Royal Air Force Ashford or more simply RAF Ashford is a former Royal Air Force Advanced Landing Ground in Kent, England. The landing ground is located approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Ashford just south of the A28 near the junction with Old Surrenden Manor Road; about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of London.
USAAF Station AAF-417
|Ashford, Kent in England|
Shown within Kent
|Type||Advanced Landing Ground|
|Operator||Royal Canadian Air Force|
Royal Air Force
United States Army Air Forces 1944-
|Controlled by||RAF Second Tactical Air Force|
|Built by||RAF Airfield Construction Service|
Royal Canadian Engineers
|In use||March 1943 - September 1944|
|Battles/wars||European theatre of World War II|
|Elevation||60 metres (197 ft) AMSL|
Opened in 1943, Ashford was one of several prototypes for the temporary Advanced Landing Ground airfields built in France after D-Day, required as the Allied forces moved east across France and Germany. It was used by British, Dominion and the United States Army Air Forces. It was closed in September 1944.
Today the airfield is a mixture of agricultural fields with few recognisable remains.
|No. 65 Squadron RAF||October 1943||Supermarine Spitfire||IX|||
|No. 122 Squadron RAF||October 1943||Supermarine Spitfire||IX|||
|No. 414 Squadron RCAF||August–October 1943||North American Mustang||I||Part of the Canadian Reconnaissance Wing|
|No. 430 Squadron RCAF||August–October 1943||North American Mustang||I||Part of the Canadian Reconnaissance Wing|
The following units were also here at some point:
Ashford was known as USAAF Station AAF-417 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. Its USAAF Station Code was "AF".
On 5 April the airmen of the 406th Fighter Group arrived, having crossed the Atlantic by troopship. The group arrived from Congaree Army Airfield South Carolina. Operational fighter squadrons and fuselage codes were:
The 406th Fighter Group conducted its first operation on 9 May and was chiefly involved in fighter-bomber work. On 18 when the 513th started to use ALG A-13 at Tour-en-Bessin. The last remnants of the 406th departed RAF Ashford on 31 July.
The airfield was bombed during a night-time raid on 22 May 1944, at 12:35 am. A 1,000-pound (450 kg) high-explosive bomb was dropped in the tented area which accommodated the reserve flight pilots and other staff. These were RAF Volunteer Reservists of 5003 Airfield Construction Squadron, based at RAF Great Chart, some 1.2 km northeast of the airfield. There were 30 casualties, 14 being fatal.
With the facility released from military control, Ashford was rapidly returned to agricultural use. There is little to indicate that an airfield ever existed at this location.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to RAF Ashford.|