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Kemble Airfield (RAF Kemble) was a Royal Air Force base near the village of Kemble in Gloucestershire, England. The base is located 4.5 NM (8.3 km; 5.2 mi) southwest of Cirencester. The base was closed after the cold war and is now known as Cotswold Airport.

HistoryEdit

Construction work for RAF Kemble began in 1936, and the first operational unit to arrive at the station was No. 5 Maintenance Unit RAF on 22 June 1938. In 1940, No. 4 Service Ferry Pool moved to the station from Cardiff, and Kemble became the headquarters for the aircraft ferrying operations of the Air Transport Auxiliary across the country.[1]

From 1966 until 1983, Kemble housed the Red Arrows, the RAF Aerobatic display team; which operated Folland Gnats and BAe Hawks from there. After the Red Arrows moved to RAF Scampton, the station was used by the US Air Force as a maintenance facility, initially for A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft, though followed by Northrop F-5s, McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagles, Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers.[1]

Following the end of the Cold War, the US Air Force left the station and it was returned to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The British Army made use of the site to store surplus vehicles and equipment, and military flights ended at the station in March 1993.[1]

The MoD initially leased buildings on the former station before selling the site to Ronan Harvey, a local businessman, in March 2001.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "RAF Kemble". Cotswold Airport. 2009. http://www.cotswoldairport.com/history. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 

External linksEdit

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