RAF Winkton

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RAF Winkton
USAAF Station AAF-414
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Patch9thusaaf.png
Located Near Bransgore, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Winkton-jan47.jpg
Winkton Airfield aerial of January 1947, the airfield having closed in July 1944. The outlines of the pierced steel planking perimeter track are still evident on the land, with it being returned to agricultural use.
  is located in Dorset
 
 
Map showing the location of RAF Winkton within Dorset.
Coordinates50°46′37″N 001°46′2″W / 50.77694°N 1.76722°W / 50.77694; -1.76722Coordinates: 50°46′37″N 001°46′2″W / 50.77694°N 1.76722°W / 50.77694; -1.76722
TypeMilitary airfield
CodeWT
Site information
Controlled byUnited States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built1943
In use1943-1945
Battles/warsEuropean Theatre of World War II
Air Offensive, Europe July 1942 - May 1945
Garrison information
GarrisonNinth Air Force
Occupants404th Fighter Group

RAF Winkton is a former World War II airfield previously in Hampshire but now, due to County boundary changes, in Dorset, England. The airfield is located approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Christchurch; about 89 miles (143 km) southwest of London

Although complete by September 1943 Winkton opened in March 1944 with Sommerfeld Mesh runways and pierced steel planking perimeter tracks, and was the prototype for the type of temporary Advanced Landing Ground type airfield that would be built in France after D-Day, when the need for advanced landing fields would become urgent as the Allied forces moved east across France and Germany. It was used by British, Dominion and the United States Army Air Forces. It was closed in July 1944, when the mesh runways were lifted for use on the Continent, and immediately returned to agriculture.

Today the airfield is a mixture of agricultural fields with no recognizable remains.

History[edit]

USAAF use[edit]

While under USAAF control, Winkton was known as USAAF Station AAF-414 for security reasons, and by which it was referred to instead of location. Its Station-ID was "WT", Radio-Callsign "Drainsink"

404th Fighter Group[edit]

RAF Winkton saw the arrival of the USAAF 404th Fighter Group on 4 April 1944, the group arriving from Myrtle Beach AAF, South Carolina. The 404th had the following operational squadrons:

The 404th was a group of Ninth Air Force's 84th Fighter Wing, IX Tactical Air Command. It flew the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. On 6 July the 404th moved across the Channel to its Advanced Landing Ground at Chippelle (ALG A-5), France.

Current use[edit]

With the Americans moving to France, Winkton airfield was closed down and returned to agricultural use in July 1944. In January 1945, the airfield was officially closed. Today, the land is unrecognizable as a former airfield, and can only be located by comparing the road network on aerial photographs taken when the airfield was active to the current network.

In 2009, there exists a private grass runway owned by Mr.I.C.Reid, who hangars his Tiger Moth biplane there.

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]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Freeman, Roger A. (1994) UK Airfields of the Ninth: Then and Now 1994. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-80-0
  • 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, 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]

Media related to RAF Winkton at Wikimedia Commons