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TOPIC: Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK

Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK 10 Nov 2015 21:23 #11

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Strubby?

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Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK 10 Nov 2015 21:35 #12

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Anthorn ?

Are Fylingdales and Spadeadam worth a mention too ?
Youth is wasted on the young !

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Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK 10 Nov 2015 22:45 #13

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Or another way is to list them under primary, secondary and standby 1950-1980:

Primary USAF

Alconbury Third Air Force authorised a re-construction program and designated Alconbury as a future primary installation on 25 August 1951. Designated a USAF construction site on 1 September 1953, became a temporary satellite of Sculthorpe 20 September 1953 to April 1957 then reassigned primary base status on 1 May 1967. Main runway, extended, taxiway and aprons completed 1955-1956. Flying operations commenced May 1957. 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (TRW) arrived August 1959, Alconbury became a four-base complex that included Bruntingthorpe, Chelveston and Molesworth. Electronic reconnaissance missions begin after B-66s arrive 1959-1960, base also supported day and night photo reconnaissance, electronic reconnaissance and electronic counter-measures in the 1960s. RF-4s replace UB-66s 1965-1966. Additional base facilities added in 1968 and major runway rehabilitation completed 1969-1970. New facilities provided for dual-based TRS during July 1970. New aircraft maintenance shop, bulk fuel storage facilities completed 1973-1974. F-5 ops began 1976, 36 F-5 HAS shelters constructed 1976-1978, two hard operations buildings, wing operations centre, communications facilities, liquid oxygen and POL shelters added 1977-1980. Major housing renovation project completed 1979. Photo interpretation facility completed mid-1981.

Bentwaters 7506th Air Support Group formed at Bentwaters on 15 March 1951. Station transferred from RAF Fighter Command to USAFE on 7 September 1951. Two days later the 81st Fighter Interceptor Wing assigned to Third Air Force.

Brize Norton Based at Brize Norton from 10 July 1950, the 928th Engineer Aviation Group managed the reconstruction of the Midland Group SAC airfields. The civil engineering work at Brize Norton being carried out by 803rd EAB. Main runway extended from 6,000ft to 9,000ft. and its width from 150ft to 200ft. Once the station became operational, so the 3920th ABG took over responsibility of operations from 7508th ABG who had overseen the reconstruction of the base. This took place on 1 November 1952 and operational TDY flying commenced in early December of that year . The station was handed back to the RAF on 23 November 1965.

Burtonwood During WWII Burtonwood was the largest military airfield in Europe. The base reverted back to US control in 1948, to support US bases in the UK and to undertake all major aircraft servicing. 59th Air Depot Wing arrived 13 September 1948. The unit was given Berlin Airlift maintenance work on 11 October 1948 On 1 March 1954 the station transferred from Third Air Force to Air Materiel Forces, Europe. The new MATS Air Passenger Terminal opened on 1 July 1956. Major reconstruction projects included the massive Header House on Site 8, the extension of the runway to 9,000ft and the building of the new control tower and passenger terminal. By 1965 the base passed back to RAF control and two years later the US Army took command.

Bushy Park HQ Third Air Division moved to Bushy Park on 8 September 1948 and stayed until April 1949 when it moved to South Ruislip. 1813th Airways and Communication Service Group formed with its HQ at Bushy Park. 28th Weather Squadron re-organised with new mission, HQ at Bushy Park. London Area High School opened at Bushy Hall.. 7533rd Air Base Squadron moved on 1 October 1962 under the London Area Consolidation Plan. Bushy Park was vacated on 29 October 1962 and handed over to the Ministry of Works.
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Chicksands Chicksands Priory designated as a secondary installation (sub-base) on 8 November 1950.
USAF reconstruction commenced in 1951 for 10th Radio Squadron, Mobile. This unit assumed US control of the base on 10 November 1950; the station was then re-activated as a primary installation of Third Air Force on 8 November 1950. 7534th Air Base Squadron hosted units of Third Air Force and Field No.2 of the National Security Agency 1951-1958. General base reconstruction 1951-1957 including central heating plant, bowling alley, married quarters, 143-pupil school, library and an exchange added in 1957. Electronic Security Command assumed control 1 July 1958. Became off-base installation of Alconbury on 1 July 1956 to 30 June 1958. A theatre was added in 1960, married quarters during 1967, a commissary in 1969 and an officer married quarters estate in 1970. Became primary installation again on 1 July 1958 assigned to 6950 Radio Group until 20 January 1967. 7518 Communications Squadron arrived on 1 September 1959 to 1 July 1962, 6950 Support Squadron on 1 August 1963 to 20 January 1967 and 6950 Support Group from 20 June 1967 to 1 October 1978.

