Definitions

RAF West Raynham

RAF West Raynham

RAF West Raynham was a Royal Air Force station located to the west of the village of West Raynham in Norfolk, England. It opened in the 1930s and closed in the 1990s.

Second World War

West Raynham was opened in 1939 just before the beginning of the war.

The first squadrons to operate from there were equipped with Bristol Blenheims.

Post War

In the mid- to late-1950s RAF West Raynham was Central Fighter Establishment of the Royal Air Force. It still had at least two operational Meteor jet fighters, a squadron of twin tail-boomed Venoms and Vampire trainer jets. The very 'latest' arrival in 1957 was a flight of Gloster Javelins, which also appeared at the Farnborough Airshow the same year.

Its main pilot training squadrons in 1957 were Hawker Hunters - comprising two wings - Red and Yellow.

In 1963, 1971, 1980, 1981 and 1982 RAF West Raynham was the location of the Royal Observer Corps annual summer training camps for eight weeks when up to 500 observers attended each week for technical training sessions. Other ranks were accommodated in spare barrack blocks and officers in the officers' mess. In 1980 the start of the camps coincided with a no notice station three day Tactical Evaluation (TACEVAL) inspection by Strike Command and much consternation was caused when a wholetime ROC officer arrived at the main gate in a car loaded with radioactive sources needed for an ROC training session. With the arrival obviously not expected by the TACEVAL directing staff the vehicle was placed under armed guard and the ROC officer bundled into the station guardroom where he remained locked up for several hours until the senior ROC officer was located to vouch for him.

The airfield and technical site remained the property of the Ministry of Defence but the site was disused and falling into disrepair. In December 2005 it was announced that the whole site was to be sold at Auction. The site was purchased by a developer in 2006 who resold it in October 2007, as they had been unable to install the necessary infrastructure. The site is currently being developed by Tamarix Investments, which expects to start offering homes in November 2007.

Units

Notable units based at RAF West Raynham included:

The last units to operate at RAF West Raynham were an RAF Regiment Rapier Short Range Air Defence Missile Unit and 85 Squadron with medium-range Bloodhound surface to air missiles.

References

External links

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