Kingston Bagpuize watch tower
WW2 Airfields of Oxfordshire - Culham


Click HERE to view  airfields map.


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A brief description accompanies each of the larger images - click thumbnails to view.
Washrooms etc.
Image courtesy of Carrick Watson
PCAU Detachment
Aerial view c. 1946
Aerial view 2006
Fine examples of original hangars still in use
Culham Station
Airfield gates
General views around the Technical Site
Showing a deserted Guardroom and the remains of old hangars
Original water storage tanks

Points of Interest:

Airfield opened in late 1944 as an Aircraft Receipt and Despatch Unit for the Royal Navy, and is known as HMS Hornbill.

Built with 3 runways in a layout typically developed for bomber stations.

Unusually,this airfield had 33 hangars, most of which were distributed around the entire perimeter track.

No 1 Ferry Flight (or the RN ferry Pool) were based here, using Ansons, Fireflies, Reliants and Sabres.

Culham used principally to train reservists based in the Thames Valley region, with 1832 Sqn commissioned for this purpose.

Trainees taught to fly various marks of Seafires, Sea Fury's and Harvards.

In May 1947 the Photographic Trials and Development Unit forms here (739 Sqn) equipped with Sea Mosquitos, Sea Hornets and a Dominie amongst others.

No. 1840 RNVR Sqn operates from here briefly in 1951, before moving to Ford.

Culham begins to wind down in 1953, and in July of that year flying training moves to Benson.

HMS Hornbill ceases as a Unit on 30 Sep 1953, and the Admiralty uses the airfield as a storage facility.

In 1960, the airfield is handed over to the Atomic Energy Commission, and has been on site since then.

Culham is a multi-national facility, hosting the JET project. Also nearby is the European School.

Kingston Bagpuize