WW2 Aerodromes of Oxfordshire - Mount Farm
 

 

References
Links
 
Click HERE to view  airfields map.

 

Optimised for viewing at 1024 x 768
A 'restored' vehicle - but not from MF
Various section of remaining airfield track
Compare this with the image on the right Compare this with the image on the left
Views of Mount Farm, after which the airfield was named
The Memorial at Berinsfield

Points of Interest:

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 it.

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.

A brief description accompanies each of the larger images - click thumbnails to view.
Views over remaining sections of main runway
Airfield 'structures'
Focus Cat, by Walt Disney... Thanks to Nigel Dawe for the  photo
'Focus Cat'
Personnel of the the 13th Sqn Photo Lab
Photo Sqn personnel
Main gate into Mount Farm, 1943
Interesting B&W images taken during the war
Front view of a P-38 Scotty inspecting bomb damage... Captain Steve Alton Scott
Captain Steve Scott, 22 Sqn
RAF Colour party move forward to take position American Colour party positioning... Start of the religious ceremony... Invited guests and local dignitaries

Memorial ceremony for Wing Commander Adrian Warburton - 12th April 2004

RMARG wreath Mrs Adrian Warburton by her husbands memorial
Close up of the memorial plaque
The memorial garlanded with wreaths, April 12 2004
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Mount Farm - aerial views and map
Warby's Lightning
Warby Crash Site
Cletrac towing F5
Engine Mechanics
Cadet Dale Shade
Pilot Dale Shade
The Watch Tower
The view from a nearby garage
A post-war auction
Mount Farm Pilot & Ground Crew
193 Overhead Aerial Photo
Wartime aerial views of the airfield
1980 account
A short history, written 1980
Airfield panorama showing woods where the bomb dump remains are to be found
Track to bomb dump
The track of the service road towards the bomb dump
Views from the woods by the bomb dump
Views of the remains of the bomb dump
Air Raid Shelter Air raid Shelter Entrance

View to the bomb dump woods from the air raid shelter

Inside the Air Raid Shelter
Probably the last remaining structure still intact at Mount Farm

Images of pilots, their aircraft, and ground crew

Mount Farm aviators
Mount Farm personnel
memories Video (120Mb)
(Video - 120 Mb)

More great images of Mount Farm personnel

(Thanks to Scott Blythe for contributing)

 

Below are images of Lyle C Nelson, who served in th US 8th Air Force, 22 Photo Recon Squad

(Thanks to Cooke family for contributing)

 
 
 
Below are images taken by Lyle C Nelson, capturing life at and near Mount Farm aerodrome
 
BX? Tennis anyone? Mobile coffee wagon The office... Visitors
         
 
Smile please...   Basic transport... Visiting crew? Col Hall & Groundcrew
         
   
  Medal ceremony Base closure? Boss on a bike..  
         
         
         
         
         
         
Kingston Bagpuize