RAF Bolt Head
|RAF Bolt Head|
|SW of Salcombe, Devon, United Kingdom|
RAF Bolt Head, shown within Devon
|Type||Royal Air Force station|
|Controlled by||Royal Air Force|
|Battles/wars||European Theatre of World War II|
Royal Air Force Bolt Head or more simply RAF Bolt Head is a former Royal Air Force grass airfield 1 mile (1.6 km) south west of Salcombe on the south Devon coast, England from 1941 to 1945. During the Second World War it was used as a satellite for RAF Exeter. There were two runways, of 3,680 ft at 45° and 4,200 ft at 120°
Today the World War II buildings are almost all gone but a memorial to the airfield's war-time history exists in the centre of the site, two notable post-war buildings survive including a large R6 Rotor bunker (used until 1994 as a Regional Seat of Government) and a grass airstrip is still used occasionally by light aircraft. The landowners also hosted an air display there in 2009 which saw a Hurricane and Spitfire visit the airfield for the first time since the war.
RAF units and aircraft
|No. 16 Squadron RAF||1940–1941||Westland Lysander||III||Detachments from RAF Weston Zoyland.|
|No. 41 Squadron RAF||29 April-16 May 1944 & 24 May-19 June 1944||Supermarine Spitfire||XII||Attended APC Fairwood Common, 17–23 May 1944.|
|No. 234 Squadron RAF||1944||Supermarine Spitfire||VI|||
|No. 257 Squadron RAF||1942||Hawker Typhoon||IA and IB||Detachments from RAF Exeter.|
|No. 263 Squadron RAF||1943||Westland Whirlwind||I||Detachments from RAF Warmwell.|
|No. 266 Squadron RAF||1944||Hawker Typhoon||IB|||
|No. 275 Squadron RAF||1944||Supermarine Spitfire||VC||Later moved to RAF Exeter with detachments back to Bolt Head.|
|No. 276 Squadron RAF||1944||Various||Detachment from RAF Portreath.|
|No. 310 Squadron RAF||1942||Supermarine Spitfire||VB and VC||Detachments from RAF Exeter.|
|No. 421 Squadron RCAF||1942||Supermarine Spitfire||VB||Detachments from RAF Exeter.|
|No. 610 Squadron RAF||1943||Supermarine Spitfire||VC|||
|No. 611 Squadron RAF||1944||Supermarine Spitfire||IX|||
The following units were here at some point:
- No. 10 Group Communications Flight
- No. 2704 Squadron RAF Regiment
- No. 2715 Squadron RAF Regiment
- No. 2738 Squadron RAF Regiment
During the Second World War, 17 personnel operating from RAF Bolt Head were killed in action or died on active service.
- Arthur L. Clamp (1992). The Hope Cove Area during The Second World War 1939–1945.
- Jefford 1988, p. 29.
- Jefford 1988, p. 38.
- Jefford 1988, p. 75.
- Jefford 1988, p. 79.
- Jefford 1988, p. 80.
- Jefford 1988, p. 81.
- Jefford 1988, p. 82.
- Jefford 1988, p. 85.
- Jefford 1988, p. 91.
- Jefford 1988, p. 99.
- Jefford 1988, p. 100.
- "Bolt Head". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
- Howell, Christopher (2009) RAF Bolt Head (privately published, no ISBN)
- Jefford MBE, Wg Cdr C G (1988). RAF Squadrons. A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.