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|Airport type||Military (former)|
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|Location||West of Kilkhampton|
|Elevation AMSL||400 ft / 122 m|
RAF Cleave is a former Royal Air Force station located 4.2 miles (7 kilometres) north of Bude in Cornwall, United Kingdom, which was operational from 1939 until 1945. Despite a few periods of intense activity, it was one of Fighter Command's lesser used airfields.
In May 1939, two flights of 1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit (1 AACU) with the Westland Wallace, and a naval steam catapult was soon erected near the cliffs for the pilotless Queen Bee aircraft due to be stationed there. Aircraft were initially housed in temporary Bessonneau hangars (type H of World War I vintage), and later replaced by more permanent structures.
The airfield was placed under care and maintenance in April 1945, and later became a government signals station.
|unit||dates stationed||aircraft used||duties|
|1 AACU (D, G & O Flights)||- 31 October 1942||Hawker Henley, Westland Wallace||target towing|
|1602 (AAC) Flt||1 November 1942 – 1 December 1943||Hawker Henley||formed from D Flight 1AACU, target towing|
|1603 (AAC) Flt||1 November 1942 – 1 December 1943||Hawker Henley, Fairey Battle||formed from G Flight 1AACU, target towing|
|1604 (AAC) Flt||1 November 1942 – 1 December 1943||Hawker Henley, de Havilland Tiger Moth||formed from O Flight 1AACU, target towing|
|1618 (AAC) Flt||1 November 1942 – 1 December 1943||de Havilland Tiger Moth, de Havilland Queen Bee||target towing & pilotless targets|
|639 Sqn||1 December 1943 – 30 April 1945||Hawker Henley, Hawker Hurricane||formed from 1602, 1603, & 1604 Flts|
Apart from an undisturbed piece of the grass runway to the north, a very short section of concrete perimeter track, and a few of the married quarters accommodation on Cleave Crescent, the site has been almost completely re-modelled as GCHQ Bude.
- 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.
- Lake, A (1999) Flying units of the RAF, Airlife Publishing, Shrewsbury, 316pp & 16 App, ISBN 1-84037-086-6.
- Smith, G (2000) Devon and Cornwall Airfields in the Second World War, Countryside Books, Newbury, 288pp, ISBN 1-85306-632-X.
- Willis, S and Holliss, B R (1987), Military airfields in the British Isles 1939-1945 (Omnibus Edition), Enthusiasts Publications, Newport Pagnell, 283pp, ISBN 0-907700-12-8.
- RAF Cleave — web page with extensive descriptive photo gallery, at AtlantikWall.co.uk
- web page showing many photos of the remaining RAF Cleave implacements around the Morwenstow site — at DerelictPlaces.co.uk