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Royal Air Force Station Mount Farm
USAAF Station 234

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Patch 8thUSAAF.png

Located Near Dorchester, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Mountfarmafld-3jan1946.jpg
Mount Farm Airfield - 3 January 1946
Type Military Airfield
Coordinates 51°37′48.70″N 001°07′54.16″W / 51.630194°N 1.1317111°W / 51.630194; -1.1317111
Location code MF
Built 1940
In use 1940-1957
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces
Garrison Eighth Air Force
Occupants 7th Photographic Group
Battles/wars European Theatre of World War II
Air Offensive, Europe July 1942 - May 1945
RAF Mount Farm is located in Oxfordshire
RAF Mount Farm, shown within Oxfordshire

RAF Mount Farm is a former World War II airfield in England. The field is located three miles north of Dorchester, Oxfordshire.

Contents

USAAF use

Mount Farm was originally a satellite base For the RAF Photographic Reconnaissance Unit at RAF Benson. The airfield was originally a grass field, but concrete was laid for runway and aircraft parking purposes and for taxiways. All hangars were the blister type. The airfield became associated with the United States Army Air Force when, in February 1943 it was used by the Eighth Air Force as a photo recon base. Mount Farm was given USAAF designation Station 234 (MF).

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7th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance)

The first USAAF unit to use the airfield was the 13th Photographic Squadron of Lockheed F-5 (P-38) Lightning photographic aircraft which moved in for tutorage in March 1943 under the experienced RAF establishment. This was the 13th Photographic Squadron. The need for more photographic reconnaissance of targets by the Eighth Air Force led to other American photo/recon squadrons being assigned to the station and on 7 July 1943, the 7th Photographic Group was established at Mount Farm, the group being transferred from Peterson AAF Colorado and absorbing the assets of the 13th photo squadron.

The group consisted of the following:

The group flew a combination of F-5 (P-38), P-51 and Spitfire IX photo/recon aircraft to obtain information about bombardment targets and damage inflicted by bombardment operations. The group also provided mapping service for air and ground units; observed and reported on enemy transportation, installations, and positions; and obtained data on weather conditions.

Lockheed F-5 (P-38) of the 7th Recon Group.

Prior to June 1944, the group photographed airfields, cities, industrial establishments, and ports in France, the Low Countries, and Germany. Following the Berlin raid in March 1944, Major Walter L. Weitner flew the first Eighth Spitfire photo sortie to Berlin on 6 March and by 11 April the Group had chalked up its 1,000th sortie.

The 7th received a Distinguished Unit Citation for operations during the period, 31 May-30 June 1944, when its coverage of bridges, marshalling yards, canals, highways, rivers, and other targets contributed much to the success of the Normandy campaign.

The group covered missile sites in France during July, and in August carried out photographic mapping missions for ground forces advancing across France. Provided reconnaissance support for the airborne attack on Holland in September and for the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945.

The 7th used P-51's to escort its own reconnaissance planes during the last months of the war as the group supported the Allied drive across the Rhine and into Germany. Took part in the final bomb damage assessment following V-E Day.

The 7th Recon Group took over three million photographs during the course of its 4,251 sorties. It was transferred to RAF Chalgrove in March 1945, and was later deactivated at the 4th Strategic Air Depot (Hitcham) on 21 November 1945.

Postwar Governmental use

The airfield was transferred back to the RAF on May 1, 1945, became inactive and, after being used for a time by the Ministry of Supply for ex-War Department vehicle sales, was sold by the Air Ministry in 1957.

Civil Use

After the end of military control the then Bullingdon Rural District Council redeveloped the site of the RAF and USAAF buildings to build the new village of Berinsfield. The rest of the airfield was almost completely restored to agricultural use, with little evidence of its wartime past.

See also

References

  • Freeman, Roger A. (1978) Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now. After the Battle ISBN 0900913096
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1991) The Mighty Eighth The Colour Record. Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35708-1
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • mighty8thaf.preller.us Mount Farm

External links


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