Christchurch

Airfield
Aerial photograph of Christchurch airfield, looking south, the pre-war airfield is in the centre of the image, 12 December 1946. Photograph taken by No. 82 Squadron, sortie number RAF/CPE/UK/1893. English Heritage (RAF Photography).

Object Number - RAF_CPE_UK_1893_RS_4276 - Aerial photograph of Christchurch airfield, looking south, the pre-war airfield is in the centre of the image, 12 December 1946. Photograph taken by...

The original Christchurch Airport operated from 1935-39, and the airfield was used by the RAF from 1939 to 1941. It was the site of the Airspeed Aircraft factiry from 1940 to 51. Christchurch was developed for USAAF use in 1943, and the Ninth Air Force's 405th Fighter Group used the airfield in 1944. Handed back to the British, Christchurch continued to develop as a Ministry of Aircraft Production airfield for de Havilland. The airfield was closed in 1967, and most of the site was sold for light industry and housing development in 1979.

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English Heritage's Record Description

The site of a former military airfield opened in 1935 and closed between 1964 and 1967, situated just inland from Christchurch bay. By 1944 the airfield had five landing surfaces composed partly of concrete, grass and steel matting. It also had aircraft hangars of Bellman, Bessoneau and Blister types. Although not a large base it was important during World War Two as part of the Air Defence Experimental Establishment; experimenting with radar navigational and interception mechanisms. It was also the home of the Airspeed aircraft factory, which amongst designs produced the Airspeed Oxford trainer aircraft. In the build up to D-Day in 1944 the USAAF 405th Fighter Group were also stationed there, and the airfield was used as an Advanced Landing Ground. After World war Two Airspeed continued to use the site until 1964. The site has since been built over as a residential housing estate.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 405th Fighter Group 56th Fighter Group 511th Fighter Squadron 62nd Fighter Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Flight Officer
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 405th Fighter Group 510th Fighter Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Unit: 405th Fighter Group 510th Fighter Squadron
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 405th Fighter Group 510th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 20441588 / O-686831
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 405th Fighter Group 509th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-700207
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Butch II Eager Eddie Portland Rose
  • Unit: 353rd Fighter Group 356th Fighter Group 405th Fighter Group 352nd Fighter Squadron 361st Fighter Squadron 509th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Aw Nuts !
  • Unit: 353rd Fighter Group 405th Fighter Group 352nd Fighter Squadron 509th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 405th Fighter Group 511th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 356th Fighter Group 405th Fighter Group 56th Fighter Group 359th Fighter Squadron 509th Fighter Squadron 62nd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Hell's Belle
  • Unit: 405th Fighter Group 4th Fighter Group 335th Fighter Squadron 509th Fighter Squadron

Revisions

Date3 Sep 2019 11:35:05
ContributorEmily
Sources

Historic England National Monument Record SZ 19 SE 125

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)

Christchurch: Gallery (12 items)