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Military site : airfield

Grove was originally intended to be a base for an RAF Operational Training Unit. Construction began in late 1941 and the airfield was usable by October 1942. The airfield was built to a standard design for bomber bases, with a main 6,000 feet runway, two shorter runways, hardstandings and T-type hangars. Grove was expanded by adding more hardstandings, extra T2 hangars and the workshop space necessary for it to become a major maintenance airfield. Used first by the RAF, it was then handed over to the Ninth Air Force, which used Grove as a repair and modification centre. C-47 transport aircraft were then based at the airfield with the 31st Transport Group, which moved to France in September 1944. A reorganisation of the Ninth Air Force’s support units led eventually to the creation of the 1st Transport Group (Provisional) at Grove, before the 31st Transport Group returned to the airfield in December. Handed back to the RAF at the end of the war, it was used for storage before parts of the site were developed into housing and industrial areas.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

A Second World War military airfield, opened in 1942, closed in 1946. The airfield is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1946. Initially it was used by the Royal Air Force as a training school for night flying. Later it was enlarged for use by American bombers. By 1944 it was in service as the United States Army Air Force Air Service Command's 3rd Tactical Air Depot: by then it had a personnel strength of 3402 officers and men. The airfield by then had been provided with three concrete landing surfaces and six aircraft hangars (type T2). Wartime construction methods typically involved the use of "temporary materials" for many building types. After hostilities ceased the Americans left and Royal Air Force Number 3 Maintenance Unit took over the base. The site accommodation was also used post-war by workers who were modifying a nearby airfield at Harwell. By the 1980s research laboratories had been built on part of the old airfield and housing from Grove had encroached onto the former flying field and runways.




  • David Boylan

    Military | Captain | Passenger | 43rd Air Depot Group
    KNO 19 October 1943 accident in HAVOCII AH511 on runway at Grove. Multiple problems with plane. Assigned to Air Depot group.

  • Larry Bredda

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 27th Air Transport Group
    June 1941 Joined Army Air Forces ...

  • Robert Byron

    Military | Sergeant | 405 Clerk Typist

  • Robert Campbell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | 27th Air Transport Group
    KIA. C-47 crashed in the Pyrenees Mtns on a flight from Grove, England to Istres, FR.

  • Willard Leutenegger

    Military | Flight Officer | Pilot | 27th Air Transport Group
    Co Pilot C-47A-25-DK #42-93508 when it crashed after striking trees attempting to land in heavy fog at Ramsbury, Station 469, UK. Killed in Action (KIA). DNB. 22-12-44.

  • John Vojcik

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Crew Chief | 27th Air Transport Group
    Crew Chief C-47A-25-DK #42-93508 when it crashed after striking trees attempting to land in heavy fog at Ramsbury, Station 469, UK. Killed in Action (KIA). DNB. 22-12-44.


  • AB199 'Mespotamia'

    Supermarine Spitfire AB199 Mk Vb, Const #2391, Built at Eastleigh. ...

  • 42-93508

    C-47 Skytrain
    Crashed after striking trees attempting to land in heavy fog at Ramsbury, Station 469, UK. Pilot, Co Pilot and Crew Chief KIFA, Asst Crew Chief Daniel V.B. Riley and Radio Operator Charles A Kdlak WIA. The airplane was diverting there because it was...

  • N4839

    Airspeed Oxford N4839 assigned to 326th Ferrying Squadron, 31st Air Transport Group, 9AF USAAF.

  • AB976

    Supermarine Spitfire AB976 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. 6 MU 30-Aug-41 306S 6-Sep-41 303S 6-Oct-41 Air Service Training Heston 3-Dec-41 107ObSqn 67ObGrp 8AF USAAF 16-Oct-42 31st Air Transport Group

  • BL993

    Supermarine Spitfire BL993 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...


Date Contributor Update
03 September 2019 13:35:02 Emily Changes to english heritage description

Historic England National Monument Record SU 38 NE 95

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 09:41:47 Emily Changes to media associations

Removed wrongly associated images

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:16 AAM AAM ingest

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)