Denham Studios Denham was designated as a primary USAFE installation on 1 September 1953 .7500th Air Base Group moved from Stanmore to Denham Studios on 1 October 1953. During the re-shuffle of Third Air Force, this unit then moved to South Ruislip on 12 August 1961 and the base closed as a result of the London Area Consolidation Plan. 7532nd Air Materiel Squadron left the base on 1 October 1962.

Fairford The 7507th Air Base Squadron (ABS) (later 7507th Air Base Group) formed on 7 July 1950 to manage the station’s reconstruction with the civil engineering work carried out by 817th Engineer Aviation Battalion (AEB). Runway lengthened initially to a designed length of 8,000ft but eventually to 10,000ft in preparation for housing SAC B-47 rotations. First overseas B-47 Wing deployment (306th Bomb Wing) commenced June 1953. Construction of Special Weapons Stores commenced in May 1951 by 2nd Aviation Field Depot Squadron. After the 7th Air Division had formally accepted the new station on 16 October 1952, so the 3919th ABG replaced the 7507th ABG. Operational flying commenced during early September 1952. Supported Reflex Alert operations from January 1958 to 26 June 1964, then returned to RAF control. Occupied by 7020th ABG from 1 February 1979 to prepare for KC-35 tanker operations. USAFE officially designated Fairford a primary installation on 1 June 1979 with first KC0-139s arriving on 13 September 1979. The base also hosted SAC B-52 deployments beginning April 1980.

Feltwell On 14 September 1966 Feltwell was allocated as a Housing Annexe to accommodate personnel of the 513th Troop Carrier Wing

Fylingdales The Ballistic Early Warning System (BMEWS) opened for operation on 1 September 1963.

Greenham Common ]RAF Greenham Common was confirmed as the fourth primary SAC bombers and tankers base on 8 February 1951. USAF occupied the base on 23 April 1951 with the 7501 Air Base Squadron managing the reconstruction, carried out by the 804th Engineer Aviation Battalion. The period of works was between December 1951 to September 1953. This involved the construction of a completely new main runway. Most facilities were completed in 1953 and the base was assigned to USAF during June under the 3909th Air Base Group. First SAC B-47 unit arrived early 1954 but was immediately transferred to Fairford because of poor runway construction at Greenham Common. Runway reinforced 1954-1956 and base selected as a deployment base for KC-97G tankers 1956-1964. Base inactivated and transferred to RAF control on 30 June 1964, then activated as an off-base US installation of South Ruislip Air Station.

Became NATO stand-by base and re-opened to support relocation of USAF units transferring from French airfields on 11 November 1968. Base became responsible for RAF Welford until January 1977. Upper Heyford assumed control on 1 June 1976 followed by 7273rd ABG on 1 January 1979, reinforcing runway, aprons and hardstandings. Preparation work also undertaken for the arrival of 501st Tactical Missile Wing which arrived during July 1982.

High Wycombe ‘Pinetree’ Dawes Hill Disused since the end of WWII, the underground bunker called ‘Pinetree’ was re-occupied by the 7th Air Division with the 3929th Air Base Squadron taking the site over during May 1952. The site became USAF Site Wycombe Abbey, a satellite of 3911th Air Base Group, West Drayton. The 7th Air Division moved its HQ on 1 October from South Ruislip and the 3929th ABS became independent. Personnel from Bovingdon, Denham, West Drayton and Bushy Park were then centralised at West Ruislip and High Wycombe. Expansion followed, including married quarters estates and two 210-dormitories in 1961. Total area covered by the base at this time was 67 acres. The 7563rd ABS formed and assigned to the 7500th Air Base Group. From June 1966 the 322nd Air Division (MAC) relocated from Chateauroux AB, France and became operational on 5 August 1966. In June 1967 following the disbanding of Seventh Air Division, control of the base switched to Third Air Force and USAFE. The 7563rd Air Base Squadron was activated on 30 June 1965 to provide support until the site closed in 1971.

