RAF Christchurch

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For the civil use of this facility, see Christchurch Airfield.
RAF Christchurch
USAAF Station AAF-416

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svgPatch9thusaaf.png
Christchurch-4mar44.jpg
Christchurch Airfield - 4 March 1944. Christchurch was unusual as it was constructed on an existing airfield. However the airfield used before the war for club and commercial flying was too small to accommodate wartime aircraft so the airfield was rebuilt.
IATA: noneICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator United States Army Air Forces
Royal Air Force
Location Christchurch, Dorset, England
Built 1940 (1940)
In use 1940-1964 (1964)
Elevation AMSL 26 ft / 8 m
Coordinates 50°44′23″N 001°44′22″W / 50.73972°N 1.73944°W / 50.73972; -1.73944Coordinates: 50°44′23″N 001°44′22″W / 50.73972°N 1.73944°W / 50.73972; -1.73944
Map
RAF Christchurch is located in Dorset
RAF Christchurch
RAF Christchurch
Location in Dorset
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
00/00 0 0 Sommerfeld Tracking
Republic P-47D-25-RE Thunderbolt 42-276552 of the 405th Fighter Group, 510th Fighter Squadron
Republic P-47D-27-RE Thunderbolt 42-227312 of the 405th Fighter Group, 510th Fighter Squadron

RAF Christchurch is a former Royal Air Force installation and was located southeast of the A337/B3059 junction in Somerford, Christchurch, Dorset, England.

Christchurch Airfield was a civil airfield starting from 1926. It was used during World War II by the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces Ninth Air Force. After the war the airfield returned to civilian use. The airfield complex was demolished in 1966.

History[edit]

USAAF use[edit]

In 1943, the USAAF Ninth Air Force required several temporary advanced landing grounds along the southern English Channel coast prior to the Normandy invasion to provide tactical air support for the ground forces landing in France. Christchurch was provided to support this mission.

Christchurch was known as USAAF Station AAF-416 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. It's USAAF Station Code was "CH".

405th Fighter Group[edit]

Christchurch airfield saw the arrival of the USAAF 405th Fighter Group on 4 April 1944, the group arriving from Walterboro Army Airfield South Carolina. The 405th had the following operational squadrons:

The 405th was a group of Ninth Air Force's 84th Fighter Wing, IX Tactical Air Command. It flew the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. The 405th moved to its Advanced Landing Ground at Picauville, France (ALG A-8) on 22 June 1944, ending the USAAF's use of Christchurch.

Current use[edit]

The airfield complex was demolished in 1966 and there is housing and The Runway Industrial Park located on the site.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

Citations[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Freeman, Roger A. (1994) UK Airfields of the Ninth: Then and Now 1994. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-80-0
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1996) The Ninth Air Force in Colour: UK and the Continent-World War Two. After the Battle ISBN 1-85409-272-3
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

Further reading[edit]

  • White, Allen (1987) Christchurch Airfield - 40 Years Of Flying

External links[edit]