Akrotiri

No. 35 Squadron was stationed at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus from 15th January 1969 to 16th January 1975 when it moved to Scampton

Station Logo [Courtesy of Mo Frampton]

RAF Akrotiri is situated on the Akrotiri Peninsular on the south coast of Cyprus

[Source: wikipedia]


It opened as a small base in 1955, with a tented village; it was gradually developed and enhanced.

Work was carried out to the airfield prior to the arrival of the Vulcan squadrons in 1969; further research is required to establish how the station was developed before the squadron arrived

All aircraft used by the squadron were on strength of the station (ie it did not have its own aircraft or ground crew); these were parked on Delta Dispersal (with Echo Dispersal being used for overflow)

[Courtesy of Graham McKay]

Delta Dispersal (Top), with Echo Dispersal below [Source: Ownership Unknown]

Scampton

No. 35 Squadron was stationed at RAF Scampton from 16th January 1975 to 1st March 1982 when it was disbanded

Scampton

Location

RAF Scampton was situated 5 1/2 miles north of Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

Construction / Layout

It was initially constructed as a World War One landing ground (Brattleby) but was dismantled in the first half of the 1920s.

It was compulsory purchased in 1935 and a two year development project was started to build the 4 “C” Type hangars, the technical area and the domestic area in the south east corner of the grass flying area.

A peritrack and hardstandings were added during the early years of the war.

Between August 1943 and August 1944, the peritrack was improved and the following were constructed:

  • three concrete runways (1 x 2000yds, 1 x 1500yds, 1 x 1400yds)
  • additional hardstandings
  • new bomb stores
  • T2 type hangar

In June 1955 work started on the reconstruction and extension of the main runway (2000yds to 3000yds)

When the squadron arrived in 1975 the layout of the airfield was as follows:

1975 AERIAL VIEW OR PLAN TO BE OBTAINED 

The squadron utilised “Foxtrot” Dispersal

Aerial of Scampton (date unknown) showing location of Foxtrot Dispersal

Foxtrot Dispersal at Scampton  [Courtesy of Gerry Frew].jpg

Foxtrot Dispersal at Scampton [Courtesy of Gerry Frew]

Upwood (Post War)

No. 35 Squadron was stationed at RAF Upwood from 24th July 1956 to 11th September 1961 when it was disbanded

Upwood

Location

RAF Upwood was situated 1 ¾ miles south west of Ramsey, Huntingdonshire (Cambridgeshire)

Construction / Layout

It was a WWI landing ground which was reconstructed as part of the RAF Expansion Scheme (Scheme C) during 1935 / 1936 and it opened in 1937.

The four “C” Type hangars along with the technical and domestic site were grouped together alongside the flying field.

In April 1940 work started on the construction of hardstandings and a perimeter track.

Between July 1942 and December 1943 the 3 runways (1 x 2000yds, 1 x 1600yds, 1 x 1400yds) were added and the perimeter track and hardstandings were rebuilt.

1945 [Google Earth]

RAF Upwood circa 1945 [Source: Google Earth]

In 1955 the hardstandings were reconstructed in readiness for the arrival of the Canberra squadrons.

The layout of the airfield when the squadron arrived in 1956 was as follows:

Upwood Layout (circa 1950s) [Courtesy of Ken Delve]

Marham

No. 35 Squadron was stationed at RAF Marham from 1st September 1951 to 24th July 1956 when it moved to Upwood

Marham

Location

RAF Marham was situated 10 miles south-east of Kings Lynn, Norfolk.

Construction / Layout

It was constructed as part of the RAF Expansion Scheme (Scheme A) and opened on 1st April 1937.

A perimeter track (peritrack) and hardstandings were added during the war, but the airfield continued to operate with grass runways.

In April 1944 work started on the construction of 3 concrete runways (1 x 3000yds, 2 x 2000yds); the airfield re-opened in February 1946.

marham1946

Aerial View of RAF Marham 1946

In 1950, the peritrack and the hardstandings were reconstructed.

marham-1950s-source-washington-times-by-chris-howlett

Plan of Marham [Source: Washington Times by Chris Howlett]

It is understood that No 35 Squadron / Washington Conversion Unit aircraft were dispersed in front of the hangars 

Photo Gallery

Airmen’s Mess 1950s [Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]

Marham Incidents

The following incidents occurred whilst the squadron was based at RAF Marham:


Notes:

  1. Further research required to establish if there were any further changes to the layout between 1946 and 1951 (when the squadron arrived) and 1951 to 1956 (when the squadron was based there). 

