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.
had 33 hangars, most of which were distributed around the entire
No 1 Ferry Flight (or the
RN ferry Pool) were based here, using Ansons, Fireflies, Reliants
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