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RAF Bovingdon - 1960s

Old 11th Jun 2019, 11:56
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The Three Horseshoes, Pudds Cross

Does anyone know when The Three Horseshoes pub (on the Ley Hill road, close to Shantock Hall Lane) shut? It featured in a wartime series of Life magazine photos of black GIs having a beer outside the front.

The pub, which was close to the airfield's MP post and one of the billet sites, was not open in the mid-1960s, so I wonder if it survived the war.

There was certainly no shortage of boozers for Bovingdon personnel to choose from, even without going into the village: three were virtually part of the base.
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Old 14th Jun 2019, 17:48
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Post War Independent Airlines Operating at Bovingdon


British American Air Services Bovingdon 1948. Humber car boxed and mint underslung.

The USAF returned to Bovingdon in 1951. Maybe someone can date this postcard from the cars in the car park?

G-AGNY Avro York Eagle Aviation at Bovingdon 1950. Photo - The late Arthur Huswitt.

G-AKCC Avro Tudor 5 William Dempster Ltd. On arrival at Bovingdon from Tripoli Libya 26 October 1951 the aircraft ran off the side of the runaway after its second approach. No fatalities. Photo-the Late Frank Hudson with thanks to Mike Hudson.




G-AJZD Douglas C47a Dakota. British Nederland Air Services. Unknown location. Photo- saadonline

G-AHDX HP70 Halton 1 Worldair Carriers. Mt Hohgant,Bern,Switzerland 16 April 1950. En-route Amsterdam-Brindisi with a cargo of Philip's Radios. No survivors. Photo-baaa-acro.

G-AHON Vickers Viking 1A Trans World Charter at Bovingdon 1950. Photo-the late Arthur Huswitt.

G-AKAD HP Halifax 8 British American Air Services.Unknown location.Delivered March 1948 w.o. May 1948 u/c collapse on landing Rennes. Photo-baaa-acro.

G-AIWT HP Halifax 8 LAMS/Payloads Charter co, location unknown. Having earlier that year tramped right around the world this aeroplane was damaged beyond repair landing Bovingdon 5.9.47. Photo - baaa-acro

In 1947 The Ministry of Civil Aviation obtained the airfield for civilian use.With its proximity to London and good road and rail links to The Midlands Bovingdon soon became the base for numerous charter companies that took part in an air transport boom which lasted until the end of The Berlin Airlift in 1949. Thereafter demand dropped off and with the State Airlines maintaining a complete monopoly on all scheduled services (although contracting some of these services to Independents) many companies cut their losses, sold their aircraft (at this time good prices were paid for C47 Dakotas) and ceased operations.
In the meantime anything that could be carried by air was. Apart from passenger flights Bovingdon imported an enormous amount of cargo particularly (when in season) fruit and vegetables from Southern Europe and The Lowlands, textiles from France and Italy. Exports world-wide included heavy machinery, Ship's and Aircraft spares - the list is endless.
Several companies participated in The Berlin Airlift and also in the lesser-known 'Milk Airlifts' of 1947 and 1948 when milk churns were flown from Nutt's Corner Belfast to Liverpool and Blackpool.
Home and Abroad the safety record of several of these outfits left much to be desired. The Chiltern Hills collected a scattering of lost souls while the 4,900 foot main runway witnessed a few spectacular runoffs. With reference to Tony Merton Jones' 'British Independent Airlines 1946-76' I've attempted to list air charter companies and their period of operation at Bovingdon. If you can get hold of a copy of this wonderful book it will give you a greater insight into these companies.

Air Charter Ltd. 1947-1951 DH Dragon Rapide, Airspeed Consul,Miles Gemini.
Air Contractors Ltd 1948 C47 Dakota.
Air Freight Ltd 1946-1948 HP Halifax.
Air Transport Charter (C.I.) 1948 C47 Dakota.
Blue Line Airways Ltd 1948 C47 Dakota.
Bond Air Services Ltd 1947-1948 HP Halifax.
British American Air Services Ltd 1947-1950 HP Halifax.
British Nederland Air Services Ltd 1948-1950 C47 Dakota, Vickers Viking.
Eagle Aviation Ltd 1950-1952 Avro York.
Hunting Aviation/ Hunting Clan Ltd 1948-1954 C47 Dakota,Vickers Viking.
Lancashire Aircraft Corporation/Skyways Ltd 1947-1952 HP Halifax, Avro York.
Skyflight Ltd 1948-1949 HP Halifax.
Trans World Charter Ltd 1948-1951 Vickers Viking.
William Dempster Ltd 1950-1951 Avro Tudor.
World Air Freight Ltd 1948-1950 HP Halifax.
Worldair Carriers Ltd 1950 HP Halton.

