RAF Holmsley South

Summary

Royal Air Force Holmsley South or more simply RAF Holmsley South is a former Royal Air Force station in Hampshire, England. The airfield is located approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of Christchurch, Dorset; about 90 miles (140 km) southwest of London

RAF Holmsley South
USAAF Station AAF-455
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svgPatch9thusaaf.png
New Milton, Hampshire in England
HolmesleySouth-1246.png
Photo-Mosaic of Holmesley South airfield - December 1946 after all flying had ended with "X" on each runway end.
RAF Holmsley South is located in Hampshire
RAF Holmsley South
RAF Holmsley South
Shown within Hampshire
Coordinates50°47′18″N 001°41′58″W / 50.78833°N 1.69944°W / 50.78833; -1.69944Coordinates: 50°47′18″N 001°41′58″W / 50.78833°N 1.69944°W / 50.78833; -1.69944
TypeRoyal Air Force station
CodeHM
Site information
OwnerAir Ministry
OperatorRoyal Air Force
1942-44 & 1944-
United States Army Air Forces 1944
Controlled byRAF Coastal Command 1942-44
RAF Fighter Command 1944
RAF Transport Command 1944-46
Site history
Built1941 (1941)/42
Built byJohn Laing & Son Ltd
In useSeptember 1942 - October 1946 (1946)
Battles/warsEuropean theatre of World War II
Airfield information
Elevation6 metres (20 ft)[1] AMSL
Runways
Direction Length and surface
00/00  Tarmac
00/00  Tarmac
00/00  Tarmac
Loading 500lb bombs on to Martin B-26B-55-MA Marauder Serial 42-96213 of the 586th Bombardment Squadron. The aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire on 22 March 1945.

Opened in 1942, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as a bomber and later as a transport airfield. After the war it was closed in late 1946. Christchurch Council from December 1946 to 1961 used the old accommodation sites including WAAF Nissen Huts as temporary accommodation for families waiting for a council house.

Today the remains of the airfield are part of a Forestry Commission project near the New Forest.

RAF UseEdit

The following RAF squadrons were here at some point:[2]

Additional RAF units:[3]

USAAF useEdit

Holmsley South was known as USAAF Station AAF-455 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. Its USAAF Station Code was "HM".

The 394th Bomb Group moved to Holmsley from RAF Boreham between 24 and 28 July 1944. Operational squadrons of the group were:

The group remained in the theater to serve with United States Air Forces in Europe as part of the army of occupation at Kitzingen, Germany. It was transferred, without personnel and equipment, to the United States on 15 February 1946 and was inactivated on 31 March 1946.

Current useEdit

With the facility released from military control in 1946, Holmsley South has since stood derelict and, while a few odd parts of the runways and a few dispersal points remain, the vast majority of the concreted areas have been removed along with the buildings around the airfield leaving a large open area. Some other areas have been planted with conifers by the Forestry Commission. Several public camping sites and a caravan park have been created on the former hardstanding groupings along the northeast side of the main perimeter track, as well as both sides of the former 07 runway on the southwest of the airfield.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ Falconer 1998, p. 45.
  2. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 163.
  3. ^ "Holmsley South". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Falconer 1998, p. 123.
  5. ^ Lake 1999, p. 85.
  6. ^ Lake 1999, p. 128.

BibliographyEdit

  • Falconer, J (1998). RAF Fighter Airfields of World War 2. UK: Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 0-7110-2175-9.
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1994) UK Airfields of the Ninth: Then and Now 1994. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-80-0
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1996) The Ninth Air Force in Colour: UK and the Continent-World War Two. After the Battle ISBN 1-85409-272-3
  • Jefford, C.G. (1988). RAF Squadrons. A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Lake, A (1999). Flying units of the RAF. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-84037-086-6.
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to present

External linksEdit

  • Photographs of RAF Holmsley South from the Geograph British Isles project
  • Aerial Photo of RAF Holmsley South from Multimap.Com
  • New Forest Airfields - NFA1:Holmsley South