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RAF Hockley Heath
Ensign of the Royal Air Force
Mk1 Defiant.jpg
A Boulton Paul Defiant similar to the one's that flew from the airfield
IATA: none – ICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Hockley Heath
Built 1940
In use 1941-1948
Elevation AMSL 467 ft / 143 m
Coordinates 52°21′39″N 001°47′22″W / 52.36083°N 1.78944°W / 52.36083; -1.78944
Map
Warwickshire UK location map
Airplane silhouette.svg
RAF Hockley Heath
Location in Warwickshire
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16/34 2,624 800 Grass

RAF Hockley Heath is a former Royal Air Force station located 4.0 miles (6.4 km) south of Solihull, Warwickshire, England, 7.7 miles (12.4 km) north-east of Redditch, Worcestershire.

RAF Hockley Heath was opened in 1941 and was also known as Box Trees.[1]

Station historyEdit

During the Second World War a Supermarine Spitfire or a Hawker Hurricane was parked at the airfield to boost public morale.[2] The airfield closed in 1948.[1]

Based unitsEdit

A number of different units used the airfield throughout its lifetime, the first unit was No. 14 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) which flew Tiger Moths using RAF Elmdon as the main airfield and Hockley Heath as a satellite between 10 September 1939 and 1 February 1946 providing initial assessment before pupil pilots were sent abroad in the Commonwealth Air Training Scheme which was operated by Airwork Services.[3]

Next was No. 1 Flying Instructors School (FIS) flying Airspeed Oxfords and Avro Tutors using RAF Church Lawford as a main airfield and RAF Warwick and Hockley Heath as satellite airfields. The school operated between 13 January 1942 and 27 October 1942 before being disbanded and turned into No.18 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit ((P)AFU). No. 18 ((P)AFU) flew Oxfords and Boulton Paul Defiants using RAF Church Lawford as a main base and RAF Snitterfield, RAF Warwick, RAF Southam and Hockley Heath between 27 October 1942 and 29 May 1945 which was a major unit training multi-engine pilots which were mainly returning from overseas in the Commonwealth Air Training Plan.[3]

A number of smaller units also used the airfield like No. 5 Glider Training School (GTS) using General Aircraft Hotspurs operating between 22 May 1944 and 23 November 1944 and No. 20 Flying Training School (FTS) flying Harvards mainly located at RAF Church Lawford with the airfield being used as a satellite between 3 April 1945 and 23 July 1946.

The last unit to join the station was No. 21 Flying Training School (FTS) flying Harvards mainly from RAF Snitterfield but the airfield were used as a satellite to disperse the aircraft to release the pressure and activity of the main base. The school operated between 3 April 1945 and 18 September 1946.[3]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

RAF Hockley Heath had its fair share[Clarification needed] of accidents with a number listed between 1940 and 1945. These are just a small number of examples:

Date Incident Reference
19 November 1940 Audax K7322 of 9 Flying Training School ran into the windward hedge while landing. [4]
11 October 1942 Avro Tutor K3461 of 1 Flying Instructors School undershot landing. [5]
3 March 1944 General Aircraft Hotspur BT836 of 5 Glider Training School crashed while landing. [6]
22 May 1945 de Havilland Tiger Moth T6047 of 14 Elementary Flying Training School hit a blister hangar on approach. [7]

Current useEdit

The airfield is disused and is currently open land used for farming.[2]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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