From 1971 until the early 1980s the bunker was abandoned, the above ground facilities being used by the London Central High School for American children who relocated there from Watford. Following the 1982 announcement that the site was to be developed as an alternative wartime command HQ, the bunker was completely refurbished and fitted out with communications equipment. 7520 Air Base Squadron being formed on 1 April 1987 to provide admin and logistics support for the USAF and Department of Defence until August 1991 when the bunker finally closed.

Hillingdon During September 1956, the first units moved into the new Third Air Force Combat Operations Centre.

Lakenheath 7504th Air Base Group. Closed during May 1944 until May 1948 for runway reconstruction, then re-opened as a RAF VHB station. Allocated to USAFE along with Scampton, Waddington and Marham for use by SAC as short-term deployment bases July 1948. B-29s of 2nd Bomb Group arrived 11 August 1948, which was the first of a continuous flow of B-29, KB-29, C-97, B-50, B-36 and B-47 rotational units. During the Korean war, Lakenheath transferred from USAFE to SAC on 1 May 1951. The operational unit being 3909th Air Base Group (SAC). Returned to USAFE control as part of the Red Richard operation on 1 October 1959. The withdrawal of American units from French soil brought the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing on 15 January 1960. Then followed a massive expansion programme for an increase in base population, a new theatre opened in March, junior high school in May, high school on 6 September and auditorium in May 1961. 45 phase II brick housing units were constructed in 1961. During runway resurfacing work between May and September 1961 the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing operated out of Mildenhall. Local Base Rescue detachment No.3 relocated from France between September and October 1966.

Between 1961 and 1962 a large base hospital was constructed which became the primary hospital for US armed forces in the UK. Another phase of married quarters (408) was handed over during January 1966, an airmen’s dining hall was completed on 3 January 1967 and a 53 base elementary school classroom extension were also completed during August 1969. The following year saw three-storey dormitories occupied, runways were re-surfaced a flight simulator building was completed in preparation for the introduction of the F-4 aircraft. During 1973 additional family housing was built adjacent to the existing houses. With the conversion of 48th Tactical Fighter Wing to the F-111 aircraft, a massive programme of 60 HAS, a hardened avionics facility, squadron operations building and a command post were all erected during the 1970s.

Mildenhall 7511th Air Base Squadron (Air Base Group from 22 August 1950) formed on 11 July 1950, to manage the station and on this date became USAF B-29 base with B-50s. On 16 May 1951, station transferred to SAC with the operations unit being 3910th ABG. 1952-1953; B-47 and KC-97s 1953-1958. The station then closed for runway repairs and reconstruction. Following the drawdown of Burtonwood Depot, the Military Transport Service was transferred to Mildenhall on 1 March 1959 to become ‘The Gateway to the UK’. The station then passed from SAC to USAFE on 1 September 1959. The European Command (USEUCOM) moved its Airborne Command Post from France to Mildenhall on 1 July 1966. From this date the base has the role of deploying US and Allied units as directed by HQ USAFE. From June 1966 the 513th Troop Carrier Wing relocated from Evreux, France and was assigned to Third Air Force – the move was completed on 1 September. During 1968 an airmen’s dormitory and service club completed. Runway closed 1969 for re-surfacing. During 1970 a combat operations centre was completed. 48 single officers quarters constructed 1972. Aircraft parking and loading apron completed 1972. HQ Third Air Force transferred from South Ruislip on 12 June 1972. Major construction in the mid 1970s included airmen’s dormitories, gymnasium, POL storage plant and four large hangars.. East taxiways completed 1978, improved airfield lighting, revetments erected for protection of aircraft and major base housing schemes implemented between 1979 and 1982.

