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RAF Hampstead Norris
Ensign of the Royal Air Force
IATA: none – ICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Hampstead Norreys, Berkshire
Built 1940
In use 1940-1946
Coordinates 51°29′28″N 001°12′48″W / 51.49111°N 1.21333°W / 51.49111; -1.21333Coordinates: 51°29′28″N 001°12′48″W / 51.49111°N 1.21333°W / 51.49111; -1.21333
Map
Berkshire UK location map
Airplane silhouette.svg
RAF Hampstead Norris
Location in Berkshire
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
00/00 0 0 Concrete
00/00 0 0 Concrete
00/00 0 0 Concrete

RAF Hampstead Norris is a former Royal Air Force (RAF) station located 1.3 miles (2.1 km) north east of Hampstead Norreys, Berkshire, England and 10.6 miles (17.1 km) north west of Reading, Berkshire.

Station historyEdit

The construction contract was awarded to Wimpey in May 1940 valued at £233,000.[1] It was opened in mid 1940. Unusually the runways met at a single point, an obvious target to disable the entire airfield.

Based unitsEdit

No. 15 Operational Training Unit relocated to Hampstead Norris on 1 June 1940. The airfield hosted a number of squadrons of Vickers Wellington bombers. The airfield was used extensively as a glider training base during the latter part of the war, many glider pilots were trained here in preparation for D-Day. The base also had 33 Tiger Moths as training aircraft. The main role of the airfield was to ferry Wellingtons to Egypt, via Gibraltar and Malta.

On 15 March 1945 No. 13 OTU arrived with their de Havilland Mosquitoes and the airfield reverted to being a satellite of RAF Harwell.

It became an ammunition storage depot as part of the Bramley Central Ammunition Depot near Basingstoke after its closure in 1946.[2]

Enemy actionEdit

The site was bombed on 16 September 1940 by the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. Three bombs fell on the runways.

On 4 March 1941 a Wellington was attacked by a German fighter as it approached to land.

The airfield was attacked on 12 May 1941 with 10 High Explosive bombs and 100 Incendiaries. One Wellington was destroyed and the flare path and the southern taxiway were damaged.

Current useEdit

Little of the wartime station now remains. There are four remaining pillboxes and some air raid shelters in the woods. Part of the bomb storage site remains also. The site still maintains a modern link with aviation with a farm strip used by a Tiger Moth biplane. A light beacon is also situated on the edge of an old airfield peri track as the site is under the flightpath of aircraft flying to and from Heathrow airport. An important VOR beacon, Compton (CPT), is also located here. It is now known as Haw Farm, part of the Yattendon Estate.

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.rafupwood.co.uk/constructionbywimpeybyLes.html
  2. Ownership by the Admiralty is mentioned in Hansard; HC Deb 9 July 1947 vol 439 c224W

External linksEdit


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