RAF Barford St John

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
RAF Barford St John
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svgUnited States Air Forces in Europe.png
Part of United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)
Near Bloxham, Oxfordshire in England
422d Air Base Group.png
RAF Barford St John is located in Oxfordshire
RAF Barford St John
RAF Barford St John
Shown within Oxfordshire
Coordinates 52°00′13″N 001°21′36″W / 52.00361°N 1.36000°W / 52.00361; -1.36000Coordinates: 52°00′13″N 001°21′36″W / 52.00361°N 1.36000°W / 52.00361; -1.36000
Type Royal Air Force station
Code BJ
Site information
Owner Ministry of Defence
Operator Royal Air Force (1941-1946)
United States Air Force 1951-Present
Site history
Built 1941 (1941)
In use 1941–46 & 1951–present
Battles/wars Second World War, Cold War
Garrison information
Garrison 501st Combat Support Wing
Occupants 422d Air Base Group
Airfield information
Elevation 120 metres (394 ft) AMSL
Runways
Direction Length and surface
02/20 1,210 metres (3,970 ft) Asphalt
09/27 1,670 metres (5,479 ft) Asphalt
16/34 1,215 metres (3,986 ft) Asphalt

Royal Air Force Barford St John or RAF Barford St John is a Royal Air Force station just north of the village of Barford St. John, Oxfordshire, England. It is now a non-flying facility, operated by the United States Air Force as a communications centre with many large communications aerials, and is a satellite of RAF Croughton.

History[edit]

RAF Barford St John was opened on 30 July 1941 as a training facility for RAF Flying Training Command. It had three grass runways, used primarily by Airspeed Oxfords of No 15 Service Flying Training School from RAF Kidlington. The airfield was closed in late 1941 and rebuilt as an RAF Bomber Command airfield with paved runways and equipped for night operations.

The airfield reopened in December 1942 as a satellite for RAF Upper Heyford. Bomber Command and No 16 Operational Training Unit was stationed there with Vickers Wellingtons until December 1944. No 1655 Mosquito Training Unit replaced the Wellingtons and the unit was renamed No 16 OTU in January 1945 when it moved to RAF Cottesmore. In 1943 the station served as flight test centre for its Gloster E.28/39 and Gloster Meteor jet aircraft[1] from RAF Brockworth.

After the war the airfield was closed in 1946 and placed into care and maintenance.

The site was used as the airfield in the 1949 film Twelve O'Clock High.

USAF use[edit]

In 1951[1] the United States Air Force opened a communications (transmitter) centre on the airfield, reporting to the 2130th Communications Squadron (UK Communications Region) at RAF Croughton.

Given its postwar use by the military, all its runways, perimeter track and hardstands still exist. Unfortunately the World War II buildings have been removed, being replaced by modern buildings on the airfield, secured and guarded with fencing and other security devices.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Crossley, William (20 September 2011). "Base's special place in aviation history". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 

External links[edit]