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Report - RAF Chedworth - Jan 2015

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Chelt original, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Chelt original

    Chelt original 28DL Full Member
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    Hiya, long time since ive put something on here, so thought id add this place ive visited the other day whilst passing the area.

    heres some history fresh of the internet....

    Located on a plateau ( OS Landranger 162 reference 042 131 ) a mile from Chedworth Village, RAF Chedworth was built during the winter of 1941/2 after the minor road that still runs through the site was closed. To fit the available space, two runways were built at almost right angles to each other with a taxiway running all around the airfield and giving access to 25 dispersal sites. The longer of the runways was 1 400 yards ( or 1292 metres compared to Staverton's longest at 1419 metres ) and the other 1 300 yards. Also constructed were two blister hangars, a control tower, flight office, armoury and stores.

    Opening as a satellite airfield of RAF Aston Down in April 1942, Chedworth's first use was as a training location for the Supermarine Spitfire Vbs and Miles Masters of 52 Operational Training Unit. Two of 52 OTU's flights moved in permanently in August 1942 and towards the end of the year a Fighter Leaders School was set up as a sub organisation within 52 OTU to teach combat tactics to aspiring fighter unit commanders. The first FLS course began on 15 January 1943 but as Chedworth proved too cramped a teaching environment the FLS was moved to Charmy Down, Somerset on 9 February 1943.

    On 19 February 1943 Chedworth became a satellite of RAF South Cerney and became a training ground for Numbers 3 and 6 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Units and their twin engined Airspeed Oxfords until RAF Honiley ( Warwickshire ) became the parent station on 18 October 1943. This allowed the air gunnery squadrons of Honiley's 63 OTU and RAF High Ercall ( Shropshire ) to combine at Chedworth where they flew De Havilland Mosquitos, Bristol Beaufighters and Miles Martinets until January 1944.

    The Airspeed Oxfords of 3 (P) AFU began to revisit Chedworth in March 1944 as the RAF stations at South Cerney, Fairford, Down Ampney, Blakehill Farm and Broadwell were becoming increasingly busy with preparations for the invasion of Europe. Between 19 June and 9 July 1944 Chedworth was home of the USAAF's 125th Liason Squadron's Cessna L-4 Cubs and Stinson L-5 Sentinels while on 17 July RAF Aston Down once again assumed control with North American Mustangs of C Squadron 3 Tactical Exercise Unit landing on the plateau. 3TEU was renamed 55 OTU on 18 December 1944 with Gloster built Hawker Typhoons joining the Mustangs.

    With the end of the war in Europe, flying training at Chedworth ceased on 29 May 1945 and the Admiralty used the site for storage in December 1945. Chedworth was later used by the Central Flying School at Little Rissington to practice emergency landings and a gliding club was established there in the late 1960s. During the 1970s Westland Wessex helicopters occasionally arrived for tactical exercises but by the mid 1980s RAF Chedworth had returned to agriculture.

    ............."30 of us were then posted to UK to fly Typhoons.

    When at Chedworth we flew over the Winchester area and I used to shoot up the Service Station owned by the people who had been so good to me. We were then sent to Lasham to do final training before being sent to a Squadron. While there I found that I could borrow the squadron Auster for the cost of £1.

    I saw the CO take off from the taxy strip a few times so I looked forward to doing the same.

    On 20 March 1945 I took off for Chedworth in an Auster I had never flown before. On the way I did a few aerobatics and when looping all the debris that had accumulated on the floor came raining down all over me. I then noticed a sign printed above the instrument panel "This Aircraft is Non-Aerobatic". I flew straight and level thereafter! On arriving at Chedworth I looked up my mate from Australia, Eddie Baker. We sailed Cadet Dinghies together. He joined me to fly to Aston Down to refuel, as Chedworth only had Typhoon fuel.

    On returning to Chedworth I let Eddie take over as he hadn't flown since leaving Australia. He seemed OK so I let him land the plane. Disaster! He hopped across the airfield and narrowly missed a Radar unit, I took over and taxied in, not a good arrival. I told Eddie I was going to land at a paddock near Winchester and look up a friend who was so good to me last year. I took off from the taxi strip and proceeded to Winchester"..........

