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RAF Church Lawford
Ensign of the Royal Air Force
RAF Airspeed AS.10 Oxford II Brown.jpg
A Airspeed AS.10 Oxford similar to the one's that flew from the airfield
IATA: none – ICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Military
Operator RAF
Location Church Lawford
Elevation AMSL 374 ft / 116 m
Coordinates 52°21′5″N 001°20′31″W / 52.35139°N 1.34194°W / 52.35139; -1.34194
Map
Warwickshire UK location map
Airplane silhouette.svg
RAF Church Lawford
Location in Warwickshire
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16/34 3,945 1,200 Concrete
08/26 3,840 1,170 Concrete
03/21 3,600 1,100 Concrete

RAF Church Lawford is a former Royal Air Force station located 1.5 mi (2.4 km) south of Church Lawford, Warwickshire, England, 3.0 miles (4.8 km) south-west of Rugby, Warwickshire.

The airfield opened in April 1941[1] and was used by the RAF for pilot training until it closed in 1955.

Based unitsEdit

A number of Beam Approach units flew from the airfield like when 1509 Beam Approach Training Flight (BAT Flt) arrived flying Airspeed Oxfords from 6 June 1942 and 1533 Beam Approach Training Flight (BAT Flt) which again flew Oxfords from 27 October 1942 until April 1945.[2]

The first unit to use the airfield was 2 Central Flying School flying Oxfords and Avro Tutors from 15 June 1941 until 13 January 1942 when it was renamed 1 Flying Instructors School (FIS) flying Oxfords and Tutors carried on until October 1942. The unit was again renamed to No.18 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit ((P)AFU) flying Oxfords and Boulton Paul Defiants on 27 October 1942 and operated until April 1945. Again the name was changed to No. 20 Flying Training School (FTS) flying Harvards from 3 April 1945 using RAF Snitterfield as a relief landing ground (RLG) until March 1948.[2]

A further two flying schools used the airfield after the end of the Second World War. The first was No 20 Service Flying Training School flying Harvard's using RAF Snitterfield as a RLG until 1947, which like the wartime units at the airfield was renamed No 2 Flying Training School starting on 23 July 1947 and operating until 6 April 1948.[2]

Other unitsEdit

A small number of other units was present at RAF Church Lawford during its lifetime such as No 68 Maintenance Unit which operated from 1 December 1954 until 27 March 1955 and a sub-site of No 68 Maintenance Unit between 27 March 1955 and 30 November 1956.[3]

Airfield Construction BranchEdit

In 1948 The Airfield Construction Branch moved to the airfield with the plant training school moving to Ryton on Dunsmore[4] before moving to Lichfield in 1953.[5]

Accidents and IncidentsEdit

During life as a RAF training base accidents were not far away with a number of airmen killed during training these are just a select few:

Date Incident Reference
8 May 1944 Oxford HN440 of 18 ((P)AFU) struck a tree at night while force landing following engine failure. [6]
14 October 1944 Handley Page Halifax MZ920 of 434 Squadron crashed at Church Lawford after catching fire in the air. [6]
21 August 1946 Harvard FT359 of 20 Service Flying Training School undershot landing. [7]
9 January 1948 Harvard FS725 of 2 Flying Training School belly landed. [7]

Current useEdit

The site of the airfield has be turned into a Quarry called Ling Hall and the Lawford Heath Industrial Estate.[8]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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