Molesworth The station was assigned to the Third Air Force during July 1951 and a single runway was overlaid the existing three-runway site and a new control tower built. 7582nd ABS moved to Molesworth from Fairford – the station was then designated a Third Air Force primary installation on 24 August 1951. In February 1954 the 582nd Air Re-Supply Group (ARG) arrived with B-29s, for rescuing crews brought down over enemy territory. In the middle of 1956 the 47th Bomb Wing (BW) with new B-45s arrived from Alconbury to use Molesworth while its home base had its runway resurfaced. On 29 October 1956 the 582nd ARG became re-designated as part of the 42nd Troop Carrier Squadron (TCS), the unit remaining at Molesworth until the end of May 1957. After the 42nd TCS had disbanded at Alconbury during December 1957, Molesworth became a USAF family housing annexe of Alconbury and a supply/spare parts storage depot. On 5 July 1966, the station became designated as a Storage Site and housed the Redistribution and Marketing function formallyat Mildenhall. The airfield was closed to flying during 1973 and runways, hardstandings and virtually all WWII buildings were demolished during 1980.

Sculthorpe
Re-built between 1944 and 1948 as one of three RAF VHB airfields. Occupied by USAF from 17 January 1949, the operating unit being 7502nd Air Base Group (ABG) (7502 Air Support Wing from 26-09-50). SAC heavy bomber wings and squadrons on a three-month rotational duty from USA beginning 7-15 February 1949 and ending October 1950. Station transferred from SAC to USAFE, the operations unit being 3911 ABG which took over from 7502 ASW on 16 May 1951. 1st Tactical Support Squadron assigned to Third Air Force on 5 June 1952. For the next nine years the station housed the 49th Tactical Air Division. The principal flying unit being the 47th Bombardment Wing, with B-45 aircraft followed by B-66 jet bombers. From 11 May 1954 to 10 January 1959 the station also housed RB-45s of the 19th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. This unit was followed by 420th Refuelling Squadron with KB-50 tanker aircraft from 4 October 1955 to 25 May 1964. On 22 June 1962 the 47th Bombardment Wing deactivated and the base was handed over to RAF control on 30 June. Since then until the end of 1992 when it was handed over to the Air Ministry, the base has served as a stand-by station as well as becoming a USAF Storage Site (at the end of 1966) for materiel being sent from France.

Civil engineering projects included VHB hardstandings, special weapons store complex, nose docking sheds, parachute store and tower and workshops. Large reconstruction of domestic site including Z-form two-and three-storey dormitory blocks, , bowling alley, officers’ club, NCOs club and commissary.

South Ruislip / West Ruislip Headquarters Third Air Division moved to South Ruislip on 15 April 1949. 7550th Special Investigations Unit formed and moved to West Drayton. 7th Air Division established as SAC Command in UK on 20 March 1951. In May 1951 7500th Air Base Group re-organised and assigned newly designated squadrons at South Ruislip, Northolt, Bovingdon, Bushy Park and Chicksands. South Ruislip Later in the year it assigned a squadron to West Ruislip Third Air Division discontinued and replaced by Third Air Force during 1951. West Ruislip was assigned to Third Air Force on 1 December 1955. On 21 March 1956, 49th Air Division disbanded and was absorbed by Third Air Force. On 8 July 1957 the Third Communications Group was activated at South Ruislip. Third Air Force takes over function of surveillance of water ports from Northern Air Materiel Area, Europe. The 7th Air Division moves from South Ruislip to High Wycombe on 7 October 1959.

Upper Heyford Following on from the Berlin Crises of 1948 and onset of the Cold War, UH was designated as a standby dispersal base. The 7509th Air Base Squadron (ABS) (later Group) arrived 7 July 1950 to take command and to co-ordinate airfield reconstruction work. The civil engineering task being carried out by 801st Engineer Aviation Battalion (EAB). After extensive runway renovation and construction of base support facilities, the Third Air Force relinquished operational and administrative control to the 7th Air Division (SAC) and the 3918th ABG replaced the 7509th ABG on 28 January 1952. SAC commenced KC-50 tanker rotations in December 1951 – making it the first of the new Midland Group bases to re-open. B/RB-36 bomber rotations the following year. This was followed by B-47 rotations between 1953-1965, with SAC Reflex Alert operations finally ending in January 1965 – the station then became reduced to dispersal base status until 1 September 1966. The 7514th Combat Support Group formed on 8 February 1965. USAFE had regained control on 1 April 1965, and then with the arrival of the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (TRW) from Laon AB, France, the station once again became a main operating base on 1 September 1966, providing support for the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) after its arrival from Wethersfield on 1 April 1970. Meanwhile the 7514th Tactical Group was discontinued, making way for the 66th TRW HQ at UH. Local Base Rescue detachment 2 was relocated from France between September and October 1966.

