RAF Birch

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RAF Birch
USAAF Station 149
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svgPatch9thusaaf.png
Birch, Essex in England
Birchafld-sep44.jpg
RAF Birch during World War II, September 1944. The fully completed airfield was essentially never used by the Allies.
RAF Birch is located in Essex
RAF Birch
RAF Birch
Shown within Essex
Coordinates 51°50′33″N 000°46′50″E / 51.84250°N 0.78056°E / 51.84250; 0.78056Coordinates: 51°50′33″N 000°46′50″E / 51.84250°N 0.78056°E / 51.84250; 0.78056
Type Royal Air Force station
Site information
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built 1944 (1944)
In use 1944-1945 (1945)
Airfield information
Elevation 42 metres (138 ft) AMSL
Runways
Direction Length and surface
02/20 1,300 metres (4,265 ft) Concrete
08/26 1,800 metres (5,906 ft) Concrete
14/32 1,300 metres (4,265 ft) Concrete

Royal Air Force Birch or more simply RAF Birch is a former Royal Air Force station in Essex, England. The airfield is located 2 mi (3.2 km) northeast of Tiptree; about 43 mi (69 km) northeast of London

Opened in 1942 it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war, it was used primarily as a reserve transport airfield. It was closed after the war, in late 1945.

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

United States Army Air Forces use[edit]

Birch was known as USAAF Station AAF-149 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. Its USAAF Station Code was "BR".

Current use[edit]

With the facility released from military control, the airfield was returned to agricultural use.

Today, most of the concreted areas have been removed for hardcore, leaving single tracked farm roads along the main runway, one secondary, and parts of the perimeter track. Blind Lane (a public road) now runs along the other secondary (02/20) its original course having been taken when building the airfield. Some hardstanding is also used by Essex Council for garden waste composting, the main site being accessed via the main runway. A few loop hardstands remain intact off the remains of the single-tracked perimeter track along the north side of the airfield. However, other than these farm roads, there is little remaining of the wartime airfield that was never used, other than some ghostly disturbed areas in aerial photography of loop dispersal hardstands and the long since removed perimeter track.

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. (1978) Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-09-6
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1991) The Mighty Eighth The Colour Record. Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35708-1
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

External links[edit]