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RAF Snitterfield
Ensign of the Royal Air Force
Miles Magister.jpg
A Miles Magister similar to the ones that flew from the airfield
IATA: none – ICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Military
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Snitterfield
Built 1942
In use 1943-1946
Elevation AMSL 381 ft / 116 m
Coordinates 52°14′14″N 001°43′08″W / 52.23722°N 1.71889°W / 52.23722; -1.71889
Map
Warwickshire UK location map
Airplane silhouette.svg
RAF Snitterfield
Location in Warwickshire
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
02/20 5,744 1,750 Concrete
08/26 3,710 1,131 Concrete
14/32 3,862 1,177 Concrete
[1]

RAF Snitterfield is a former Royal Air Force station located west of Snitterfield, Warwickshire, England, 3.3 miles (5.3 km) north of Stratford-upon-Avon and 4.6 miles (7.4 km) south-east of Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire.

Snitterfield was operational during the Second World War, the airfield was a class A airfield and had around 30 aircraft dispersals. The airfield was finished around June 1942 and cost around £1,147,000[2] and opened in 1943 then closed in 1946.[3]

Posted unitsEdit

No.18 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit ((P)AFU) was the first unit to operate from the airfield starting on 7 May 1943 at RAF Church Lawford and using Snitterfield as a satellite airfield to disperse the aircraft as Church Lawford was very busy. On 3 April 1945 the unit moved permanently to RAF Snitterfield using Airspeed Oxfords and Miles Magisters.[3]

The airfield was also home to two Belgian training schools firstly the Initial Training School dealing with reception and training elements from 1 January 1944 until 13 December 1944[4] and secondly the Technical Training School from January 1944 until October 1946.[3]

From May 1945 to 1946, Snitterfield was used as a Relief Landing Ground by No. 20 Service Flying Training School from RAF Church Lawford.[1]

The airfield was also host to other units including:

  • 1533 Flt Beam Approach Training Flight which joined in 1944 flying the Airspeed Oxford left 3 April 1945.[4]
  • No 21 FTS flying the Harvard joined the airfield on 3 April 1945 until 18 September 1946.[4]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

During life as a RAF training base accidents were not far away with a number of airmen killed during training and within the surrounding area.

Date Incident Reference
1 September 1942 Bristol Beaufighter X7943 YD-P of No. 255 Squadron RAF dived into the ground during an electrical storm. [5]
14 February 1944 Vickers Wellington HZ110 of 22 OTU was diverted to the airfield in bad weather, where the bomber crashed after seven attempts to land. [6]
10 July 1944 Airspeed Oxford NM278 of 18 PAFU made a violent recovery from a diving turn, causing the wings to break away. [6]
25 July 1944 Wellington HF610 of 22 OTU belly landed. [6]
26 August 1944 Miles Magister T9895 of 18 PAFU crashed on landing. [6]

Motor sports usageEdit

In 1948, RAF Snitterfield was one of two disused airfields given special consideration as to the suitability of hosting a British Grand Prix. In the end, RAF Silverstone was chosen as the venue.[7]

Current useEdit

The north-east section of the airfield is currently the Stratford Oaks Golf club and the south-east section is home to Stratford-Upon-Avon Gliding Club.[8] However before these were built there was a Wireless Transmission station.[9]

At the southern end of the airfield is now Stratford Armouries[10] which is a military museum that was built in 2007.[11]

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "RAF Snitterfield". Control Towers. http://www.controltowers.co.uk/S/Snitterfield.htm. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  2. "RAF Worksop - World War II". Priories Historical Society - RAF Worksop Memorial. http://rafworksop.btck.co.uk/BaseHistory/WorldWarII. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "RAF Snitterfield". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. http://www.rafweb.org/Stations/Stations-S.htm#Snitterfield. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Military flying units in the south west Midlands". Aviation Archaeology. http://www.aviationarchaeology.org.uk/marg/flying_units.htm. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  5. "Military aircraft crashes in the south west Midlands - 1942". Aviation Archaeology. http://www.aviationarchaeology.org.uk/marg/crashes1942.htm. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Military aircraft crashes in the south west Midlands - 1944". Aviation Archaeology. http://www.aviationarchaeology.org.uk/marg/crashes1944.htm. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  7. Swinger 2001, p. 119.
  8. "Snitterfield". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. http://www.abct.org.uk/airfields/snitterfield. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  9. "HF Radio - Bearley". Alan Cordwell Web Portal. http://www.alancordwell.co.uk/hfradio/bearley.html. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  10. "Wellington Museum". Stratford Armouries. http://www.stratfordarmouries.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=54. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  11. "News". A.I Architecture. http://www.aiarchitecture.co.uk/archived_news.html. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 

BibliographyEdit

  • Swinger, P.S. Motor racing Circuits in England, Then & Now. Ian Allan Publishing, 2001. ISBN 978-0711027961.

External linksEdit


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