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RAF Duxford in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- RAF Duxford during the Second World War -

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RAF Duxford

   RAF Duxford was built as an RAF fighter base in 1918, twinned with nearby Fowlmere. It was home to 8 Sqn in 1919-20, then 2 FTS. 19 Sqn was formed at Duxford on 1 April 1924 and were the first Sqn to re-equip with the Mk1 Spitfire in 1938.

Duxford was operational during the Battle of Britain, involved in the 'Big Wing' controversy. RAF Fighter Command Sqns operating from the station included: 19, 56, 66, 111, 133, 181, 195, 222, 242, 264, 266, 310 312, 601, 609, 611, AFDU.

Duxford was handed over to USAAF 350th FG 10/42 flying P-39 Airacobras. The 78th FG took over 04/43 flying P-47 until late 1944, then P-51D's until November 1945. RAF took control from 01/12/45 until closure 01/08/61, flying Meteors, Hunters and Javelins.

In 1968 Duxford was used in the film 'The Battle of Britain' during which a Belfast Truss hangar was blown up. Today the station is home to the Imperial War Museum.


September 1939 Convoy patrols

3rd September 1939 A second Spitfire Squadron  No 66 Squadron was formed at Filton in 1916 and moved to France in March 1917 as a fighter unit. In November 1917 it was sent to Italy to engage with the Austrian front. In March 1919 it returned to the UK where it disbanded in October 1919.

On 20 July 1936 No 66 Squadron was reformed at Duxford from C Flight of No 19 Squadron. In November 1938 its Gauntlets were replaced and 66 Squadron was re-equipped with Spitfires.

3rd September 1939 A second Spitfire Squadron

3rd Sept 1939 

25th April 1940 On patrol

27th April 1940 Aircraft refitted

12th May 1940 Sweep over the Netherlands

13th May 1940 Dogfight over Holland

16th May 1940  Relocated

25th May 1940 Dunkirk

5th June 1940 Return to Duxford

24 July 1940 Relocated

16th Aug 1940 Bombers intercepted

30th Oct 1940 Re-equipped

26th June 1941  On the Move

30th March 1942 Back into combat operations

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served at

RAF Duxford

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Sydney Whitcombe DFC. 195 Squadron

My father Sydney Whitcombe did not talk much about his experiences of his service in the RAF. He was a navigator for the 195 Squadron and received the DFC for his bravery.

Interestingly enough he was at first a conscientious objector when war broke out, later joining the RAF having spent most of the initial years dragging bodies from bombed buildings in London. I have a photograph of him and some of his crew with their names but would love to find out more about anyone connected to the 195 squadron and any other photographs.

The names of the crew members were: Frank Wilcock (wireless operator) Len Parsons (bomber) ‘Paddy’ (air gunner) Stan Renaut (air gunner)

Sally Childs

Ft.Sgt. Arthur Raymond Veal 601 Squadron

Ray Veal was my father and he served as ground crew in 601 Squadron throughout WW2. Before and during the Battle of Britain he was based at various locations in the south of England including Duxford where he met my mother. He then went to Africa and followed the allied campaign through Egypt and North Africa, then across to Sicily and Italy.

He survived the war and led a full family life until his death aged 92. He was very proud of his service and the squadron and never missed an opportunity to show us the planes and engines that he worked on. Although he must have seen harrowing times he talked mostly of the comradeship and adventure that he experienced.

Wendy Ling

Harry Barr

My father, Harry Barr, was stationed at Duxford during WWII. He was with the USAAF, but flew Spitfires as well as P39s.

Mike Barr

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