RAF Gaydon - Second World War

Second World War

The airfield was used extensively during the Second World War, being opened in July 1942 and was immediately occupied by No. 12 Operational Training Unit (OTU) as a satellite of RAF Chipping Warden operating Vickers Wellingtons and Avro Ansons training pilots from a magnitude of countries on the allied side but mainly Canadian, Czech and New Zealanders teaching about flying in wartime and small courses about navigation. The airfield was further augmented by No. 22 OTU in July 1943 also using the airfield as a satellite from the main base of RAF Wellesbourne Mountford using Wellingtons and Ansons. No. 22 OTU while at Gaydon conducted bombing and air sea rescue operations helping to aid the allied war effort. A small unit the 312 Ferry Training Unit (FTU) was deployed there training pilots for ferrying aircraft overseas.

Working on an airfield where the training of pilots was taking place was extremely dangerous because of the experience of the crew and the condition of their aircraft, the Wellington was well used for many OTU's and many accidents have occurred because of this. The aircraft were regularly powered up and flown in various conditions around the country and within Northern Europe on operations where the conditions could easily damage the aircraft and potentially crash.

The airfield was based upon the standard Class A airfield for wartime operations with pan dispersals and concrete runways utilising the wind for help with take-offs and landings. The airfield had a standard bomber type control tower which was destroyed sometime before 1955.

Read more about this topic:  RAF Gaydon

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