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Record details

BCC record ID:0690600000
Type of record:Monument
Summary:RAF airfield at Little Horwood used by Operational Training Units during World War II.
Grid Reference:SP 77667 29936

LITTLE HORWOOD, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire

GREAT HORWOOD, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire

Monument type(s)

  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (Modern - 1942 AD to 1946 AD)

Associated finds: none recorded

Public access information

Is the site accessible to the public?No
Is the site visible from a public viewpoint?Unclassified

Full description

Little Horwood airfield was established to act as as a base for Operation Training Units to train recruits for combat and for 'Nickelling' (dropping propoganda leaflets over France). Rubble from bomb damaged London was brought by rail and truck to the site to be used as hardcore for the runways, dispersal areas and roads. The airfield went operational on 2nd September 1942 and served as a satellite for Wing airfield. Wellington bombers from No 26 OTU arrived along with OTU Gunnery section and the 92 Group Communications flight to commence the basic training of recruits. A notable accident was the Wellington Bomber X3790 which crashed into Winslow Town Centre on 7th August 1943 killing four of the crew and 13 civilians. No 1684 OTU Bomber Defence Training Flight moved to Little Horwood on 5th June 1943 and simulation battles were undertaken using Tomahawk aricraft. Flying finished at Little Horwood on 30th November 1945 with the remnants of No 26 OTU remaining until January 1946 (B1).
RAF detailed plans of airfield in 1945 (B3-4).
Geophysical survey carried out in January and February 2008 identified a large number of strong magnetic disturbances corresponding to the edges of the former airfield runways, perimeter and access tracks and dispersal bays. Likely to represent spreads of hardcore from construction of the airfield (B6).

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF Vertical Aerial photograph, 1946: Run 325, frame 6136. SP78703050. Y. Y.
---Aerial Photograph: RAF 90 Squadron. RAF Vertical Aerial Photograph, 1946: Run 325, frame 6138. SP76373010. 1946.
<1>Bibliographic reference: Robin J Brooks. 2000. Thames Valley Airfields in the Second World War. pp106-11, 239-41
<2>Bibliographic reference: Council for British Archaeology. Defence of Britain Project.
<3>Graphic material: Air Ministry (RAF). 1945. RAF Little Horwood record site plan. Drawing no. 1663/45.
<4>Graphic material: Air Ministry (RAF). 1945. RAF Little Horwood record site plan. Drawing no. 1662/45.
<5>Unpublished document: Phoenix Consulting. 2005. Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment: Greenway Village, Winslow.
<6>Unpublished document: Bartlett-Clark Consultancy. 2008. The Greenway Project, Winslow: Report on Archaeogeophysical Survey.

Associated excavations and fieldwork

  • EBC17213: Geophysical survey

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