Planned in the 1920's,
RAF Abingdon opened 1st Sep 1932 as a bomber airfield (later
RAF Bomber Command)
40 Sqn first to arrive
with Fairey Gordon bi-plane bombers (ex- Upper Heyford)
Oxford UAS moves in 3rd
Nov 1932, and remains until airfield is handed over to the Army
in the 1990's
Throughout 1930's, Hawker
Harts and Hinds are main types of aircraft operating from this
airfield. Fairey Battles arrive for service with 40 and XV Sqn's
Whitley bombers arrive
following the advent of war, eventually forming 10 OTU. Supplemented
by Ansons and used for dropping leaflets ('Nickel' sorties)
Stanton Harcourt - satellite
to Abingdon - comes in to use on Sep 1940, and is used to disperse
aircraft from Abingdon and help with night flying training.
January 1941 sees formation
of No 1 BAT flight (Blind Approach Training), Oxfords eventually
Airfield bombed on 12 March
and 21 March 1941. Damage to buildings and some aircraft (42
bombs in all)
Lysanders arrive in August
1941, later replaced by Martinets in 1943, at about which time
91 Group Air Gunners Instruction School opens.
Concrete runways laid in
March 1944 - flying switched to Stanton Harcourt until airfield
10 OTU disbands on 10 Sep
1946, and airfield id handed over to RAF Transport Command.
Aircraft operating from
Abingdon from 1947 include Avro Yorks, Dakotas, Hastings and
No 1 Parachute School moves
from Upper Heyford and arrives at Abingdon in 1950.
March 1956 sees arrival
of first Beverley, and 53 Sqn receives first of type in Feb
Beverleys operate until
Oct 1967, and the airfield becomes one of busiest in Britain.
Queen visits in 1968, and,
as part of RAF's 50th anniversary, lunches in Officers Mess
on 14th Jun 1968.
Joint Air Transport Establishment
forms here in 1971 (?) eventually moving to Brize Norton (along
with No 1 PTS) in 1975.
Airfield transferred to
RAF Support Command in 1976, and the Beverley hangar (F-Shed)
is now used for Jaguar overhaul and maintenance. Hawks also
overhauled in 'E-shed'.
Unit is also host for Repair
& Salvage Sqn and University of London Air Squadron.
Throughout 1970's and 1980's
airfield is threatened with closure. Eventually the RAF is withdrawn
and the airfield handed over to the Army in the early 1990's.
RAF Abingdon is now known
as 'Dalton Barracks'.