    Chedworth cross bow airfield & structures

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    Nissen hut (Flight office & chaple)

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    WAAF site, with a water tower boiler room & showers, WAAF site is situated between the tech site and the communal. RAF Chedworth had a complement of 68 WAAF's and 606 men.

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    A pipe to carry the warm water to the shower rooms

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    A blast shelter

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    Stanton air raid shelter

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    Not sure what this was, its was on the way to the sick quarters which i did'nt get to in the end.

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    Station Head Quarters

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    Armory and small arms, and vehicle service pit. there is a fuel compound here also, but little remains

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    Battle HQ

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    i couldnt get in as i didnt bring the waiders and it was to deep for my wellies!

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    There quite a few more buildings/huts etc i didnt do, but it seems like clebby territory tho so hopefully he can fill the rest in.
     
    oldiesDJ and rustandoil like this.

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  2. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Re: RAF Chedworth

    Thought you were dead!
     
  3. Chelt original

    Chelt original 28DL Full Member
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    Re: RAF Chedworth

    lol im still alive, and still collecting just as much as ever ive just not signed onto here or bottledigging for the last 18 months
    give me a shout if your this way mate.
    hope yours and dweebs collecting / digging is still going strong,
    cheers
     
  4. Coxieboy

    Coxieboy 28DL Full Member
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    Re: RAF Chedworth

    Good report, nice shots.
     
  5. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Re: RAF Chedworth

    Great report,this has been on my to do list for ages,visiting and starting researching but you've beaten me to it..no point now,this is excellent.
    I'm cheltenhm too so drop me a line sometime,cheers
     
  6. JohnBear

    JohnBear 28DL Full Member
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    Re: RAF Chedworth

    Hi - new to this site. I live in Chedworth Village and am currently trying to obtain old photos and stories about the village and the airfield. I have managed to get quite a lot of information (happy to share here if anyone wants it) but haven't been able to get any photos of when RAF Chedworth was in service or shortly after WW2. I think some may be in the National Archives but haven't had a chance to get over to that yet. Has anyone here got any photos of when it was still in use?
     
  7. Chelt original

    Chelt original 28DL Full Member
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    Hiya, i cant help im afraid, i just got the history etc off the internet and cant find any pics of the airfield when in use etc.
    Not sure if you've already seen these sites but if not they might help.

    http://www.fightercontrol.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=322&t=29751
    http://www.francisfrith.com/chedworth/photos
    https://www.old-maps.co.uk/#/

    I dig and collect old bottles from rubbish tips of any age, so if you find any tips in or near chedworth id be very greatfull if you could tell me there location, Fancy a dig? Good luck in your history/pics search, cheers chelt
     
  8. Oort

    Oort The spice expands consciousness.
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    Nice report! Makes me feel like im back at Newnham.
     
  9. JohnBear

    JohnBear 28DL Full Member
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    Thanks Chelt - had seen a couple of these sites, but certainly a very good map site. If I get any photos from the National Archives, will post them here. Will also see if anyone knows any rubbish tips with bottles - will join you if I do. Thanks John
     
  10. JohnBear

    JohnBear 28DL Full Member
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    Thanks Chelt
    Had seen a couple of these sites but thanks for very good map site.
    If I do get any photos from the National Archives, will post them here.
    And if I can find a rubbish tip with old bottles, will let you know and maybe join you. I'll ask some of the old timers around the village.
    Thanks John
     
  11. Chelt original

    Chelt original 28DL Full Member
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    Cheers John, btw heres a 30s 40s tip i found when i was 16 and got a moped! i dug it for the first time only once last year over 12 years later!
    its most probably the Airfield tip so might be worth your while having a look at it? i found a raf flight training badge when i went there on my first visit all them years ago lol.
    Good luck and ill hopefully look forward to hearing of other tips in the area, Cheers chelt

    .................................................................................................

    Been advised its not wise to put the map pic on here, so ive removed it,
     
    #11 Chelt original, Feb 3, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  12. Si Chedworth

    Si Chedworth 28DL Full Member
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    Hey, Im new to this site. Chedworth is very local to me. Would love to find the old airfield tip or others in the area. If anyone needs a diggin buddy drop me a line.....
     
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