RAF Ramsbury

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RAF Ramsbury
USAAF Station AAF-469
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Eighth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).png Patch9thusaaf.png
Located near Marlborough, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Ramsbury-may1944.png
Ramsbury airfield photographed in May 1944 with west oriented upwards. Taken about a month before D-Day with the airfield full of C-47s and Horsa gliders of the 437th Troop Carrier Group.
RAF Ramsbury is located in Wiltshire
RAF Ramsbury
Coordinates 51°25′49″N 1°37′11″W / 51.4302°N 1.6198°W / 51.4302; -1.6198
Type Military airfield
Code RY
Site information
Owner Air Ministry
Controlled by  Royal Air Force
US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built 1941 (1941)
In use 1942-1945 (1945)
Battles/wars European Theatre of World War II
Air Offensive, Europe July 1942 - May 1945
Garrison information
Garrison Eighth Air Force
Ninth Air Force
RAF Transport Command
RAF Flying Training Command
Occupants 64th Troop Carrier Group
434th/435th Troop Carrier Groups
437th Troop Carrier Group
No. 23 Group RAF

Royal Air Force Station Ramsbury or more simply RAF Ramsbury is a former Royal Air Force station located 5 miles (8.0 km) east-northeast of Marlborough, Wiltshire, England.

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 transport airfield. After the war it was closed in 1946. Today the remains of the airfield are on private land being used as agricultural fields.

History[edit]

USAAF use[edit]

Ramsbury was known as USAAF Station AAF-469 for security reasons by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) during the war, to avoid naming its location. Its USAAF Station Code was "RY".

64th Troop Carrier Group[edit]

The airfield was fairly complete when the first operational users arrived. The USAAF Twelfth Air Force 64th Troop Carrier Group, equipped with Douglas C-47s and C-53s, arrived from Westover Army Airfield, Massachusetts on 18 August 1942. Operational squadrons of the group were:

The unit was temporarily assigned to the VIII Air Support Command for training at Ramsbury, and conducted an extensive training program while flying cargo, passengers, and courier missions for several months, before leaving with paratroopers for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa on 9 November 1942, being deployed to Blida Airfield, Algeria.

434th/435th Troop Carrier Groups[edit]

From November 1943 to January 1944, the airfield was used by the air echelons of the 434th and 435th Troop Carrier Groups from RAF Fulbeck and RAF Langar with C-47s and C-53s. The groups conducted exercises with the 101st Airborne Division.

437th Troop Carrier Group[edit]

Douglas C-47A of the 84th Troop Carrier Squadron.

On 5 February 1944 the 437th Troop Carrier Group moved to Ramsbury from RAF Balderton. Operational squadrons of the group were:

  • 83d Troop Carrier Squadron (T2)
  • 84th Troop Carrier Squadron (Z8)
  • 85th Troop Carrier Squadron (90)
  • 86th Troop Carrier Squadron (5K)

The 437th was a group of Ninth Air Force's 53d Troop Carrier Wing, IX Troop Carrier Command.

The 437th TCS flew a combination of Douglas C-47s and C-53 Skytrains. In February 1945 the group moved to its Advanced Landing Ground at Coulommiers/Voisins, France (ALG A-58).

Ramsbury was retained by IX TCC as a reserve base until the end of hostilities, finally relinquishing it to the RAF in June 1945.[1][2]

Current use[edit]

With the end of military control, Ramsbury was returned to agricultural use. By the mid-1960s, much of the concrete had been removed.

Today outlines of the main runways can be discerned on aerial photography, with the perimeter track being reduced largely to a single-lane agricultural road. None of the numerous dispersal pads to the southwest of the airfield remain, and there is no evidence of any of the hangars or the technical site. A very short piece of the end of 32 runway can be seen where the concrete is still at full width, at the intersection with what once was the perimeter track.

A large poultry farm has been erected at the intersection of the 32 end of the NW/SE and 02 end of the NE/SW runways. Several runoff retention ponds are visible with many metal storage silos.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Freeman 2001, p. 00.
  2. ^ Maurer 1980, p. 00.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Freeman, R. Airfields of the Eighth - Then and Now. After the Battle. London, UK: Battle of Britain International Ltd., 2001. ISBN 0-9009-13-09-6.
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1996) The Ninth Air Force in Colour: UK and the Continent-World War Two. After the Battle ISBN 1-85409-272-3
  • Maurer, M. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. USAF Historical Division. Washington D.C., USA: Zenger Publishing Co., Inc, 1980. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

External links[edit]