Nearby RAF Benson already established as a major training aerodrome . Because it was expanding rapidly it needed the use of an additional satellite airfield - hence Mount Farmcame into being.
Tradionally an aerodrome is named after a nearby settlement (with a Post Office), and that wouldhave been Dorchester which was about 2-3 miles away. However, to avoid confusion with another place of the same name, it was named Mount Farm, on whose land the airfieldwas built on.
Initially a grass strip, with few facilities, first used in Aug 1940 when Benson OTU began sending Fairey Battled and Ansons over on a daily basis for practice take-offs and landings, day and night.
Most traing was aimed at training new bomber crews, chiefly for No.2 Group, Bomber Cmd.
Further development saw 3 concrete runways laid, and 25 aircraft dispersals. Later a technical and instructional site built on the NW area of the airfiled. Further to the West domestic sites were built to accommodate around 1800 personnel.
Early 1941 saw Wellingtons flying from the airfield (as it had concrtet runways). During this period training was carried out by No's 12 and a5 OTU's.
On departure of theOTU's, Benson tookover control of Mount Farm as its satellite and erected eight blister type hangars foruse by Spitfires.
Mount Farm is set-up as an RAF Photo Recce Unit following expansion of the specialist sqns at Benson. 140 Sqn moved into Mount Farm in May 1942. Spitfires are painted pale blue and used for high level photography, while a few Blenheims sre used for night recce work. In Oct 1943 543 Sqb moves in alongside to work up its quota of Spits.
USAAF also require an airfield for its Photo Recce sqns, thus in Feb 1943 the RAF hands over control of Mount Farm to the USAAF to become Station No.234. The main reason for wanting to be based there was due to the main photographic interpretation centre being located a few miles away at Medmenham Hall.
16th Feb 1943 sees the arrival of the 13th Photo Recce Sqn, the two Spitfire sqns having moved out to Benson. The new arrivals also use Spitfires,as wellasa few P38 Lightnings. Three other PR sqns arrive in Jul 43, and due tothe increased establishment it is named the 7th Photographic Group.
Towards end of 1944 the USAAF convert to Mustangs as they have greater range then Spits, able to penetrate well into Germany. During their stay the 7th Photo Recce Group fly over 5000 sorties, taking over 3,000,000 photos.
With the war coming toclose the USAAF transfer their PR HQ toChalgrove on 8th April 1945, althouigh some sqns have transferrd to airfields in France.
On 1st April 1945 the aerodrome was returned to the RAF to again become a satellite for Benson. However, on June 45 No 8 OTU moves in with many Spits, Hurricanes and Mosquitos with the task of training crews in the art of photo recce. They eventually transferred to Chalgrove in Jul 46, leaving the airfield clear of aircraft.
No further flying takes place, although for a few years the site was used by the Ministry of Supply for open storage of redundant vehicles and other military kit. It was mid 1949 before all items were disposed of. The site was eventually sold in 1957 and has since reverted back to farm land, with very little to show a once busy airfield even existed.
Of interest #1 -
Roosevelt kept his private VIP equipped B17 at Mount Farm, and
used to park it on a hardstand just behind the farmhouse. The
circular hardstand is still there and now has a barn built on
Of interest #2 - The C.O. of the 325th Reconaissance
Wing, one Colonel Elliott Roosevelt, son of the wartime U.S.
President, kicked out the pilots from their comfy farmhouse
billet and moved into the farmhouse himself when the 325th took
command of the 7th PRG.