Stradishall

No. 35 Squadron was stationed at RAF Stradishall from 18th September 1946 to 10th February 1949 when it moved to Mildenhall

Stradishall

Location

RAF Stradishall was situated 5 miles north-east of Haverhill (Suffolk)

Construction / Layout

It was constructed as part of the RAF Expansion Scheme (Scheme A) and opened on 3rd February 1938.

5 “C” Type Hangars, along with the technical and domestic sites, were grouped together in the north west corner of the flying field, which had grass runways.

Stradishall 1938 / 1939 [Source: IBCC Archive]

A peritrack, concrete runways (3 x 1000 yards) and hardstandings were added in late 1939 and the airfield reopened in January 1940.

In 1941, the runways were extended (1 x 2000 yards, 2 x 1400 yards) and additional hardstandings were installed. Development also included an additional bomb store and the erection of 3 x “T2” type hangars.

Major repairs were carried out to the runways during the first two weeks of September 1946, prior to the squadron’s arrival.

The layout of the airfield when the squadron arrived was as follows:

raf_stradishall_1945

RAF Stradishall circa 1945 [Source: Google Earth]

Mildenhall

No. 35 Squadron was stationed at RAF Mildenhall from 10th February 1949 to 23rd February 1950 when it was disbanded

Location

RAF Mildenhall was situated 12 miles north-west of Bury St.Edmunds (Suffolk).

Mildenhall

Construction / Layout

It was constructed as part of the RAF Expansion Scheme and opened on 16th October 1934.

Three “C” type hangars were added in the late 1930s; hardstandings and a perimeter track were added during the early years of the war.

The airfield was shut from November 1942 to March 1943 to enable construction of the concrete runways (1 x 2000yds, 2 x 1400yds) and the additional bomb store. Two “T2” type hangars were added during 1943.

RAF Mildenhall circa 1945 [Source: Google Earth]

In August 1946 work started on extending the runways and the airfield was available for use again from July 1948.

It is thought that the layout when the squadron arrived in February 1949 was as follows:

[Courtesy of Ken Delve]

Graveley

No. 35 Squadron was stationed at RAF Graveley from 12th August 1942 to 18th September 1946 when it moved to Stratishall

Location

RAF Graveley was constructed to the west of the village of Graveley, 5 miles south of Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire (Cambridgeshire).

It was built on land primarily owned by Cotton Farm and it resulted in the closure of the ancient Roman Way which ran through the land.

Construction / Layout

Construction (by W & C French) started in 1941 and the airfield was available for use in the spring of 1942.

The main airfield site consisted of:

  • a perimeter track, with dispersals
  • 3 (interlocking A shape) runways
  • 4 hangars
  • a technical / administrative site
  • a watch office (control tower)

The perimeter track (peritrack) linked the three interlocking “A” shaped runways, the thirty-six dispersals, the four hangars and the bomb stores site.

The thirty-three “pan” and three “loop” dispersals were utilised to spread the aircraft around the airfield to minimise damage in the event of an airfield attack or aircraft explosion.

The aircraft were repaired, serviced, refuelled and armed on the dispersal.

The airfield was initially constructed with three, interlocking A shape runways:

  • 1 x 1600yds
  • 1 x 1320yds
  • 1 x 1307yds.

In the summer of 1942, these were extended to:

  • 1 x 2000yds
  • 1 x 1420yds
  • 1 x 1407yds

Repairs were carried out to all three runways in January 1946, causing disruption to operational flying

There were four hangars, three type T2 (for use by RAF personnel) and one type B1 (for use by Ministry of Aircraft Production civilian personnel). These were utilised for major repairs / modifications.

The technical / administrative area contained the workshops, storage areas, offices, training facilities and control rooms that were needed to support the activities of the squadron(s) and station personnel that were based at the airfield.

The dispersed sites, which provided living quarters for station / resident squadron personnel, were sited away from the main airfield.

There were 9 domestic sites, a communal site and a sick quarter.

The dispersed (domestic) site, with the Technical Area to the right

The bomb store site was located in the south-west corner, away from the main airfield.

The site consisted of:

  • 3 x Component Stores
  • 9 x Fuzing Point Buildings
  • 3 x Fuzed Bomb and Spare Bomb Stores
  • 12 x HE Bomb Stores
  • 5 x Large Incendiary Bomb Stores
  • 4 x Pyrotechnic Stores
  • 2 x Flame Float and Smoke Float Stores
  • 4 x Small Bomb Container Stores
  • 2 x Small Arms Ammunition Stores
  • 4 x Small Incendiary Bomb Stores

The whole site was interconnected by a single or double trackway to enable the bomb trains to carry the bombs from the stores to the fuzing points and then on to the dispersal pads for loading onto each aircraft.

