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RAF Blakehill Farm facts for kids

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RAF Blakehill Farm
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
Cricklade, Wiltshire in England
Douglas Dakotas of No. 233 Squadron RAF lined up on the perimeter track at Blakehill Farm, Wiltshire, for an exercise with the 6th Airborne Division, 20 April 1944. CH12833.jpg
Dakotas of No. 233 Squadron RAF lined up on the perimeter track at RAF Blakehill Farm, for an exercise with the 6th Airborne Division, 20 April 1944
RAF Blakehill Farm is located in Wiltshire
RAF Blakehill Farm
RAF Blakehill Farm
Shown within Wiltshire
Coordinates 51°37′20″N 1°53′20″W / 51.62222°N 1.88889°W / 51.62222; -1.88889
Site information
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Controlled by RAF Transport Command
Site history
Built 1943 (1943)
In use 1944-1952 (1952)
Battles/wars Second World War
Airfield information
Direction Length and surface
00/00  Concrete
00/00  Concrete
00/00  Concrete
RAF Blakehill Farm - 17 Jul 1943
Aerial photograph of RAF Blakehill Farm, 17 July 1943. The technical and barrack sites are to the right (east) of the airfield.

Royal Air Force Blakehill Farm or more simply RAF Blakehill Farm is a former Royal Air Force station southwest of Cricklade in Wiltshire, England, operational between 1944 and 1952.


The station was originally allocated to the United States Army Air Forces Ninth Air Force but not used. It opened in 1944 and was home for transport aircraft of No. 46 Group RAF Transport Command. In 1948 the airfield was a satellite of RAF South Cerney, and was used by training aircraft until the airfield closed in 1952 and was returned to agricultural use. The site is now a Wiltshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve.

Units and aircraft

Unit From To Aircraft Variant Notes
No. 233 Squadron RAF 5 March 194 8 June 1945 Douglas Dakota
No. 271 Squadron RAF 26 February 1944 10 August 1945 Douglas Dakota
Detachment from RAF Down Ampney
No. 437 Squadron RCAF 1 September 1944 7 May 1945 Douglas Dakota Formed here
No. 575 Squadron RAF 24 November 1945 31 January 1946 Douglas Dakota
No. 22 Heavy Glider Conversion Unit RAF 1945 1945 Waco Hadrian I
No. 2 Flying Training School RAF
No. 109 (Transport) OTU RAF
No. 1528 (Radio Aids Training) Flight RAF Became No. 1555 (Radio Aids Training) Flight RAF
No. 1555 (Radio Aids Training) Flight RAF

The following units were also here at some point:

  • No. 18 Terminal Staging Post
  • No. 19 Terminal Staging Post
  • No. 92 (Forward) Staging Post
  • No. 93 (Forward) Staging Post
  • No. 123 (Major) Staging Post
  • No. 2748 Squadron RAF Regiment
  • No. 2835 Squadron RAF Regiment

Post-war intelligence role

After the Second World War, GCHQ set up an "experimental radio station", a top secret research facility, on the site. It consisted of huge communications masts arranged in mysterious patterns in the middle of the old airfield. The site was still active in some capacity until the mid-1990s and traces of the former aerial mast bases can still be seen on satellite photographs.

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