RAF Upottery

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Royal Air Force Station Upottery
USAAF Station AAF-462
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Patch9thusaaf.png United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg
Located Near Honiton, Devon, England
Upottery airfield, 22 April 1944, just prior to the arrival of the 439th Troop Carrier Group.
RAF Upottery is located in Devon
RAF Upottery
RAF Upottery, shown within Devon
Coordinates 50°53′02″N 003°09′10″W / 50.88389°N 3.15278°W / 50.88389; -3.15278
Type Military airfield
Code UO
Site information
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces
United States Navy
Site history
Built 1943
In use 1944-1948
Battles/wars European Theatre of World War II
Air Offensive, Europe July 1942 - May 1945
Garrison information
Garrison Ninth Air Force
Fleet Air Wing 7
Occupants 439th Troop Carrier Group
Patrol Bomber Squadrons 107th and 112th
C-47s of the 91st Troop Carrier Squadron on the northwest perimeter track adjacent to the main hangar at Upottery.
Douglas C-47A-80-DL Serial 43-15159 of the 94th Troop Carrier Squadron in Normady Invasion Markings.
C-47s of the 91st Troop Carrier Squadron practicing the "pick up" method of towing a glider, Upottery, May 1944.

RAF Upottery (also known as Smeatharpe) is a former World War II airfield in East Devon, England. The airfield is located near the village of Upottery, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) north-northeast of the town of Honiton.

Opened in 1944, it was used by the Royal Air Force, United States Army Air Forces and United States Navy. During the war it was used primarily as a transport airfield and for antisubmarine patrols. It was closed in 1948, after the end of the war.

Today the remains of the airfield are located on private property being used as agricultural fields.

Upottery received much attention in 2001 when it appeared in the first episode of the television mini-series Band of Brothers. It was from Upottery that Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, U.S. 101st Airborne Division boarded Douglas C-47 transports and made their first combat jump into Normandy on 6 June 1944.


USAAF use[edit]

Officially opened on 17 February 1944, it was known as USAAF Station AAF-462 for security reasons during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. It's ID code was "UO".

439th Troop Carrier Group[edit]

A few weeks later on 25 April 1944, the 439th Troop Carrier Group arrived from RAF Balderton with some 70 Douglas C-47 and C-53 Skytrain transports. The group's squadrons and fuselage codes were:

The 439th was a group of Ninth Air Force's 50th Troop Carrier Wing, IX Troop Carrier Command. On 8 September 1944, it moved to Juvincourt, France (ALG A-68).

Civil use[edit]

Upon its release from military use, the airfield was largely returned to agriculture. All three runways remain with most of the concreted areas still intact. Large numbers of loop hardstands still exist, although the perimeter track has been largely reduced to a single lane agricultural road. A few dilapidated buildings can also be seen. Part of the airfield is used by a small flying club and another section is occasionally used for stock car racing on a purpose built concrete oval,[1] parts of it are also used for rallying, drag racing and drifting (motorsport).[2]

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]