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Cold War airfields C.1970

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Cold War airfields C.1970

Old 3rd Apr 2020, 09:17
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Cold War airfields C.1970

Dear PPRuNe population,

I'd like some help compiling a list:

My interest is that of RAF / RN / AAC / USAF airfields (or any military), in the UK that were active and still open until circa. 1970.

I'd like to create a comprehensive list of all airfields with a concrete or asphalt runway that were in use in any way at all. It could be a training field (i.e Oakington) through to front line (Leuchars). The emphasis is on a physical in-use hard runway at this location. ATC units / Runway Caravans etc. Based units not required. This is a research project about airfields themselves not the operating units. Imagine you could make an approach, land on a perfectly useable runway.

My work so far:

bold denotes still active as a Military airfield in 2020

Aberporth
Abingdon
Acklington
Aldergrove
Alconbury
Ballkelly
Barkston heath*
Bassingbourn
Bentwaters
Benson*
Binbrook
Boscombe Down*
Bovingdon
Brawdy
Brough
Brize Norton*
Bruntingthorpe
Burtonwood
Chalgrove*
Chivenor*

Church Fenton
Colerne
Conningsby*
Coltishall
Cosford*
Cottesmore
Cranfield
Cranwell*
Culdrose*
Debden
Dishforth*
Driffield*
Dunsfold
Elvington
Fairford
Filton
Finningley
Ford
Gaydon
Greenham Common
Honnington
Hullavington
Keevil
Kemble
Kinloss*
Kirk Newton*
Lakenheath*
Lee on Solent
Leconfield
Leeming*
Leuchars*
Lindholme
Linton on Ouse*
Little Rissington
Lossiemouth*
Llanbedr
Lyneham
Machrihanish
Manby
Manston
Marham*
Merryfield*
Middleton St. George
Mildenhall
Mona*
North Luffenham
Northolt*
Oakington
Odiham*
Ouston
Pershore
Valley*
Scampton*
Sculthorpe*
Shawbury*

St Athan*
St Mawgan*

Stradishall
Strubby
Swinderby
Syerston*
Tarrant Rushton
Ternhill*
Thorney Island
Thurleigh
Topcliffe*
Upper Heyford
Upwood
Warton
Watton
Waterbeach
Waddington*
Wattisham*
West Freugh*

West Raynham
West Malling
Weston Zoyland
Wethersfield
Wittering*
Woodbridge
Woodvale
Wroughton
Wymeswold
Wyton
Yeovilton*

Have i missed any?

Last edited by Hangar_9; 3rd Apr 2020 at 10:35. Reason: Feedback from posts
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 09:28
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Greenham Common and Little Rissington were still active in 1970. I operated out of both in the mid 70s.

Llanbedr also flying Jindiviks.

West Raynham still had Hunters.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:02
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Farnborough!! South Cerney - runway still in use in 1970. Shepherds Grove (? not sure when that closed), St Davids (? RLG for Brawdy, not sure on closure), Tangmere was still open, but Ford closed early/mid 60's (although you could say the prison was a definite improvement).

Of note, Chalgrove was (and still is) purely civilian - Martin Baker.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:09
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Predannack?
Portreath?
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:12
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Blackbushe/Hartford Bridge was used by the US Navy and RAF but when that ceased I dont know.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:16
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I never realised South Cerney had a runway. It was a grass airfield when I was there.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:16
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Originally Posted by Hangar_9 View Post
Dear PPRuNe population,

Have i missed any?
Yes - RAF Turnhouse - and a "y" in Ballykelly!

Jack
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:23
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I don't think South Cerney ever had a runway either.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:28
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Langar - formerly USAF, then Canadian and then AVRO carrying out majors on Shacks.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:30
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2 runways at South Cerney. 01/19 2925ft 09/27 3225 ft - both grass.
I remember running around the peri track on OTS before we moved to Church Fenton. You could get all your kit in a TR4 then!!
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:32
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Arbroath? am sure it had a concrete runway but do not recall actually ever seeing. Ramsay in Cambs?
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:33
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South Cerney has a peri track but no hard runway. Sure it was just grass when I visited for the World Aeros in '86.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:34
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What about Watton ?
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:35
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Originally Posted by gayford View Post
What about Watton ?
Yes! Thanks forgot that one
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 11:08
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Originally Posted by Hangar_9 View Post
bold denotes still active as a Military airfield in 2020
And what are the asterisks intended to signify ?
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 11:10
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Originally Posted by sandringham1 View Post
Blackbushe/Hartford Bridge was used by the US Navy and RAF but when that ceased I dont know.
Blackbushe closed as an MTCA airport on 31 May 1960 and the US Navy base closed with it. Some RAF and Army Air Corps visiros since then though.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 11:11
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East Kirkby, it was an emergency runway, resurfaced in 1964 and has fuelled go in lights along the runway.

Spilsby, 1964, B47 recovery airfield, but closed 1958.

South Cerney, 19/01 975 yards 27/09 1075 yards steel matting (sommerfield track). Not sure if that was present in the 60s
I
Try and find Military Airfields in the British Isles 1939-1945 Omnibus Edition
May 1987. ISBN 0 907700 12 8

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 3rd Apr 2020 at 11:28.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 11:11
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Sleap was used as a satellite to Shawbury in the early-mid '60s; I recollect that it was some kind of approach training, and club flying was stopped during it. Was it with Piston Provosts? Jet Provosts? The word was that you could get paid for riding along as safety observer ("HCAS") while P1 was fixated on the panel. But I don't know if that continued until the '70s.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 11:14
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Originally Posted by Shackman View Post
Farnborough!! South Cerney - runway still in use in 1970. Shepherds Grove (? not sure when that closed), St Davids (? RLG for Brawdy, not sure on closure), Tangmere was still open, but Ford closed early/mid 60's (although you could say the prison was a definite improvement).

Of note, Chalgrove was (and still is) purely civilian - Martin Baker.
Not just RAE Farnborough but RAE Bedford too. V-bomber dispersal at Bedford still used into the '80s at least.
Plus Kirknewton and Catterick, but not sure if they had RCVs; pretty certain Aberporth didn't.
Ford re-opened for a short while late '70s.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 11:16
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
South Cerney, 19/01 975 yards 27/09 1075 yards steel matting (sommerfield track). Not sure if that was present in the 60s
Halton has PSP and Somerfield tracking but I wouldn't call it a 'hard' runway; Henlow might have it too.
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