Earth traverses were used throughout the site to limit the impact of any blast.

The following photographs (which are not from RAF Graveley) are included for information purposes only as they show some of the components of the bomb store site:

An example of an open HE bomb store with earth traverses
An example of a bomb train entering a Fuzing Point building
Inside a Fuzing Point building where the bombs are about to be armed

A FIDO system was installed at RAF Graveley to enable aircraft to take off and land in fog or snow.

A network of pipes was laid along the edges of the runway and in foggy conditions fuel was pumped through the pipes at 100,000 gallons per hour and ignited. The heat generated caused the fog to rise to up to 200ft and the flames highlighted the outline of the runway.

It was first used operationally in November 1943.

The FIDO pumping station [© IWM (CH 15275)]
The petrol is ignited [Extract from British Pathe News Film]
[© IWM (CH 15271)]

Airfield Incidents

The following airfield incidents occurred whilst the squadron was based at RAF Graveley:

Satellite / Sub-Station

Graveley was a satellite airfield to RAF Wyton (known as RAF Satellite Graveley) until June 1943 when it became an RAF Sub-Station (RAF Sub-Station Graveley)

Graveley Memorial Stone

A granite stone was unveiled on Saturday 29th June 1991 to commemorate Graveley airfield and to honour all those who had served there during the war years.

The unveiling, which saw the culmination of four years of fund raising and preparation work by the 35 / 635 Squadron Association, was carried out by its patron, Mrs. Ly Bennett and was followed by a short dedication ceremony by Rev Peter Taylor, honorary Padre to the Association.

Memories of Graveley

“You’ll understand I’m sure that the residents were rather transient and many did not stay long. It was very sad to see the adjutant emptying the lockers of those who would never return” – read more –

Memories of a WAAF

“I joined the WAAF at the age of 18 in 1941. First posting was to RAF Station Linton on Ouse near York. I worked in the officer’s mess, answering the telephone and serving coffee. The job wasn’t hard but tiring and was all shift work – read more –

Cottesmore (Post-War)

No. 35 Squadron was stationed at RAF Cottesmore from 2nd November 1964 to 15th January 1969 when it moved to Akrotiri, Cyprus

Location

RAF Cottesmore was situated 5 1/2 miles north, north-east of Oakham in Rutland.

Construction / Layout

It was constructed as part of the RAF Expansion Scheme (Scheme F) during 1937 and 1938. The four “C” Type hangars, along with the technical area and domestic area were grouped together to the south of the grass flying field.

Hardstandings were added during the first few years of the war.

During 1943, the airfield was extended to include:

  • a peritrack
  • three concrete runways (1 x 2000yds, 1 x 1600yds and 1 x 1500yds)
  • additional hardstandings
  • additional accommodation
  • “T2” Type hangar

During 1954 and 1955 the base was upgraded in readiness for use as a “V Bomber” base; the main runway was reconstructed and extended (2000yds to 3000yds) and new taxiways and aircraft dispersal were built. These included Operational Readiness Platforms (ie areas for parking aircraft on quick reaction alert (QRA) to allow immediate access to the runway)

When the squadron arrived in 1964 the layout of the airfield was as follows:

cottesmore-rough-plan

Possible layout in 1964 (further work required)

Coningsby

No. 35 Squadron was stationed at RAF Coningsby from 1st November 1962 (formation date then amended to 1st December 1962) to 2nd November 1964 when it moved to Cottesmore

Location

RAF Coningsby was situated 7 1/2 miles south, south-west of Horncastle (Lincolnshire).

Construction / Layout

It was constructed as part of the RAF Expansion Scheme (Scheme M) and opened in November 1940.

Hardstandings were added around the grass flying area in the early years of the war.

Between September 1942 and August 1943 the airfield was expanded to include:

  • a peritrack
  • three runways (1 x 2000yds, 1 x 1550yds, 1 x 1400yds)
  • additional / replacement hardstandings
  • 1 x “B1” Type Hangar
  • 3 x “T2” Type hangar
  • Additional accommodation (dispersed sites).

In 1951 work started to reconstruct and extend the main runway (from 2,000yds to 2740yds) and the airfield was available for use again in 1953. (It is assumed that one of the runways was removed during this period or possibly later).

Coninsby (Possibly late 1950s)

Coningsby (possibly late 1950s)

When No. 35 Squadron arrived in December 1962, the airfield layout was as follows:

1962 Aerial view or plan to be added