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RAF Old Sarum

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RAF Old Sarum, Airfield Site
RAF Old Sarum, Camp & Communal Sites.
RAF Old Sarum Camera Obscura
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RAF Old Sarum

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Museum

RAF Old Sarum

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RAF Old Sarum

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RAF Old Sarum

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Fuller, Amesbury

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RAF Old Sarum

Details

Old Sarum Airfield was first established in 1917 as a TDS Training Depot Station for the Royal Flying Corps and then School of Army Cooperation from 1921. Old Sarum was developed as a permanent station as part of the RAF Expansion Scheme in the 1930’s, and continued to evolve and serve the Royal Air Force and then the Army as a key training station until the 1970’s. Today Boscombe Down Aircraft Collection is housed in two of the hangars, several small industries and the Territorial Army. The airfield site has now been closed as a airfield by the leaseholders of the airfield and closed down several flying schools and the cafe just before Christmas 2019.

Early Development 1917 — 1920 : -
The site for Old Sarum Airfield was selected in 1917, to provide facilities for a training station for the rapidly expanding Royal Flying Corps (RFC). Like many others of this period, the airfield was provided with a cluster of General Service Sheds and camp buildings. It was opened in August 1917 under canvas (as buildings were not finished) and was briefly known as ‘Ford Farm’ but very soon took instead the name of the much more distinguished local fortifications (due to Ford aerodrome opening in Hampshire). Its first task was to act as a training station for the formation of new day bomber squadrons which would ultimately be sent across the Channel to operate in France.

RAF : -
The Royal Air Force (RAF) was founded on 1 April 1918, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corp and Royal Naval Air Service. On the same day a new flying training unit was formed at Old Sarum to become the airfield’s principal resident unit. This was 11 Training Depot Station, whose task was the operational training of fresh aircrews.

At the end of World War I, Old Sarum was one of the few airfields which was not closed down as part of the post war run-down. In 1920, 11 Training Squadron was disbanded and preparations were made to turn the station into the permanent home of the RAF's School of Army Co-operation (S of AC).

WW2 : -
S of AC continued into WW2 aiding BEF in France, then the continuing build up through the middle years of the war and for D-Day. Old Sarum became the main concentration for RAF ground units to be used in the D-Day landings and beyond. The whole airfield (less a small landing strip) and also parts of Old Sarum Castle its self was used for the storage and waterproofing for vehicles for the landings.

Post war: -
School of Land/Air Warfare and joining them later the Joint Helicopter Development Unit and used Westland Whirlwinds. 1971 the airfield was transferred to the Army.

Closure as a military base :-
Closed in 1979 and sold off. In 1983 the manufacture of the Edgley Optica was started and then ended. The airfield has continued until an uncertain future for air craft in 2019, but the Museum BDAC is still very open for business.