RAF Oakley

RAF Oakley is a former Royal Air Force station between Oakley and Worminghall, Buckinghamshire, England. It was located in a flat, damp wooded area.

RAF Oakley
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Between Oakley and Worminghall, Buckinghamshire, England
Old airfield building near Worminghall - geograph.org.uk - 204349.jpg
An old airfield building of the former RAF Oakley surrounded by corn.
RAF Oakley is located in Buckinghamshire
RAF Oakley
RAF Oakley
Location within Buckinghamshire
Coordinates51°46′57″N 001°04′30″W / 51.78250°N 1.07500°W / 51.78250; -1.07500Coordinates: 51°46′57″N 001°04′30″W / 51.78250°N 1.07500°W / 51.78250; -1.07500
TypeRoyal Air Force Station
Site information
OwnerAir Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Site history
Built1941 (1941)
In use1942-1945 (1945)
Battles/warsSecond World War

HistoryEdit

Second World War usageEdit

Intended as RAF Westcott's satellite, the land at Field Farm had been requisitioned by the War Office, and the airfield built. RAF Oakley was ready before its parent station so, when it opened on 27 May 1942, it became RAF Bicester's second satellite. In August 1942 it switched to its intended status and when No. 11 Operational Training Unit RAF moved to Westcott in September 1942, and Oakley became that unit's satellite where it placed some of its Vickers Wellington IC's.

In the Autumn of 1943, Hercules-engined Wellingtons came increasingly into use and the OTU's air gunnery training section was located at Oakley. Conversion training for bomber crews was Oakley's primary role, which continued to the end of the war during the final year of which most personnel were trained for overseas squadrons.

Operation EXODUSEdit

 
British former prisoners of war prepare to board an Avro Lancaster B Mark I, PB934, of No. 582 Squadron RAF at Lübeck, Germany, for repatriation to the United Kingdom, 11 May 1945

After the end of hostilities in Europe, orders were received on 2 May 1945 that 300 repatriated prisoners of war were arriving by air at 1100. All arrangements were made for their reception, and the provision of refreshments laid on in the Social Club. The arrival was, in fact, postponed to later in the day. Seven Douglas Dakotas landed with repatriated POWs on the following day and more throughout the month, until by the end of May, 72 Dakotas had brought 1,787 PoWs. Operation EXODUS was in full swing and May 1945 was even busier with 443 Avro Lancasters, 103 Dakotas, 51 Handley Page Halifaxes, 31 Consolidated Liberators, 3 Short Stirlings, 3 Lockheed Hudsons, and 2 Boeing Fortresses bringing 15,088 personnel.

Current useEdit

RAF Oakley closed to flying in August 1945, but remains very visibly a wartime airfield, whose main runway remains largely intact with a 'T2' hangar retaining its wartime black finish. Temporary brick wartime buildings stand alongside and Oakley holds one special feature, a well-preserved 'B1' hangar. Local people use the runway informally for cycling and running. The T2 hangar sadly is now gone, it was demolished and a modern industrial complex built in its place, there are however still some buildings nearby that are left and the pole for the windsocks still stands near to the C.O's and O.C flying's homes which are still in use today, and the brick base of the control tower is still in place but as a flat roof storage shed, the rest of the tower being long gone.

Popular cultureEdit

The hangar, which with the use of a miniature effect was destroyed by a missile in the film, is now a warehouse used by Natural Building Technologies, a merchant of building materials.[1]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit