Kingston Bagpuize watch tower
WW2 Airfields of Oxfordshire - Brize Norton


Click HERE to view  airfields map.

Base Hangar interior, 1980 Tristar parked next to Base Hangar
Different views of Base Hangar
Optimised for viewing at 1024 x 768
The Concrete Jungle Pathway through 'The Concrete Jungle' Playground, now no longer in use The Concrete Jungle The Concrete Jungle
The Concrete Jungle
The Concrete Jungle
The demise of the concrete jungle.
Closed off, ready for demolition... The Concrete Jungle
Views of the same area once buildings have been demolished, and the place tidied up a little. Views of the same area once buildings have been demolished, and the place tidied up a little. A footpath leading through the 'jungle' Where once there stood a building... Flats, now demolished (2004)
A brief description accompanies each of the larger images - click thumbnails to view.
101 Sqn VC 10
VC10's of 101 Sqn
Visiting B52, 1980 Off loading a Belfast LThe last Belfast to remain in RAF service A Belfast trim sheet showing calculations for a  (practice) load.
Visitors during the 70's & 80's
Belfast trim sheet
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The 'Battle of Britain' Lancaster and a B17 ('Sally B') on approach to and landing at RAF Brize Norton. (.avi files)
DC3 at Brize, 2002
Visiting DC3
4624 Sqn barracks
Guard huts by a road overlooking the airfield
Various images taken during a recent VC10 flight from Brize Norton over the North Sea
Tanker operations are a routine part of the flying that takes place from Brize Norton. (The images above show live and practice refuelling/docking sessions)
Where once there was 77 Abingdon Road  (My old home) Abingdon Road Flats being demolished (2004) Demolition of the flats continues Abingdon Road post flat demolition
Abingdon Road flats being demolished...
Images of buildings used by 4624 Sqn RAuxAF
Air raid shelter adjacent to the old Sgt's Mess The old Medical Centre. The Dental Section (2004), which will soon be made redundant when the new building is opened in 2005. No2 Guardroom, now in use for other admin purposes Old accommodation huts, soon to be demolished
....and yet more views of familiar buildings, some of which may soon be demolished.
Control Tower
Views around the airfield
Single airmen's accommodation
This collection of miscellaneous images of Brize Norton is not only a record of wartime usage, but also to show the Station as it is today, aircraft that may be seen there frequently, and some of the activies that currently take place on a routine basis.
On-base MQ's, some of which are now in use by single airmen
Around the old ski slope...
Gateway Primary School
Base 2 Team 1977
Role Equipment
Base 2 Team 1977
Role Equipment Section 1969
Early morning views from near the Air Terminal
Ex  USAf Officers quarters
Brizewood Estate
Visiting aircraft of one sort or another....
Armoury Station Workshops Station Workshops VC10 Training Flight. Admin HQ
Various well known buildings on the Station
The dummy airfield near Tadpole Bridge, Bampton
RC Church, now demolished Car park,once used by RC Church congregation Entrance to the RC Church RC Church prior to being demolished RC Church, almost stripped out..
The Roman Catholic Church, just before being demolished...
Air Cargo Air Movements School Air Movements School Hangar 30 VASHF
Movements School & Air Cargo areas
Astra Bowl Spotlight Club Rifle Club Fitness Centre
More buildings of local interest...
Air Terminal at Brixe Norton
Showing aircraft pans directly in front of the Air Terminal
Fire Section Main Drag
Fire Section
Main Drag
Officers Mess
Officers Mess
The original water tower... Damage from an air attack during WW2 Damage from an air attack during WW2
The original 1930's Water Tower, still showing damage from being strafed by German aircraft during WW2
Splinter Village Splinter Village Splinter Village Splinter Village
Splinter Village Splinter Village Splinter Village Splinter Village
Splinter Village
"Splinter Village" just before it was demolished in Autumn 2004.
Splinter Village
Splinter Village Splinter Village Splinter Village Splinter Village
Splinter Village Splinter Village Splinter Village Splinter Village
The 'VC5', a Movements training airframe... The 'VC5', a Movements training airframe... Aircrew smoke drill training facility
An ex-British Caledonian VC10
Not a VC10!
The 'Chequers' pub in Brize Norton village Garage in Carterton used to house aircraft for repair.
Local village buildings of interest!
Looking across the airfield from near the old railway station. Looking at the main runway from the NE end.
Views of the airfield from afar
Brize Norton c.1945
St Christopher, Cof E
C of E Church
  Hangars used by JATUETraffic lights at the eastern end of the runway.
Views from by the end of the runway





Points of Interest:

Building started in 1935, and No.2 Flying Training School arrives in Aug 1937 bringing Hawker Harts, Furies and Audaxes.

6 MU (41 Group) arrives and opens in Oct 1938, using D-type hangars now occupied by JATEU.

March 1939 sees arrival of Harvards, by outbreak of war more than 25 received along with Oxfords and Blenheims.

Following fall of France, HQ 15 SFTS lodges at Brize Norton during 1940 until Kidlington is available.

On 16 Aug 1940 the airfield is attacked by two Ju 88's, destroying many aircraft that were hangared for protection against the elements.

During 1941 No.2 SFTS continues to train RAF pilots, whilst 6 MU handles Blenheims, Hampdens, Hurricanes, Spitfires and Fairey Battles.

No.25 Blind Approach Training Flight forms in Nov 1941, remaining until Jul 1942 (as 1525 BAT Flt)

The recently formed Heavy Glider Conversion Unit arrives at Brize Norton on 15 Jul 1942, and the station becomes the training centre for Army glider pilots.

