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RAF Twinwood Farm facts for kids

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RAF Twinwood Farm
RAF Twinwood Farm - 28 Mar 1948 Airphoto.jpg
Aerial photograph, 28 March 1948.
IATA: noneICAO: none
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
Location Bedford, Bedfordshire
Elevation AMSL 24 ft / 80 m
Coordinates 52°10′52″N 0°29′10″W / 52.181102°N 0.486131°W / 52.181102; -0.486131Coordinates: 52°10′52″N 0°29′10″W / 52.181102°N 0.486131°W / 52.181102; -0.486131

Location in Bedfordshire

Direction Length Surface
ft m
00/00 0 0 Concrete
00/00 0 0 Concrete
00/00 0 0 Concrete
RAF Twinwood Control Tower (Watch Office), restored in 2002.

RAF Twinwood Farm is a former Royal Air Force (RAF) station located 4 mi (6.4 km) north of Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. For the majority of World War II, the airfield was home to RAF night fighters.

Royal Air Force use

Twinwood Farm opened in mid 1941 when the RAF began to use the grassed field. By April 1942 it had three concrete runways and additional temporary buildings.

From then until the end of the war the Bristol Blenheims, Bristol Beaufighters, Bristol Beauforts, Douglas Havocs and de Havilland Mosquitoes of No. 51 Operational Training Unit used 'Twinwoods', as it was generally known.

Gallery - RAF aircraft operated at airfield

Other RAF Squadrons

  • No. 26 Squadron RAF.
  • No. 268 Squadron RAF.
  • No. 613 Squadron RAF.
  • No. 169 Squadron RAF.
  • No. 239 Squadron RAF.

In March 1943 North American Mustangs belonging to 164, 169, 239 and 208 Squadrons RAF engaged in Operation Spartan which occurred between 1 and 12 March 1943 was conducted across southern and central England to test a wide range of procedures and tactics of British and Canadian Forces.

United States Army Air Forces use

In 1944 the airfield was transferred to the U.S. Eighth Air Force and operated in conjunction with the nearby RAF Thurleigh.

Glenn Miller

Twinwood Farm was where USAAF Major Glenn Miller's aircraft took off on 15 December 1944 for Paris. His plane disappeared over the English Channel and was never found.

Current use

The airfield closed in June 1945.

The site is now home to the Twinwood Arena, a large natural amphitheatre which plays host to various music festivals promoted by Twinwood Events including the Rhythm Festival.

Glenn Miller Museum

The Glenn Miller Museum is located in the restored control tower and features displays about Glenn Miller, RAF Twinwood Farm, and the Second World War.

Other buildings house different displays including:

  • Twinwood Aviation Museum - featuring uniforms and artifacts recovered from German and Allied aircraft crash sites, as well as British aviation units and life in Britain during the war.
  • Rooms of a 1940s family home
  • Axis Museum - recreation of a German bunker, Russian and German artillery and weapons, and a display about Winston Churchill and the British Royal Family
  • Fire Service Museum - recreated 1940s wartime fire station with uniforms, equipment and vehicles
  • Displays of military vehicles

The group of museums are also known as Twinwood Airfield Museum, and are open seasonally.

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