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High Wycombe

Military site : non-airfield

High Wycome known as Daws Hill was the Headquarters of Eighth Air Force Bomber Command (Pinetree). Situated on land and in a house formerly occupied by Wycombe Abbey School and restored to them by the US on 9 May 1946.

It incorporated the facility known as Camp Lynn (named in honour of Second Lieutenant William G Lynn Jnr who failed to return from a raid on the Netherlands on 4 July 1942) and Daws Hill. An underground bunker was dug underneath Roundabout Hill (below Daws Hill), and a large encampment of tents and huts was constructed within the Abbey parkland and to the east and south of Daws Hill House to accommodate staff associated with the HQ. The encampment was sold to the Ministry of Defence in 1946, and from 1958-1965 part of the US Strategic Air Command was based there. Due to its role during the cold war a peace camp was organised there from 1982 to at least 1984. The US Navy used it for US Visiting Forces in the early 2000s, and in 2007 the site passed to RAF. It has since been redeveloped.

Detailed history

On the first floor the large, vaulted and marble-floored lobby remained unchanged, except for a reception desk. A corridor to the left led first to the Commanding General's suite, which was once the head mistress's office, adjoining an office for his aide and secretary. Next was a large room ideal for operations and beyond that an even larger room that became the war room where Eaker, his staff and a steady parade of VIP visitors were briefed daily on the war news.
The Air Force Engineer moved into Campbell House. The Public Relations officer moved into Airlie House. The Air Force Surgeon moved into Barry House.

English Heritage's record description

RAF Daws Hill was established in 1942 when the Air Ministry requisitioned Wycombe Abbey School and its lands. The site originally consisted of a large underground bunker and a hutted encampment to the south and east of Daws Hill and on parkland near to the Abbey. It was used as a headquarters by the United States 8th Air Force until the end of the war. In 1946 the Abbey building was returned to the school, however, the land occupied by the camp and the bunker was sold to the Ministry of Defence.

In the 1950s, RAF Daws Hill, also known as High Wycombe Air Station, was used again as a base by US forces during the Cold War. Between 1958 and 1965 it was the headquarters of the 7th Air Division USAF in the UK, part of US Strategic Air Command. It continued to have an active role during the Cold War and its facilities included a nuclear bunker. At the end of the Cold War its use reduced, however, around the year 2000, the site was developed by the US Navy for use by the United States Visiting Forces (USVF) and became known as USVF Daws Hill. This site includes two housing areas (Service Family Accommodation) - the Doolittle Estate and Eaker Estate (named after General Ira Clarence Eaker, commander of the US Eighth Air Force during the Second World War) and a technical area with workshops, a bowling alley, school, tennis courts and dormitory buildings. The base was also home, between 1971 and 2007, to the London Central Elementary High School - a United States Department of Defence Dependents School. In the 1980s a Peace Camp was also established at Dawes Hill.

In 2007 the US left RAF Daws Hill and it passed into the hands of the RAF and continued to be used as Service Family Accommodation. In 2011 an announcement was made by the Ministry of Defence that the site was to be disposed of.



  • VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command was constituted and activated in 1942. It oversaw heavy bombardment operations until February 1944, when it was redesginated as the 8th Air Force.

  • Headquarters Squadron (VIII Bomber Command)

    Headquarters Squadron (VIII Bomber Command)

    Headquarters VIII Bomber Command was established on 23 February 1942, General Ira Eaker was placed in charge, having arrived in the UK two days earlier with 6 Staff Officers. They were assigned to Wycombe Abbey, High Wycombe in April 1942.

  • VIII Fighter Command

    VIII Fighter Command

    VIII Fighter Command was established as VIII Interceptor Command at Selfridge Field on 2 February 1942.

  • XII Bomber Command
  • Eighth Air Force

    Eighth Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force in February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command was constituted and activated in 1942. It oversaw heavy bombardment operations until February 1944, when it was redesginated as the 8th Air Force.

  • VIII Fighter Command

    VIII Fighter Command

    VIII Fighter Command was established as VIII Interceptor Command at Selfridge Field on 2 February 1942.

  • 4th Bomb Wing
  • 18th Weather Squadron

    18th Weather Squadron

    Browse 18th Weather Squadron photographs and other documents in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library digital archive here:

  • 1st Photographic Technical Squadron


  • Frederick Anderson

    Military | General | Commanding General | 95th Bomb Group
    Formerly senior pilot and CG of 4th Bomb Wing at Marks Hall from May 1943. Then appointed CG VIII BC 1 July 1943 to January 1944. ...

  • Francis Chinard

    Military | Doctor
    Medical doctor Francis Chinard joined the US Army in 1943. One of his jobs in the UK involved demonstrating to crews the effects of lack of a oxygen on the brain, to persuade them of the importance of using their oxygen masks. This involved taking...

  • Betty Decker


  • Everett Dickey

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Flew with the 381st & the 482nd BG

  • Thomas DiGregorio

    Military | Sergeant | Bombardier

  • Thomas Evans

    'I was at "Pinetree" [High Wycombe] 1943-1944- HQ 8AF. I flew with the 83rd Ftr Squadron, 78th Ftr Grp in 1949-1950 at Hamilton AFB- flying F-84's- wish I could give you more.'

  • Curtis Howe

    Military | First Lieutenant | Assistant Flying Control Officer | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Howe was dismissed from the USAAF on 31 March 1943, after being away without leave and neglecting his duties between 12 January 1943 and 28 January 1943. ...

  • Jack Johnson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Army Correspondent
    Enlisted in Gainesville, TX, where he was working in 1942. Trained at Camp Wolters, Texas, Barksdale in Louisiana, Drane Field in Lakeland, and Ft. Myers, Florida, then served at RAF Honington in England from 1942 - November 1945. He returned on the...

  • William Joseph

    Military | Sergeant | Photographic Topographer
    With photo lab in Verton, Belgium during battle of the Bulge- saw cannon 'lites' at nite from battle at Belgium/Luxemburg border. WOW also at Kew Gardens, first night in shower and had air raid. flew many missions and discharged in Jan 1945

  • Benjamin Kelsey

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot/Test Pilot/Staff Officer | 14th Fighter Group
    New York Times Obituary ...

Show more


  • 41-24480 The Bad Penny

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 324BS/91BG [DF-B] Bangor 31/8/42; Bassingbourn 26/9/42; 322BS [LG-A] 5/43 16+m; taken off operations and transferred 403 AD 2/7/43; 8AF HQ Sqd 15/8/43 for VIP duties. Salvaged 19/10/44. Used as camera ship to film Major William Wilder's...

  • T7142

    Tiger Moth
    de Havilland Tiger Moth T7142 assigned to 427BS, 303BG, 8th AF USAAF. SOC 15-Nov-48.

  • V9506

    Westland Lysander Mk IIIa V9506, assigned to 8th Air Force Headquarter Flight USAAF.


Date Contributor Update
02 December 2019 11:04:10 Emily Changes to description and english heritage description

Historic England, National Monument Record number SU 89 SE 79

Date Contributor Update
20 May 2017 23:47:19 jreynolds1948 Changes to history

James Reynolds

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

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) /
Office of History, Headquarters Third Air Force, United States Air Forces in Europe; Installations and USAAF Combat Units in the United Kingdom 1942-1945, Revised and