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Coordinates: 52°43′41″N 0°58′01″E / 52.728°N 0.967°E / 52.728; 0.967

Royal Air Force Swanton Morley
Active October 1940 – 1995
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Type Flying station
Role Bomber / Special operations
Part of No. 2 Group RAF (1940-1944)
No. 100 Group RAF (1944-1945)
Garrison/HQ Norwich, Norfolk, England
Motto(s) Steadfast To Serve
Royal Air Force Ensign Ensign of the Royal Air Force
March Royal Air Force March Past
Equipment Bristol Blenheim
de Havilland Mosquito,
Douglas Boston,
North American B-25 Mitchell,
Kirby Cadet Mk III,
Slingsby T61F (Venture),
Grob G103A (Viking)

The former Royal Air Force Station Swanton Morley, more commonly known as RAF Swanton Morley, was a Royal Air Force station in Norfolk, England, located near to the village of Swanton Morley. The site is now occupied by the British Army, and is now known as Robertson Barracks in honour of Field Marshal Sir William Robertson, the first Field Marshal to rise from the rank of private and who was the Chief of the Imperial General Staff in 1916 to 1918.


Swanton Morley was a new station planned under the RAF expansion scheme but not completed to the same standard before the start of the Second World War. It was part of No. 2 Group in Bomber Command until December 1944 when it was given over to 100 Group - the RAF unit responsible for countering German defences against the British strategic bombing - as they needed another airfield close to their HQ at Bylaugh Hall.

On 4 July 1942, American and British airmen took off from this station as part of the first combined bombing raid of World War II. No 226 Squadron had been tutoring the US 15 Bombardment Squadron. Both Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower were at RAF Swanton Morley for this mission, which saw six crews from 15th Bombardment Squadron fly a raid with six crews from the RAF, using Boston light bombers belonging to No. 226 Squadron RAF. The raid was made at low level against German airfields in the Netherlands.[1][2] During World War II the station was home to the Bomber Support Development Unit (BSDU) of No. 100 Group RAF.

After World War II the station was home to No 1 Air Signaller's School and later to the Central Servicing Development Establishment (CSDE) and the Maintenance Analysis and Computing Establishment (MACE).

From June 1953 to 1995 the station was also used by 611 Volunteer Gliding School, when the station was listed for closure under Options for Change.[3] The station held popular airshows during the 1980s.

The station closed in 1995 and converted to an Army base. It is currently home to the Light Dragoons. The governments review of army bases - in the regular army basing plan - identified Swanton Morley as one of seven "core bases" in which it would invest. The Light Dragoons are expected to leave in 2015 and be replaced by the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards when they return from Germany.[4]


The station was equipped with a grass surface airfield with three main runways, a perimeter track with 31 loop hardstandings, four T-type hangars, four blister hangars and one J-type hangar. The station was also equipped with a Watch Office with Met. Section, utility buildings and barracks for a total staff of 1,968 males and 390 females.[5][6]

Squadrons and other unitsEdit

  • No. 1482 Flight RAF Bombing and Gunnery Flight
  • No. 1508 Flight RAF Blind Approach Training Flight
  • No. 15 Blind Approach Training Flt (September - October 1941)
  • No. 1515 Beam Approach Training Flt (Oct 1941 - November 1943)
  • No. 4 Radio School, later named No. 1 Air Signallers, and Air Electronic School

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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