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Charmy Down

Military site : airfield

Charmy Down was built for the RAF in 1940, and used by the Ninth Air Force from 1943 - initially as a maintenance and servicing airfield, then as a base for operating A-20 Havoc night fighters of the 422nd, 423rd and 425th Night Fighter Squadrons 1944. It was closed in 1946, and has since mostly been returned to agriculture.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

A World War Two military airfield, opened in 1940 and closed in 1946. By 1944 the airfield had three tarmac runways with 45 dispersal hard standings, temporary accommodation for personnel and 12 Blister aircraft hangars. From 1940 until 1943 the Royal Air Force's 87 Squadron, 125 Squadron, 263 Squadron, 137 Squadron, 88, 197, 234, 245, 417 and 241Squadrons used the airfield. These were mainly operating in a fighter or night fighter role. Also in 1943 the Fighter Leaders School briefly were at Charmy Down. In 1944 the United States Army 9th Air Force arrived: the base became Station 487. It was used in the build up to D-Day, including as the 4th Tactical Air Depot. Until September 1944 It was also a base for the 9th Air Force's Carrier Service Wing who flew secret missions to Europe. From October 1944 to 1945 23 Group RAF Flying Training Command used the base, as a satellite to South Cerney. After the war the Air Training Corps utilised the airfield for glider training. At the same time it was a settlement camp for Australian service personnel. By 2002-2003 the airfield was used for agriculture, though some buildings were reported as being extant at that time, including the control tower

Service

People

  • Robert Anderson

    Military | First Lieutenant | photographer
    He was a photo reconnaissance pilot with the Army Air Corps, flew missions from France and Belgium, including the Battle of the Bulge, in the winter of 1944/1945. Born February 20, 1924 and raised in San Leandro California, Bob enlisted at the age of...

Aircraft

  • 42-29397

    P-61 Black Widow

  • T1199

    Oxford
    Airspeed Oxford T1199, assigned to HQ Sqn, 42nd Air Depot Group, 9th AF USAAF.

  • 43-6714 'Jersey Bounce'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Named after popular Benny Goodman title & home state. Destroyed in mid-air collision 3 miles West of Chipping Ongar - Pilot Lt Pierini baled out, OK.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2019 13:34:04 Emily Changes to english heritage description
Sources

Historic England National Monument Record ST 76 NE 283

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:16 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

Chris Ashworth, Action Stations 5: Military Airfields of the South-West (Cambridge, 1982)

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