Construction of two maintenance hangars, three nose docks, a 72-unit officer house facility, were all completed in 1972. Construction of additional equipment including storage sheds, base engineers offices, renovation of airmen’s dormitories, a new bowling alley, NCO club, base exchange, shopping centre, taxi-track, aircraft weather shelters, fuel storage facilities and ammunition storage facilities were all completed between 1974 and 1975. In 1976 the runway was reinforced and fitted with dual BAR-12 arrester devices. A gymnasium was also built. 19 ammunition storage igloo structures and eight multi-barrel ammunition igloos were then built between 1977 and 1978. Between 1979-1982 a new parallel taxi-track, the construction of 31 HAS and a Victor Alert HAS area was built plus a composite medical facility.

Wethersfield Wethersfield assigned to Third Air Force on 24 August 1951 and designated as a secondary installation until 6 June, after arrival of 20th Fighter-Bomber Wing, when it became a primary base. 49th Air Division with nuclear capability, consisting of the 47th Bombardment Wing and 20th Fighter-Bomber Wing assigned to Third Air Force. Raised wing strength to four wings., became 20th Tactical Fighter Wing on 8 July 1958, unit stayed until based closed to flying. The base was managed by 20th Air Base Group from 5 July 1952, replaced by 20th Support Group on 26 January 1956 which in turn was replaced by 20th Combat Support Group 1965 until the base closed.

Detachment of 1 Tactical Support Squadron arrived 14 August 1952, replaced with 1 Tactical Depot Squadron (TDS) from 8 July 1954, remained in residence until 15 May 1958, replaced with 4 TDS until 1962.

7520th ABS arrived on 8 February 1954 to 26 January 1956. Local Base Rescue detachment No.9 relocated from France between September and October 1966.

Woodbridge First USAFE units arrived 1 April 1952 to provide support as a satellite station for Bentwaters with the 3928th Air Base Squadron (ABS). The station operated as a SAC fighter-bomber (later fighter) base and received logistical and administrative support from Sturgate until June 1952.

The station was evacuated on 1 October 1954 and 1955 for reconstruction work, including repair and reinforcement of runway, preparation of hardstandings and erection of hangars.

Operated as a ‘twin base’ from 8 July 1958 and then as a single unit from 1 February 1959 with Bentwaters under the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing. Local Base Rescue detachment No.9 relocated from France between September and October 1966. The 67th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron moved in on 15 January 1970. As part of the expansion of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing to a total of six A-10 squadrons during 1979, USAFE activated the 509th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) at Woodbridge and moved the 91st TFS there on 1 February 1980.
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Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK 10 Nov 2015 22:48 #14

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Secondary USAF Bases 1950-1980

Bruntingthorpe On 1 March 1957 7th Air Division took over Bruntingthorpe – 3912th Air Base Squadron. In July 1959 following General de Gaulle ordering all foreign nuclear forces from France, the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing (TRW) moved their F-100Ds from Etain Rouvres to Spangdahlen; displacing the 10th TRW which moved to three bases in the UK, Alconbury, Bruntinghthorpe and Chelveston. Bruntingthorpe then housed the 19th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (TRS) which had only just moved from Sculthorpe to Spangdahlem. In March 1962 the 10th TRW moved to Toul Rosieres in France and with it moved the 19th and the 42nd TRS. Bruntingthorpe then closed to flying.