No.6 MU now erects and handles Horsa gliders. Whitley V bombers are used as glider tugs,. The unit is established to have 56 Horsas and 34 Whitleys.

The first re-surfacing of the runways took place from 10 Feb to 20 Apr 1943, with flying training transferred to Grove.

HGCU moves to North Luffenham in Mar 1944. Brize Norton is switched to 38 Gp control and Albermarles from 296 and 297 Sqns arrive.

Further trianing of Horsa pilots continue during 1944 in preparation for the assault on Normandy.

On night of 5th/6th June 1944, 296/297 Sqns using 18 Albermarles towed 5th Parachute Brigade to landing Zone 'Z' near river Orne in Normandy.

During 6th June, 40 Horsa gliders were towed in support of Operation Mallard carrying part of the 6th Airborne Division.

At the end of the war more than 200 enemy aircraft are brought to UK for examination or use as transports. First to land at Brize Norton was a Ju88 on 10 May 45.

None fo the captured aircraft were conserved and all eventually are scrapped (rumour has it that a large pit near Base Hangar was used to dispose of the aircraft)

December 1945 sees arrival of the School of Flight Efficiency and Transport Command Development Unit (TDCU). Principle task is the development of airborne delivery of mixed loads.

TDCU uses Dakotas, Halifaxes, Hamilcars, Horsas, Liberators, Stirlings, Yorks, and even a few Hoverfly helicopters!

6MU continues to dispose of Spitfires, but in Jan 48 receives its first Meteor jet. TDCU leaves for Abingdon in Jun 49.

21 Gp Training Command takes control of the airfield on 4th July 1949, with Harvards from the Exanining Wing of the Central Flying School arriving (later supplemented by Mosquitos)

Soon after, Bomber Command takes control of the airfield on 1st June 1950 in preparation for use by American forces planning SAC bases in UK.

First Americans arrive in June 1950 but official handover is not until 16th April 1951, seeing mainly B-29's using the airfield until being replaced by B-47 Stratojets in Sep 1953

The base's first tanker squadron arrives in Dec 54 using KC-97G's

On 16th Jan 1957 the 1st B-52B to land in Britain lands (3395 - City of Turlock of the 93 BW(H)) after a flight from Castle AFB California.

On 28th Mar 1958 the 1st KC-135 to visit UK lands at Brize Norton.

B-47's, B-52's, KC-135's and the occasional Convair B-58 Hustler use the airfield until the mid 1960's when the airfield is prepared for handover to the RAF.

The last USAF aircraft to leave is a B-47E, (53-1884), which flew out on 3rd Apr 65, 3 days after the airfield was handed back to the RAF.

Brize Norton is developed for use as a main base for UK's Transport Force, with many new facilities being built including what is now known as 'Base Hangar'.

Base Hangar costs nearly £2m, and is completed (late) in June 67. At the time the largest cantilever structure in Europe.

No's 10 and 53 Sqns arrive in mid-1967, bringing with them the VC10 and Belfast fleets having operated form Lyneham and Fairford respectively until Brize Norton was ready.

On 1st August Transport Command is superseded by Air Support Command (which gave rise to the call sign ASCOT - Air Support Command Operational Tasking).

Britannias arrive from Lyneham (99 and 511 Sqns) once the Hercules fleet is at full strength, and supplement the transport operations at Brize Norton.

Brize Norton becomes focus of attention following evacuation of personnel frrm Cyprus in 1974 (7400+ personnel).

Belfasts and Britannias are phased out or service following a cretinous decision by the then Labour government. The RAF is also dramatically cut down in size with the closure of many overseas bases by the socialist's (what's new?)

The Hercules fleet suffer major problems, so XR366 is retained until autumn 1976 as it is the only aircraft capable of flying outsize loads (evidence of the stupidity of the earlier decisions).

115 Sqn arrives from Cottesmore with the Argosy fleet in Feb 78, later to be replaced by Andover E1's (already in the hands of 241 OCU at Brize Norton).

No 1 PTS arrives from Abingdon in 1976, shortly followed by 38 Gp TCW. Also during the late 1970's Concorde uses Brize Norton for pilot training.

As the airfield has been extended the runway has been strengthend and so it was that Brize Norton was chosen as the base for the Tristar fleet in the early 1980's.

VC10's contunue to support military exercises on a world wide basis, and provide substantial troop movements.

The conversion of ex-civil VC10's into tankers sees the arrival of the K2 and K3 tankers, the first arriving in 1985. 101 Sqn reforms at Brize Norton on 1st May 1984.

The first TriStar commences trooping flights in June 1983, using ex-BA aircraft. 216 Sqn reforms on 1st Nov 1983.


Station crest for RAF Brize Norton
lick here for LARGER image lick here for LARGER image 53 Sqn Belfast over Brize, carterton in the background
53 Sqn at Brize
Click HERE for larger image Click HERE for larger image Click HERE for larger image
Take-off in a TriStar...
Carterton railway station Click here to open this link to view fascinating images and good reading about the railway line that served several Oxfordshire units. Bampton & Brize Norton railway station
Carterton railway station
Link to Fairford Branch Line
Bampton & Brize Norton railway stn.
Local Railway Stations
Carterton Railway Station and Stationmaster
Carterton Signalbox - Time for a brew!
Passengers at Carterton Railway Station
Carterton Stationmaster
Carterton signalbox
Carterton platform
RAF Brize Norton and Carterton from the air, about 1970
Kingston Bagpuize