Charmy Down

Airfield
Aerial photograph of Charmy Down airfield looking east, the control tower and airfield code are bottom left, 27 April 1942. Photograph taken by No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, sortie number RAF/HLA/445. English Heritage (RAF Photography).

Object Number - RAF_HLA_445_V_5023 - Aerial photograph of Charmy Down airfield looking east, the control tower and airfield code are bottom left, 27 April 1942. Photograph taken by No. 1...

Charmy Down was built for the RAF in 1940, and used by the Ninth Air Force from 1943 - initially as a maintenance and servicing airfield, then as a base for operating A-20 Havoc night fighters of the 422nd, 423rd and 425th Night Fighter Squadrons 1944. It was closed in 1946, and has since mostly been returned to agriculture.

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English Heritage's Record Description

A World War Two military airfield, opened in 1940 and closed in 1946. By 1944 the airfield had three tarmac runways with 45 dispersal hard standings, temporary accommodation for personnel and 12 Blister aircraft hangars. From 1940 until 1943 the Royal Air Force's 87 Squadron, 125 Squadron, 263 Squadron, 137 Squadron, 88, 197, 234, 245, 417 and 241Squadrons used the airfield. These were mainly operating in a fighter or night fighter role. Also in 1943 the Fighter Leaders School briefly were at Charmy Down. In 1944 the United States Army 9th Air Force arrived: the base became Station 487. It was used in the build up to D-Day, including as the 4th Tactical Air Depot. Until September 1944 It was also a base for the 9th Air Force's Carrier Service Wing who flew secret missions to Europe. From October 1944 to 1945 23 Group RAF Flying Training Command used the base, as a satellite to South Cerney. After the war the Air Training Corps utilised the airfield for glider training. At the same time it was a settlement camp for Australian service personnel. By 2002-2003 the airfield was used for agriculture, though some buildings were reported as being extant at that time, including the control tower

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 155th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: photographer

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-61 Black Widow
  • Unit: 425th Night Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-61 Black Widow
  • Nicknames: Lady Gen
  • Unit: IX Air Support Command 422nd Night Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Nicknames: Jersey Bounce
  • Unit: 42nd Air Depot Group 4th Fighter Group 336th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: Oxford
  • Unit: 42nd Air Depot Group Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron (42nd Air Depot Group)

Revisions

Date3 Sep 2019 13:34:04
ContributorEmily
Sources

Historic England National Monument Record ST 76 NE 283

Date27 Sep 2014 18:02:16
ContributorAAM
Sources

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

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

Charmy Down: Gallery (5 items)