RAF Snitterfield

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RAF Snitterfield
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
Miles Magister.jpg
A Miles Magister similar to the ones that flew from the airfield
IATA: noneICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Military
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Snitterfield
Built 1942
In use 1943-1946
Elevation AMSL 381 ft / 116 m
Coordinates 52°14′14″N 001°43′08″W / 52.23722°N 1.71889°W / 52.23722; -1.71889
Map
RAF Snitterfield is located in Warwickshire
RAF Snitterfield
RAF Snitterfield
Location in Warwickshire
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
02/20 5,744 1,750 Concrete
08/26 3,710 1,131 Concrete
14/32 3,862 1,177 Concrete

RAF Snitterfield is a former Royal Air Force station located west of Snitterfield, Warwickshire, England, 3.3 miles (5.3 km) north of Stratford-upon-Avon and 4.6 miles (7.4 km) south-east of Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire.

Snitterfield was operational during the Second World War, the airfield was a class A airfield and had around 30 aircraft dispersals. The airfield was finished around June 1942 and cost around £1,147,000[2] and opened in 1943 then closed in 1946.[3]

Posted units[edit]

No. 18 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit RAF ((P)AFU) was the first unit to operate from the airfield starting on 7 May 1943 at RAF Church Lawford and using Snitterfield as a satellite airfield to disperse the aircraft as Church Lawford was very busy. On 3 April 1945 the unit moved permanently to RAF Snitterfield using Airspeed Oxfords and Miles Magisters.[3]

The airfield was also home to two Belgian training schools firstly the Initial Training School dealing with reception and training elements from 1 January 1944 until 13 December 1944[4] and secondly the Technical Training School from January 1944 until October 1946.[3]

From May 1945 to 1946, Snitterfield was used as a Relief Landing Ground by No. 20 Service Flying Training School from RAF Church Lawford.[1]

The airfield was also host to other units including:

  • No. 1533 Beam Approach Training Flight which joined in 1944 flying the Airspeed Oxford left 3 April 1945.[4]
  • No. 21 Flying Training School flying the Harvard joined the airfield on 3 April 1945 until 18 September 1946.[4]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

During life as a RAF training base accidents were not far away with a number of airmen killed during training and within the surrounding area.

Date Incident Reference
1 September 1942 Bristol Beaufighter X7943 YD-P of No. 255 Squadron RAF dived into the ground during an electrical storm. [5]
14 February 1944 Vickers Wellington HZ110 of 22 OTU was diverted to the airfield in bad weather, where the bomber crashed after seven attempts to land. [6]
10 July 1944 Airspeed Oxford NM278 of 18 (P)AFU made a violent recovery from a diving turn, causing the wings to break away. [6]
25 July 1944 Wellington HF610 of 22 OTU belly landed. [6]
26 August 1944 Miles Magister T9895 of 18 (P)AFU crashed on landing. [6]

Motor sports usage[edit]

In 1948, RAF Snitterfield was one of two disused airfields given special consideration as to the suitability of hosting a British Grand Prix. In the end, RAF Silverstone was chosen as the venue.[7]

Current use[edit]

The north-east section of the airfield is currently the Stratford Oaks Golf club and the south-east section is home to Stratford-Upon-Avon Gliding Club.[8] However before these were built there was a Wireless Transmission station.[9]

At the southern end of the airfield is now Stratford Armouries[10] which is a military museum that was built in 2007.[11]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b "RAF Snitterfield". Control Towers. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "RAF Worksop - World War II". Priories Historical Society - RAF Worksop Memorial. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "RAF Snitterfield". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Military flying units in the south west Midlands". Aviation Archaeology. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Military aircraft crashes in the south west Midlands - 1942". Aviation Archaeology. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Military aircraft crashes in the south west Midlands - 1944". Aviation Archaeology. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Swinger 2001, p. 119.
  8. ^ "Snitterfield". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "HF Radio - Bearley". Alan Cordwell Web Portal. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Wellington Museum". Stratford Armouries. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  11. ^ "News". A.I Architecture. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Swinger, P.S. Motor racing Circuits in England, Then & Now. Ian Allan Publishing, 2001. ISBN 978-0711027961.

External links[edit]