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RAF Blackbushe

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg

Hampshire, England
Type Royal Air Force station
Coordinates Latitude: 51.3239
Longitude: -0.8475
In use 1942–1946
Air Ministry
Controlled by  Royal Air Force
Battles/wars Second World War

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


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 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 the 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)

Units and aircraft (RAF Blackbushe)



  1. Jefford 1988, p. 29.
  2. Jefford 1988, p. 31.
  3. Jefford 1988, p. 51.
  4. 4.0 4.1 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. 12.0 12.1 Jefford 1988, p. 91.
  13. Jefford 1988, p. 100.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Jefford 1988, p. 64.
  15. Jefford 1988, p. 84.
  16. Jefford 1988, p. 99.
  17. Jefford 1988, p. 101.


  • 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 CITEREFJefford1988. 
  • 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 links

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