I might add that B.O.A.C. had a maintenance facility at Bovingdon 1946-1948.

Last edited by OUAQUKGF Ops; 10th Jul 2019 at 11:26. Reason: Additional image
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Old 15th Jun 2019, 01:09
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Is that one of the War Lover B-17s in the background?
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Old 15th Jun 2019, 08:09
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I think you are probably right. I thought the cars looked a bit dated for 1961? However on reflection our own motor is 20 years old...............

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Old 15th Jun 2019, 10:13
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Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops View Post
I thought the cars looked a bit dated for 1961? However on reflection our own motor is 20 years old...............
It's interesting to see the various cars at the base towards the end of
.
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Old 15th Jun 2019, 11:00
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post

Is that one of the War Lover B-17s in the background?
It's well before '61; the sign saying 'Airport Entrance' and the low fence outside indicates that (it was a 'standard' RAF boundary fence by 1961.); I would guess mid '50s before the RAF re-claimed it with the USAF Dak outside the 'terminal' building, the 2 buildings you can see at the left being linked together, one containing the Met Office..
Cars are American; I think I can make out a '49 or '50 Ford.

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Old 15th Jun 2019, 13:55
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Some rather good photographs from the late Arthur Huswitt. It's the same Eagle Aviation York seen earlier in the thread.


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Old 16th Jun 2019, 10:06
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British Men's Team 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games. Skyways Avro York Bovingdon.
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Old 16th Jun 2019, 15:00
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Old 1st Jul 2019, 08:10
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Bovingdon's Meteor NF14 WS848. August 17th 1960. Medmenham Medal if you can name exact location of Windmill. Photo Credit IWM.
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Old 1st Jul 2019, 09:26
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Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops View Post
Bovingdon's Meteor NF14 WS848. August 17th 1960. Medmenham Medal if you can name exact location of Windmill. Photo Credit IWM.
Berney Arms ?

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Old 1st Jul 2019, 09:33
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Berney Arms ?
Dave - You are spot on!
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Old 1st Jul 2019, 09:50
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I flew Meteor 8's out of RAF Nicosia in 1958, but never managed to get my hands on the NF14 belonging to FCS at Bovingdon.when I was on Coastal Com in 1961/2. Flew some of their Ansons to help them out, but the Meteors hardly ever flew.
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Old 1st Jul 2019, 09:53
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1960 Approach Chart

1953 Airfield Chart

1953 Approach Chart
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Old 1st Jul 2019, 12:29
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Bovingdon also had a T 7 in the late 1950s.My last trip to Bovingdon was as the guest of a school friend,a newly qualified Vulcan pilot,to the Officers Mess at Bovingdon Green in about 1962.

Last edited by KING6024; 1st Jul 2019 at 12:30. Reason: Date added.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 11:03
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More about former Bovingdon Anson pilot Dickie Colbourne here. The 'People's Mosquito' initiative are looking for members of his family.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 18:24
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Bovingdon in Wartime


Bovingdon March 1944. The Aprons were laid later in the year by the Americans after the arrival on the base of the US Air Transport Service (Europe). Credit American Air Museum in Britain IWM.



A well informed article by John Puczynski of The Watford Wayfarers:

https://www.watfordwayfarers.org.uk/...20appendix.pdf

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Old 8th Jul 2019, 18:50
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92nd Bomb Group Bovingdon October 1942


Training Sortie





These photographs appear to have been taken for Press Release. Note the Censor's half-hearted scribblings over the Water Tower which stood in the North-Eastern Corner of the Airfield. Acknowledgements to The Roger Freeman Collection held by The American Air Museum in Britain IWM.

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Old 8th Jul 2019, 20:53
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One of my CCF flights from Bovingdon was with a Polish pilot and I was lucky enough to have the right hand cockpit seat.I can remember priming the engines prior to starting but strangely enough I can't remember having to wind the u/c up.Take off was quite lively !!
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 10:52
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Harrier force could have done with that little tracked tractor before the Unimog
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