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RAF Babdown Farm
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
IATA: none – ICAO: none
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Beverston, Gloucestershire
Built 1940 (1940)
In use 1940–1948 (1948)
Elevation AMSL 574 ft / 175 m
Coordinates 51°38′53″N 2°13′48″W / 51.64806°N 2.23°W / 51.64806; -2.23Coordinates: 51°38′53″N 2°13′48″W / 51.64806°N 2.23°W / 51.64806; -2.23
RAF Babdown Farm is located in Gloucestershire
RAF Babdown Farm
Location in Gloucestershire
Direction Length Surface
ft m
02/20 2,870 875 Sommerfeld Tracking
08/26 3,450 1,050 Sommerfeld Tracking
14/32 3,720 1,133 Sommerfeld Tracking

RAF Babdown Farm is a former Royal Air Force relief landing ground located 2.9 miles (4.7 km) west of Tetbury, Gloucestershire, and 7.1 miles (11.4 km) south of Stroud, Gloucestershire, England. It was open between 1940 and 1948 as a relief landing ground used by training units before being used by maintenance units for storage. Part of the site has since been converted into an industrial estate, while the rest is used for agriculture.

History[edit | edit source]

Babdown was built in 1940 as a relief landing ground (RLG) with two grass runways and a flare path for No. 9 Service Flying Training School initially flying Hawker Audaxes before changing to Miles Masters and Hawker Hurricanes.[1][2] The airfield was bombed in 1940 and 1941 but no serious damage was caused. In 1942 the base was redeveloped to full RLG standard through the addition of three Sommerfeld Tracking runways and blister hangars with associated perimeter track and additional buildings.[1]

It was occupied by No. 15 (Pilot) Training Unit from early 1944 until June 1945[1] and No. 1532 Blind Approach Training (BAT) Flight.[2] The last aircraft left during June 1945. It was used until 1948 by No. 7 Maintenance Unit RAF[1] storing and repairing Airspeed Oxfords.[3] As with the majority of airfields hosting training units there were a number of serious and fatal accidents due to pilot error and ageing machines which had been repeatedly used by inexperienced crews.[1]

The following units were posted here at some point:

  • No. 3 Flight Instructors School with Airspeed Oxfords and Miles Masters from 1942 until early 1944;[1]
  • No. 3 (Pilot) Training Unit;[2]
  • No. 9 (Pilot) Training Unit;[2] and
  • No. 251 Maintenance Unit RAF.[2]

At its peak there were 571 RAF personnel and 223 Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) personnel based at Babdown.[1]

Current use[edit | edit source]

The site is now partially occupied by an industrial estate known as "Babdown Airfield"[4] and the remainder has been returned to agriculture.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

Citations[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Lake, A. Flying Units of the RAF. Shrewbury, Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1999. ISBN 1-84037-086-6.

External links[edit | edit source]

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