Manston Manston passed from RAF to SAC control and the 7512nd Air Base Group moved in on 11 July 1950, followed by the 20th Fighter Bomber Wing from Langley Field. The 31st Fighter Escort Wing (FEW) followed in January and the 12th FEW six months later. Following the transfer from USAFE to SAC, the 3917th ABG took over operations but all SAC units had departed by the end of November 1951. The station then passing to the 3rd Air Force, USAFE. The next unit was the 123rd Fighter-Bomber Wing (FBW) (National Guard) with F-84s. Around this time new hardstandings were built and the runway was confined to the central section of the crash strip. During July 1952 the 123rd FBW disbanded and its aircraft used to form the 406th FBW (512th, 513th and 514th Fighter-Bomber Squadrons (FBS). In November 1953, the 406th FBW received its Sabre aircraft and became a Fighter Interceptor Wing (FIW). A year later the 512th FIS moved to Soesterburg and was replaced by 92nd FS from Bentwaters. The 406th FIW finally disbanded during May 1958, the airfield passing to RAF Fighter Command on 30 June and the airfield being reduced to C&M status.

Chelveston In September 1952, a detachment of 7503rd Air Support Wing (ASW) (later re-designated as 7523rd Air Support Squadron) arrived to re-open the station and two months later the 817th Engineer Aviation Battalion moved in to build a new 12,000ft runway (the longest in the UK), hardstandings and an aircraft servicing platform superimposed over the WWII airfield. This work had been completed towards the end of 1955, the 3914th ABS then took over as the operating unit and the runway opened on 1 May 1956. In 1958 the introduction of Reflex Alert rotations were common place until June 1959, the last SAC detachment being 301st Reconnaissance Wing, equipped with RB-47s During July 1959 following General de Gaulle ordering all foreign nuclear forces from France, the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) moved their F-100Ds from Etain Rouvres to Spangdahlem; displacing the 10th TRW which moved to three bases in the UK, Alconbury, Chelveston and Bruntinghthorpe with the 42nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (TRS) to Chelveston. In March 1962 the 10th TRW moved to Toul Rosieres in France and with it moved the 19th and the 42nd TRS. Chelveston then closed to flying. The base was handed over to RAF control on 19 June 1964. At the end of December 1966 the station became a USAF Storage Site for materiel being moved from France.

Edzell Scotland) USAFE signals facility August 1951 to 25 May 1955, then returned to Air Ministry. Reallocated to US Navy 11 February 1960.

Prestwick (Scotland) Used as a major Transatlantic Ferry Terminal. On 30 September 1966, all base facilities were returned to MoD except for one warehouse and certain pipeline facilities.

Shepherds Grove
Occupied by US units 16 March 1951 to 1 April 1959. Operated by 7519 Air Base Squadron (Support Squadron from 25 June 1957). From 27 August 1951, it housed the F-86 Sabres of the 116 Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), followed on 5 September 1951 by the 92nd FIS (both units from the 81st Fighter Interceptor Wing). On 1 November 1952, 116 FIS was re-designated as 78 FIS and then 78th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 1 April 1954 and soon afterwards received F-84s. The 92nd FIS was similarly re-designated and equipped before moving to Manston on 28 March 1955. Between 9 August 1955 and the autumn of 1958, the 78th FBS was joined by the 77th FBS from Wethersfield and on 8 July 1958 both units were re-designated as Tactical Fighter Squadrons (TFS). All flying ceased in December 1958 when the 78th TFS was transferred to Woodbridge, the 77th TFS having meanwhile returned to Wethersfield. On 1 April 1959 the airfield returned to the Air Ministry and was subsequently used as a RAF Thor missile base. The domestic sites are still retained by RAF Lakenheath as a married quarters site. Civil engineering projects included an extension to the main runway, hardstandings and a special weapons store complex.
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Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK 10 Nov 2015 22:55 #15

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Stand-by USAF Installations

Barford St John Designated as a USAF minor installation on 29 November 1950

Bassingbourn USAFE Support squadron established 27 January 1951.

Beaulieu Allocated for USAFE on 1 April 1953 but never occupied and returned to Air Ministry control on 8 September 1955

Blyton
Occupied by USAF from 9 October 1952 to 5 July 1956. The first unit was a detachment of 60 Supply Squadron until 1955. 7536 Air Base Squadron, 25 March 1953 to 25 July 1955 immediately followed (re-designated?) by 7536 Air Materiel Squadron (AMS) to 19 October 1955. Detachment of 7536 AMS remained until 5 July 1956.

