Monument record 0676700000 - Aylesbury and Thame Airport


World War II airfield, formerly RAF Thame

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded


Type and Period (1)

  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (Modern - 1941 AD to 1946 AD)


Airfield enlarged and developed in the early years of World War II to be officially opened as RAF Thame in January 1941. The Bessoneaux hangars and three domestic huts were in situ by 11 January 1941. Outbuildings and barns owned by local landowners were also acquired to make the site operational for the training of glider pilots under the auspices of No 23 Group, Flying Training Command. Joint exercises were carried out with the Air Fighting Development Unit, Duxford, to test the effectiveness of gliders for live missions and to develop tactics for gilders to survive attacks by enemy planes. The aircraft based at the site included Tiger Moths, Hotspurs, Hawker Hectors, Miles Masters, Hawker Hinds and Avro 504Ns. The gliders included Kirby Kites. A Gliders Instructors School was established in late 1942, but moved to Shobden in 1943. Thame proved too small for larger gliders and so training also moved in 1943 to Croughton, Northamptonshire. The Royal Naval Air Experimental Department took over the site in 1943 testing Martinets, Swordfish and Vengeance aircraft for target towing. Between May 1945 and November 1945 the site was used by the 3rd Reception RAF. Between November 1945 and 30 April 1946 it was used by the RAF Radio Engineers (B1).
Home of the pioneering Gilder Training Sqaudron (B2).
The site was visited by the King and Queen, and Churchill during the war. After the site closed as a military base, the buildings were occupied by squatters and the perimeter track was used for car and motor cycling racing (B3).

Sources (8)

  • ---SBC22279 Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. 1946 RAF vertical APs. Yes.
  • ---SBC22280 Aerial Photograph: 1965. 1965 BCC vertical AP. Yes.
  • ---SBC22281 Aerial Photograph: 1971. 1971 BCC vertical AP. Yes.
  • <1>SBC19271 Bibliographic reference: Robin J Brooks. 2000. Thames Valley Airfields in the Second World War. pp179-183.
  • <2>SBC19272 Bibliographic reference: Buckinghamshire Record Office. 1995. Wartime Buckinghamshire 1939-1945. pp7.
  • <3>SBC19833 Article in serial: unknown. 1996. 'Those Were The Days', in Bucks Herald 16th October 1996.
  • <4>SBC22334 Unpublished document: Peter Chamberlain. 2005. Haddenham Airfield: The First Sixty Years.
  • <5>SBC25359 Digital archive: UK Pillbox Study Group. 2020. UK Pillbox Study Group - Database of Modern Defence Sites.


Grid reference Centred SP 7324 0916 (1328m by 1248m) (Exact)
Civil Parish HADDENHAM, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • Event - Survey: Desk-based asssessment centred on Haddenham Airfield (Ref: HN1133) (EBC17976)

Record last edited

Mar 19 2021 6:20PM

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