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RAF Colerne now known as Colerne Airfieldmarker is a former World War II RAF Fighter Command and Bomber Command airfield located on the outskirts of the Village of Colerne, Wiltshire. The airbase is currently home to Number 3 Squadron, Air Experience Flight and Bristol Universities Air Squadron who provide flight experience for RAF recruits and air cadets.


From 1940 to 1955 RAF Fighter Command units were based here. During the Battle of Britain the airfield served as a satellite field to RAF Middle Wallopmarker, and squadrons rotated back and forth from there on a daily basis. Later it was a Training station for Night Fighter navigators. Using the latest night fighter procedures, the Squadron was 238 O.C.U. and Bristol Brigand Aircraft was used for this purpose. Also on this Squadron they had Bristol Buckmaster Aircraft for Pilot Training, and a number of Balliol Aircraft which basically was a Pilot Trainer shaped similar to the Spitfire but both the Pilot and Trainee sat side by side were used as targets for the Brigand aircraft to practice radar interceptions on.

After this it became a Transport Airfield, and Hastings Aircraft was flown from RAF Colerne. After the demise of the Hastings and the new C-130 Hercules being introduced to the RAF Air Support Command. The Hercules were based at RAF Lynehammarker and for many years Major Servicing of the Hercules was carried out at RAF Colerne by the Air Engineering Squadron until the station closed in 1976. A/c No. XV198 crashed, killing all crew on board here in September 1973.

Used by the British Army as its training facility for the Junior Leaders Regiment of the Royal Corps of Transport. Young men from the age of 16 were trained in a variety of the skills needed to enable them to become better soldiers in the Army. Basic driver training was done on simulators, car driver training to licence level and motorcycle training were undertaken here.

The Regiment consisted of:-30 (Junior Leader) Squadron RCT,57 (Junior Leader) Squadron RCT and90 (Junior Leader) Squadron RCT.

Estranged from the regiment at Driffield in Yorkshiremarker was 32 Driver Training Squadron RCT. Here young soldiers were sent to the ASMT at Leconfieldmarker to be taught to drive the basic vehicles of the Army (typically a Land Rover and a 4 Tonne HGV Lorry) and to qualify as Driver Trade B3 before being posted to a full time working regiment where their technical trade training would be continued.

Current Use

Colerne Airfield is now home to 21 Signal Regt, Royal Signals, and Bristol University Air Squadron, who operate the Grob Tutor in a flying training role for the RAF. BUAS recruits from several universities in the South-West and has been stationed at Colerne, alongside 3 Air Experience Flight, for many years. They fly the Air Training Corps cadets using the same aircraft as part of their flying experience they are entitled to during their time in the ATC.

See also



  1. RAF, Groups in the Battle of Britain, accessed February 2009

External links

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