Bovingdon In 1948 Bovingdon was a civilian airport when it began to be used as a communications centre in December 1948 by the 3rd Air Division (later 3rd Air Force) at South Ruislip. In May 1951 the enclave was operated by 7531st Air Base Squadron with its own fleet of C-47s. Became a lodger unit of RAF Bovingdon until the American unit transferred to Mildenhall during October 1962. 7531st ABS left Bovingdon on 1 October and eight days later the installation was handed over to RAF control

Burderop Park 7505th Hospital Group activated at Burderop Park on 19 December 1950, became USAF site during March 1951. 5th Hospital Group formed 14 January 1952. The base was returned to the British Government on 29 June 1965, the 7505th HG disbanding in the process.

Carnaby Stand-by airfield between 1952 and 1958, allocated for USAF use from 1 April 1954 but was never used. Returned to RAF control on 24-10-58 as a Bloodhound and Thor missile site.

Charterhall Reserved for USAFE but never occupied.

Colliers End Camp Allocated to Third Air Force returned to Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’ on 6 August 1957.

Cranage
Allocated to Third Air Force returned to Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’ on 17 July 1957.

Croughton Occupied by US signal units from 16 October 1951 to date. Designated as USAF minor installation on 29 November 1950.

Croft The MATS facility closed and the station was returned to Air Ministry control on 28 February 1959.

Dunsfold Reserved for USAFE but never occupied.

East Fortune (Scotland) Allocated for USAFE but never occupied

East Kirkby Occupied by SAC from 17 April until c.31 October 1958. Housed 3931 Air Base Group 17-04-54 to 1955, 3917 Air Base Squadron 1955 until 1 July 1958. Projects included a 1,230 yard extension to the main runway and a large servicing apron. Station only used by visiting C-47s of the 7th Air Division’s rescue squadrons. Returned to Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’ on 31 October 1958.

Elvington
Allocated to Third Air Force returned to Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’ on 5 December 1958.

Full Sutton Allocated as a USAFE War Reserve Base – handed back to RAF control by 1 February 1957.

Holme on Spalding Moor Housing annexe for US personnel detached to RAF Elvington 15 January 1954 to 1957. 7536 Materiel Squadron 19 October 1955 to 15 August 1957. Station returned to Air Ministry control on 9 August 1957.

Homewood Park 3915th Air Base Squadron disbanded on 1 November 1957.

Kirknewton
(Scotland) Housed US ground units 10 March 1952 to 1 August 1966, including 7532 Air Base Squadron, mobile radio squadrons, 7535 USAF Dispensary, family housing annexe and off-base storage facility. On 1 April 1966, the 7535th Dispensary was disbanded in conjunction with the withdrawal of USAF Security Service personnel. The station was returned to the Air Ministry on 1 August 1966.

Langham Camp Allocated to Third Air Force returned to Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’ on 25 September 1957.

Lasham Reserved for USAFE but never occupied.

Lindholme Occupied by USAF units between 27 January 1951 and 1956. The operations unit was 7518 Air Support Squadron (USAFE), from 27 January 1951 to 16 May 1951 followed by 3916 ABS (SAC) until 1956. In November 1950 the station was to have housed B-50s of 341 Bomb Squadron but this move was cancelled and it deployed to Lakenheath instead. Lindholme was returned to RAF control on 3 December 1956.

Marham February 1949 7503 Complement Squadron formed at Marham, moved to Brize Norton. On 17 June 1950. Third Air Division support squadron established 27 January 1951.

Middleton Stoney Attached to Upper Heyford, occupied by US Hospital units 10-03-52 to 1 January 1957.

North Pickenham Allocated to Third Air Force returned to Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’ on 1 December 1958.

Norton Third Air Division support squadron established at Norton on 27 January 1951.

Oakington Allocated to USAFE as a War Reserve base – handed back to RAF control on 1 February 1957.

St Mawgan Earmarked as a trans Atlantic Ferry Terminal. Occupied by USAF construction units from 13 November 1952 to 1 January 1956.

