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Royal Air Force Blackbushe or more simply RAF Blackbushe is a former Royal Air Force station in Hampshire, England, during the Second World War. It is now Blackbushe Airport.

RAF Blackbushe
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Hampshire, England
RAF Blackbushe is located in Hampshire
RAF Blackbushe
RAF Blackbushe
Coordinates51°19′26″N 0°50′51″W / 51.3239°N 0.8475°W / 51.3239; -0.8475Coordinates: 51°19′26″N 0°50′51″W / 51.3239°N 0.8475°W / 51.3239; -0.8475
TypeRoyal Air Force station
Site information
OwnerAir Ministry
Controlled by Royal Air Force
Site history
In use1942–1946
Battles/warsSecond World War



The station was opened on 1 November 1942 as RAF Hartford Bridge and it was used throughout the remainder of Second World War for reconnaissance, defence and strike operations using Supermarine Spitfires, Douglas Bostons and de Havilland Mosquitoes. It was also the home of the Free French Squadron (Lorraine).

During the construction of the airfield, the already built runways were used for glider testing, including the massive General Aircraft Hamilcar.

A number of important people used the airfield including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Supreme Allied Commander U.S. General Dwight D Eisenhower and British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

Due to its geographical proximity to RAE Farnborough Royal Aircraft Establishment the airfield was used to develop the Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation (FIDO) system to enable aircraft operations in heavy fog.

The station was renamed to RAF Blackbushe on 18 November 1944 and it became an airfield for the Douglas Dakotas of RAF Transport Command during the 1948 airlift during the Berlin Blockade.

The RAF Station was closed on 15 November 1946 and in February 1947 the airfield became Blackbushe Airport under the control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. During the 1950s the airfield saw increased used as a base for US Navy transport aircraft.

Blackbushe was also considered during war in consultations to determine the creation of London's post-war principal civil airport. It was only narrowly beaten by Heathrow; the winner which announced in 1944.

Units and aircraft (RAF Hartford Bridge)Edit

Units and aircraft (RAF Blackbushe)Edit

Accidents and incidentsEdit

On 8 October 1945 a Consolidated B-24 Liberator GR.VI aircraft of No. 311 Squadron RAF took off from Blackbushe on a flight to Ruzyně Airport, Prague. Five minutes later it crashed and burst into flames in a field at Elvetham, near Hartley Wintney, southwest of Blackbush. All 23 people aboard were Czechoslovak, and all were killed: five crew, 17 passengers and one stowaway. The passengers included nine women and five young children, the latter ranging from 18 months to three years old.[19][20]



  1. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 29.
  2. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 31.
  3. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 51.
  4. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 55.
  5. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 60.
  6. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 65.
  7. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 73.
  8. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 80.
  9. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 85.
  10. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 86.
  11. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 88.
  12. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 91.
  13. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 100.
  14. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 64.
  15. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 84.
  16. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 99.
  17. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 101.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Blackbushe (Hartfordbridge)". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Crash in Hampshire". The Times (50267). London. 8 October 1945. p. 4.
  20. ^ "Mystery of 23rd body in blazing 'plane wreck". The Scotsman. 8 October 1945.


  • Jefford MBE, Wg Cdr C G (1988). RAF Squadrons. A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Sturtivant, Ray, ISO and John Hamlin. RAF Flying Training And Support Units since 1912. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2007. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.

External linksEdit