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RAF Ramsbury

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RAF Ramsbury

RAF Ramsbury
USAAF Station AAF-469


Located Near Marlborough, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Ramsbury airfield photographed in May 1944 with west oriented upwards. Taken about a month before D-Day with the airfield full of C-47s and Horsa gliders of the 437th Troop Carrier Group.
RAF RamsburyUSAAF Station AAF-469 File:Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg File:Eighth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).png File:Patch9thusaaf.png is located in Wiltshire
RAF RamsburyUSAAF Station AAF-469 File:Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg File:Eighth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).png File:Patch9thusaaf.png
RAF Ramsbury
USAAF Station AAF-469

Type Military airfield
Code RY
Site information
Owner Air Ministry
Controlled by  Royal Air Force
 United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built 1941 (1941)
In use 1942-1945 (1945)
Battles/wars European Theatre of World War II
Air Offensive, Europe July 1942 - May 1945
Garrison information
Garrison Eighth Air Force
Ninth Air Force
RAF Transport Command
RAF Flying Training Command
Occupants 64th Troop Carrier Group
434th/435th Troop Carrier Groups
437th Troop Carrier Group
No. 23 Group RAF

Royal Air Force Station Ramsbury or more simply RAF Ramsbury is a former Royal Air Force station located 5 miles (8.0 km) east-northeast of Marlborough, Wiltshire, England.

Opened in 1942, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as a transport airfield. After the war it was closed in 1946. Today the remains of the airfield are located on private property being used as agricultural fields.

History

USAAF use

Ramsbury was known as USAAF Station AAF-469 for security reasons by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. It's USAAF Station Code was "RY".

64th Troop Carrier Group

The airfield itself was fairly complete when the first operational users of Ramsbury arrived. The USAAF Twelfth Air Force 64th Troop Carrier Group, equipped with Douglas C-47s and C-53s arrived from Westover Army Airfield, Massachusetts on 18 August 1942. Operational squadrons of the group were:

The unit was temporarily assigned to the VIII Air Support Command for training at Ramsbury, and the group conducted an extensive training program while flying cargo, passengers, and courier missions for several months, before leaving with paratroopers for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa on 9 November 1942, being deployed to Blida Airfield, Algeria.

434th/435th Troop Carrier Groups

From November 1943 to January 1944, the airfield was used by the air echelons of the 434th and 435th Troop Carrier Groups from RAF Fulbeck and RAF Langar with C-47s and C-53s. The groups conducted exercises with the 101st Airborne Division.

437th Troop Carrier Group

Douglas C-47A of the 84th Troop Carrier Squadron.

On 5 February 1944 the 437th Troop Carrier Group moved to Ramsbury from RAF Balderton. Operational squadrons of the group were:

  • 83d Troop Carrier Squadron (T2)
  • 84th Troop Carrier Squadron (Z8)
  • 85th Troop Carrier Squadron (90)
  • 86th Troop Carrier Squadron (5K)

The 437th was a group of Ninth Air Force's 53d Troop Carrier Wing, IX Troop Carrier Command.

The 437th TCS flew a combination of Douglas C-47s and C-53 Skytrains. In February 1945 the group moved to its Advanced Landing Ground at Coulommiers/Voisins, France (ALG A-58).

Ramsbury was retained by IX TCC as a reserve base until the end of hostilities, finally relinquishing it to the RAF in June 1945.[1][2]

Current use

With the end of military control Ramsbury was returned agricultural use. By the mid-1960s, much of the concrete had been removed.

Today outlines of the main runways can be discerned on aerial photography, with the perimeter track being reduced largely to a single lane agricultural road. None of the extensive amount of dispersal pads to the southwest of the airfield remain, and there is no evidence of any of the hangars or the technical site. A VERY short piece of the end of 32 runway can be seen where the concrete is still at full width, just at the intersection of what once was the perimter track.

A rather large poultry farm has been erected at the intersection of the 32 end of the NW/SE and 02 end of the NE/SW runways. Several runoff retention ponds are visible with many metal storage silos.

See also

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

Citations

  1. ^ Freeman 2001, p. 00.
  2. ^ Maurer 1980, p. 00.

Bibliography

  • Freeman, R. Airfields of the Eighth - Then and Now. After the Battle. London, UK: Battle of Britain International Ltd., 2001. ISBN 0-9009-13-09-6.
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1996) The Ninth Air Force in Colour: UK and the Continent-World War Two. After the Battle ISBN 1-85409-272-3
  • Maurer, M. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. USAF Historical Division. Washington D.C., USA: Zenger Publishing Co., Inc, 1980. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

External links

  • Ramsbury Airfield at www.controltowers.co.uk
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