English Electric Canberra T4 and T11

Gloster Meteor T7

Information

This unit offered target facilities for gunnery training or radar interception.  In April 1963 moved to Binbrook, Lincs and work was taken over by 85 squadron.

Fighter Command Instrument Training Squadron

Dates

February 1950 - December 1952

Planes

Airspeed Oxford Mk II

de Havilland Mosquito T3

Gloster Meteor T7

de Havilland Vampire T11

Information

This squadron carried out annual assessments of instrument ratings for fighter pilots, and also trained instrument rating instructors.  Unit absorbed by CFE in December 1952.

85 Squadron

Dates

September 1960 - April 1963

Planes

Gloster Javelin FAW8

Information

An all weather fighter squadron.  Eventually moved to Binbrook, Lincs.

54 Squadron /

4 Squadron

Dates

August 1963 - January 1970

Planes

Hawker Hunter FGA9

Information

Part of 38 Group Air Support Command, operated as a ground attach unit in support of the Army. Moved to Wittering, Cambs in January 1970.

1 Squadron

Dates

August 1963 - July 1969

Planes

Hawker Hunter FGA9

Information

Companion of 54 squadron working as a ground attack unit.  Moved to Wittering, Cambs.

Kestrel Evaluation Squadron

Dates

October 1964 - December 1965

Planes

Hawker Kestrel

Information

Test squadron for the vertical take off Kestrel which was later developed into the Harrier. Pilots came from RAF, Luftwaffe, USAF and US Navy.  Trials completed in December 1965 and squadron disbanded.

41 Squadron

Dates

September 1965 - September 1970

Planes

Bristol Bloodhound Mk 2

Information

Mobile support unit for airfield defence equipped with surface to air missiles. Disbanded on September 18th 1970.

38 Group Communications Flight

Dates

1966 - 1968

Planes

Auster AOP9

Information

Light communications duties.

85 Squadron

Dates

January 1972 - December 1975

Planes

English Electric Canberra B2, T4 and T19

Information

Squadron provided fighter interception training.

100 Squadron

Dates

February 1972 - January 1976

Planes

English Electric Canberra B2 and T19

Information

Carried on the target facilities previously offered by 85 squadron.  Moved to Marham in January 1976.

45 Squadron

Dates

August 1972 - September 1972

Planes

Hawker Hunter FGA9

Information

Re-formed here as a ground attack squadron.  Moved to Wittering, Cambs on 29th September 1972

85 Squadron

Dates

December 1975 - 1988

Planes

Bristol Bloodhound Mk 2

Information

Mobile support unit for airfield defence, equipped with surface to air missiles which could be transferred to other airfields as and when required.