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Keevil

Military site : airfield

Planned as an RAF operational training station, Keevil was allocated while under construction to the Eighth Air Force as a transport base. Built during 1942, it had eventually three concrete runways, 51 pan hardstandings, two T2 hangars and nine blister hangars. It had also a Ministry of Aircraft Production hangar and office complex at the west end, for assembling and flight testing Spitfires. It was first occupied briefly by the 62nd Troop Carrier Group, equipped with C-47s and C-53s, from September to November 1942. The 67th Observation Group at Membury then used Keevil from November 1942 as a satellite base for its 153rd Observation Squadron, equipped with Spitfires, Havocs and Bostons loaned by the RAF plus a few L-4Bs. After standardising on Havocs, Bostons and A-20s in early 1943, the 153rd Observation Squadron was reformed as the 2911th Bomb Squadron (Provisional), but officially remained at Keevil with its original title until March 1944. Transferred to the Ninth Air Force in October 1943, the station was home briefly to the 363rd Fighter Group, equipped with P-51s, from December 1943 to February 1944. Handed back to the RAF, the station was used for multi-role purposes from March 1944 until closed and placed on Care and Maintenance in 1947. The station boundaries were reduced in 1948 but it was maintained in operational condition, and was a stand-by base for the 3rd Air Force of USAFE during 1955 to 1964. Still owned by MOD, the airfield remains in use for military training exercises. It is also home to the Bannerdown Gliding Club within the RAF Gliding and Soaring Association.

Service

Units

  • 62nd Troop Carrier Group

    62nd Troop Carrier Group

    Group
    The Group was only in England to carry out further training exercises before joining the Twelfth Air Force in the Mediterranean theater. Over the course of the war, the Group flew in paratroops, military and medical supplies and propaganda leaflets....

  • 363rd Fighter Group

    363rd Fighter Group

    Group
    Equipped with P-51s, the Group entered combat from England in February 1944, flying bomber escort and ground-strafing missions. They took part in the invasion of Normandy, protecting gliders and troop carriers on 6 and 7 June. In September 1944, now...

  • 2018th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon

    2018th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon

    Platoon
    Unit departed New York Port of Embarkation on 8 October 1943 on the S.S. Thurston arriving at Courock, Scotland on 17 October 1943.

Aircraft

  • EN945

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire EN945 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • T1254

    Oxford
    Airspeed Oxford T1254, assigned to 2911th Bomb Sqn, 67th Recon Group, 8AF USAAF.

  • AB862

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire AB862 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • W3364

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire W3364 Mk Va Const #1682, Built at Chattis Hill. ...

  • AB976

    Spitfire
    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

  • W3931

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire W3931 Mk Vb Const #2021, Built High Post. ...

  • BM637

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire BM637 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • BL641

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire BL641 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • AR283

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire AR283 Mk Vb, Built at Westland. ...

  • AD247

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire AD247 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:17 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Eighth Then And Now (London, 1978)

Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

Chris Ashworth, Action Stations 5: Military Airfields of the South-West (London, 1982)

http://www.bannerdown.co.uk/index.php

http://www.controltowers.co.uk/h-k/keevil.htm

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