Sandtoft Allocated for USAF use 1 April 1953 but never occupied by US units and returned to Air Ministry control 8 September 1955

Scampton Vacated February 1949

Sealand Storage Depot for motor vehicles occupied by US units between 20 April 1951 to 24 October 1957. The Third Motor Transport Squadron moved to Burtonwood.

Shaftsbury Military Hospitaloccupied by US personnel and special investigation units 5 April 1951 to 30 June 1957. 7551st Personnel Processing Group formed 5 April 1951.

Spilsby Allocated to Third Air Force returned to Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’ on 11 March 1958.

Stansted Earmarked as a SAC base for tanker aircraft, Stansted was occupied by US units from 10 November 1958. The operations unit being the 7522 Air Base Squadron (ABS) until September 1953, then the 7532 ABS which was re-designated as the 7532 Support Squadron. Civil engineering work was carried out by 803 Engineer Aviation Battalion, constructing a new runway and hardstandings. The 3913 ABS (SAC) was based there from 1952 to 1955, followed by 3930 ABS from 1955 to 1 October 1958. The 7th Air Division took over the base on 1 February 1957. The station was never used for its original purpose and was returned to RAF control on 14 November 1958.

Sturgate Allocated to USAF on 30 July 1952, was used from June 1953 to 1 August 1958, then returned to Air Ministry control. The operations unit was 3928 Air Base Squadron from June 1953, this unit was re-designated 3928 Air Base Group during 1954. The station was used operationally for a three-month period for TDY by fighter escort groups, one of which, the 27th FEG stayed there with its 75 plus F-84s between May and August 1955. On 1 July these groups were transferred to Tactical Air Command and on 1 August 1958 3928th ABG closed down 11 days later the station passed to the Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’.

Swinderby Allocated as a War Reserve Base – handed back to RAF control by 1 February 1957

Tibenham Allocated to Third Air Force returned to Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’ on 7 March 1958.

Ullenwood Camp Allocated to Third Air Force returned to Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’ on 7 August 1957.

Tuddenham Allocated to Third Air Force returned to Air Ministry under ‘Big Shuffle’ on 30 June 1958.

Waddington RAF station used on an emergency basis by US units between July 1948 and February 1949, firstly by one B-29 squadron from 307th Bomb Group (Marham) (July to November 1948), then by a B-29 detachment from the USA between November 1948 and February 1949. This practise then largely ceased as Sculthorpe had become available, although one further 97th Bombardment Wing squadron, (now equipped with B-50s), used the station between August 1950 and February 1951. Operationally the station vcame under 3914 Air Base Squadron from 16 May 1951 to March 1955. The station then returned to RAF control on 31
You can tell a builder from an archaeologist by the size of his trowel. Mine is a small one!

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Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK 11 Nov 2015 17:46 #16

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Paul, that is brilliant, thanks a million for that

Cheers

Rich

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Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK 11 Nov 2015 19:15 #17

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I believe that Macrihanish was used by the USN, not USAF. There was also an RAF presence (I remember a Cpl armourer being posted there in 66) until they moved out in the mid 90s.

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Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK 12 Nov 2015 09:04 #18

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I was TDY were there in 1969 and the USAF were there occupying the bomb store with nuclear air-dropped torpedoes . The RAF was storing and servicing Mk 48 torpedo for Shacklebombers so there was a Sqn Ldr Armament plus 20 odd ranks Armourers and Electronics. Quite a few RAF admin types too so other things going on outside of my interest. MQs too.

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Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK 12 Nov 2015 09:20 #19

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Sealand gets a mention I see. I was under the impression that it was taken over lock stock and barrel by the USAF for approximately 5 years in the fifties.

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Post war USAF/USAFE Airfields in the UK 12 Nov 2015 13:53 #20

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superplum;166238 wrote: I believe that Macrihanish was used by the USN, not USAF. There was also an RAF presence (I remember a Cpl armourer being posted there in 66) until they moved out in the mid 90s.


They had NDB and other munitions stored there and the SEALs had a unit there but I don't think there were any American aircraft based there permanently. At the Open Day recently there were a couple of good photographs of ground crew refuelling an invisible 'stealth' aircraft and a pilot stepping across from the ladder to an invisible 'stealth' aircraft.

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