1945 aerial photograph
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|Location||Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, England|
|Elevation AMSL||33 ft / 10 m|
Royal Air Force Waterbeach or more simply RAF Waterbeach is a former Royal Air Force station located in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire which is about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) north of Cambridge, England. The site was transferred to the Royal Engineers, part of the British Army, in 1966, as Waterbeach Barracks.
Royal Air Force
The airfield was built in 1940 on the northern edge of Waterbeach village and operated under the control of RAF Bomber Command. The original control tower and many RAF buildings, including several hangars, are still present.
RAF units and aircraft - Bomber Command, WW2
|1941-1942||No. 99 Squadron RAF||Vickers Wellington||Ic, II|
|1941-1942||No. 26 Conversion Flight RAF||Short Stirling||I||On 2 January 1942 it was upgraded to form 1651 CU|
|1942–1943||No. 1651 Conversion Unit RAF||Short Stirling||I, III||During 1942 it flew 49 operational sorties, with a loss of five aircraft|
|1942||214 Squadron Conversion Flight RAF||Short Stirling||I||Two short stays April–May and August–October 1942|
|1943||No. 1665 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF||Short Stirling||I|
|1943||No. 1678 Conversion Unit RAF||Avro Lancaster||II||The training unit for No. 514 Squadron RAF|
|1943-1945||No. 514 Squadron RAF||Avro Lancaster||I, II and III|
Transport Command, 1945-1949
RAF units and aircraft - Transport Command
|1945-1946||No. 59 Squadron RAF||Consolidated Liberator||B, C and GR||Carrying troops to and from India and the Far East|
|1945-1946||No. 220 Squadron RAF||Consolidated Liberator||C Mk V, VI and VIII|
|1946||1552 (BABS) Flight RAF||Airspeed Oxford||Training in Beam Approach Beacon System, March–July|
|1946-1947||No. 51 Squadron RAF||Avro York||C|
|1947–1949||No. 77 Squadron RAF||Douglas Dakota||Participated in Operation Plainfare, the Berlin Airlift|
|1947–1949||No. 62 Squadron RAF||Douglas Dakota||Participated in Operation Plainfare, the Berlin Airlift|
|1947–1949||No. 53 Squadron RAF||Douglas Dakota||Participated in Operation Plainfare, the Berlin Airlift|
|1947-1950||No. 18 Squadron RAF||Douglas Dakota||Participated in Operation Plainfare, the Berlin Airlift|
|1949-1950||No. 24 Squadron RAF||Avro Lancastrian
C Mk IV
C Mk I
|Participated in Operation Plainfare and then European scheduled services|
Fighter Command, 1950-1963
RAF Fighter Command took over the base on 1 March 1950 and used Gloster Meteors, Supermarine Swifts, de Havilland Venoms, de Havilland Vampires and Gloster Javelins. In addition Hawker Hunter fighters arrived in May 1955 and, two years later, the prototype English Electric P1 (Lightning) visited RAF Waterbeach.
RAF units and aircraft - Fighter Command
|1950-1959||No. 56 Squadron RAF||Gloster Meteor
|F4 and F8
F1 and F2
F5 and F8
|27 Meteor F4s from RAF Thorney Island arrived on 10 May 1950|
|1950-1958||No. 63 Squadron RAF||Gloster Meteor
|F4 and F8
|1955-1957||No. 253 Squadron RAF||de Havilland Venom
de Havilland Vampire
|1957-1958||No. 153 Squadron RAF||Gloster Meteor
|NF12 and 14
FAW 7 and 9
|1958-1961||No. 25 Squadron RAF||Gloster Meteor
|NF12 and 14
FAW 7 and 9
|1959-1961||No. 46 Squadron RAF||Gloster Javelin||FAW 2|
|1961-1962||No. 64 Squadron RAF||Gloster Javelin||FAW 9|
|1961-1963||No. 1 Squadron RAF||Hawker Hunter||F6 and FGA9|
|1961-1963||No. 54 Squadron RAF||Hawker Hunter||FGA9||Hunter XG264 was the last to leave RAF Waterbeach for RAF West Raynham on 8 August 1963|
In 1966 the station and airfield remained the property of the Ministry of Defence, but was transferred from the Royal Air Force to the Royal Engineers, part of the British Army, as Waterbeach Barracks. Until the closure of nearby RAF Oakington in the early 1970s, the main runway at Waterbeach remained active, along with the control tower, and was used as a relief landing ground for Varsities used in the advanced pilot training role. The former airfield was used as a training area for troops, with occasional visits by helicopters and, in the past, by Harriers.
- Hamlin and Merrington 2011 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHamlin_and_Merrington2011 (help)
- Waterbeach Military Heritage Museum, displays and unpublished archives.
- Hamlin and Merrington 2011, pp. 31–35 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHamlin_and_Merrington2011 (help)
- Jefford 1988, p. 42.
- Hamlin & Merrington 2011, p. 21-22.
- Planning Application CP88 - Denny St Francis (Waterbeach), Cambridgeshire County Council, accessed 2011-07-20
- Waterbeach Barracks, 12 (Air Support) Engineer Group
- Hamlin, John F. & Oliver J. Merrington (2011, updated 2014) At the 'Beach: the story of Royal Air Force Waterbeach and Waterbeach Barracks. Peterborough: GMS Enterprises (available from Waterbeach Military Heritage Museum) ISBN 1-904514-63-4
- Jefford, 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to RAF Waterbeach.|