RAF Broadwell was a Royal Air Force station located 2 miles north of Broadwell and 3 miles southeast of Burford, Oxfordshire, within 2 miles of RAF Brize Norton. It opened on 15 November 1943 and closed on 31 March 1947, operating under RAF Transport Command. It consisted of 3 concrete runways in triangular configuration.
Broadwell took part in the D-Day assaults with nearby RAF Down Ampney and RAF Blakehill Farm. Broadwell had two such squadrons, No. 512 Squadron RAF and No. 575 Squadron RAF were based here, flying the Douglas Dakota.
In February 1944, No. 512 Squadron was transferred to No. 46 Group at RAF Broadwell, it was a tactical Dakota squadron and started training glider towing and parachute dropping. Its first operation in the new role was a leaflet drop on 5 June 1944 over France, this followed intensive flying in and out of France including dropping parachutists at Arnhem.
On the eve of D-Day No. 575 Squadron dropped 5 Para into the invasion drop zone. On 6 June, it towed 21 Horsa gliders into France. In the next few weeks it started a casualty evacuation service from France back to England. In September 1944, it was involved in operations at Arnhem where it suffered severe casualties.
A chronological diary of events at RAF Broadwell was produced by the RAF and can be accessed here:
The airfield continued to be a terminus for long-range transport operations to Europe, the Middle East and India.
- D-Day on the Cotswolds
- Present day pictures
- History at aeroresource.co.uk
- Details at atlantikwall.co.uk
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