|Type||Royal Air Force station|
|Controlled by||Royal Air Force|
|Battles/wars||Second 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.
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 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
- No. 16 Squadron RAF (1943-1944) Supermarine Spitfire V and IX.
- No. 21 Squadron RAF (1943) Lockheed Ventura I and II.
- No. 88 Squadron RAF (1943-1944) Douglas Boston IIIA and IV.
- No. 107 Squadron RAF (1943-1944) Douglas Boston III and IIIA.
- No. 107 Squadron RAF (1944) de Havilland Mosquito VI.
- No. 140 Squadron RAF (1943-1944) Lockheed Ventura I, Supermarine Spitfire PRVII, XI and IX, de Havilland Mosquito XVI.
- No. 171 Squadron RAF (1942-1943) North American Mustang IA, Curtiss Tomahawk I.
- No. 226 Squadron RAF (1944) North American Mitchell II.
- No. 264 Squadron RAF (1944) de Havilland Mosquito XIII.
- No. 305 Squadron RAF (1944) de Havilland Mosquito VI.
- No. 322 Squadron RAF (1944) Supermarine Spitfire XIV.
- No. 342 Squadron RAF (1943-1944) Douglas Boston IIIA and IV.
- No. 430 Squadron RCAF (1943) Curtiss Tomahawk I and II.
- No. 613 Squadron RAF (1944) de Havilland Mosquito VI.
Units and aircraft (RAF Blackbushe)Edit
- No. 162 Squadron RAF (1945-1946) de Havilland Mosquito XX and XXV.
- No. 167 Squadron RAF (1944-1945) Vickers Warwick I and III.
- No. 301 Squadron RAF (1945) Vickers Warwick I and III. Free Polish Air Force Squadron.
- No. 418 Squadron RCAF (1944) de Havilland Mosquito VI.
- No. 605 Squadron RAF (1944-1945) de Havilland Mosquito VI.
- No. 622 Squadron RAF (1950-1953) Vickers Valetta C1.
- No. 2770 Squadron RAF Regiment
- No. 2773 Squadron RAF Regiment.
- No. 2780 Squadron RAF Regiment.
- No. 2800 Squadron RAF Regiment.
- No. 2811 Squadron RAF Regiment.
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.
- Jefford 1988, p. 29.
- Jefford 1988, p. 31.
- Jefford 1988, p. 51.
- Jefford 1988, p. 55.
- Jefford 1988, p. 60.
- Jefford 1988, p. 65.
- Jefford 1988, p. 73.
- Jefford 1988, p. 80.
- Jefford 1988, p. 85.
- Jefford 1988, p. 86.
- Jefford 1988, p. 88.
- Jefford 1988, p. 91.
- Jefford 1988, p. 100.
- Jefford 1988, p. 64.
- Jefford 1988, p. 84.
- Jefford 1988, p. 99.
- Jefford 1988, p. 101.
- "Blackbushe (Hartfordbridge)". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
- "Crash in Hampshire". The Times (50267). London. 8 October 1945. p. 4.
- "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.