RAF Hurn


Royal Air Force Hurn or more simply RAF Hurn is a former Royal Air Force station located approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) north west of Christchurch, Dorset, England

RAF Hurn
USAAF Station AAF-492
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svgPatch9thusaaf.png
Bournemouth, Dorset in England
Hurn airfield photographed in May 1947 still showing its Second World War configuration
RAF Hurn is located in Dorset
RAF Hurn
RAF Hurn
Shown within Dorset
Coordinates50°46′54″N 001°50′23″W / 50.78167°N 1.83972°W / 50.78167; -1.83972Coordinates: 50°46′54″N 001°50′23″W / 50.78167°N 1.83972°W / 50.78167; -1.83972
TypeRoyal Air Force station
Site information
OwnerAir Ministry
OperatorRoyal Air Force
United States Army Air Forces 1944
Controlled byRAF Fighter Command 1941-44
Site history
Built1940 (1940)/41
In useJuly 1941 - 1946 (1946)
Battles/warsEuropean theatre of World War II
Airfield information
Elevation10 metres (33 ft)[1] AMSL
Direction Length and surface
00/00  Concrete
00/00  Concrete
00/00  Concrete
Northrop P-61A-5-NO Black Widow Serial 42-5535 of the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron.
Martin B-26C-45-MO Marauder Serial 42-107832 of the 598th Bomb Squadron.
Martin B-26B-55-MA Marauder Serial 42-96142 of the 596th Bombardment Squadron.

Opened in 1941, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as a transport and fighter airfield.

Hurn was the final airfield in England for aircraft flying to Morocco for the North African and Italian campaigns, avoiding France, Spain and Portugal airspace.

Since 1969, it has also been called Bournemouth Airport. The RAF have returned to Hurn in the form of a temporary Outsourcing Contract for Multi-Engine Pilot Training to cope with limited capacity through normal Training Provisions using L3 Harris Airline Academy (2018 -).

RAF useEdit

The following squadrons were here at some point[2]


USAAF useEdit

Hurn was known as USAAF Station AAF-492 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. Its USAAF Station Code was "KU".

422nd Night Fighter SquadronEdit

On 28 June 1944, Northrop P-61 Black Widow night fighters of the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron arrived from RAF Scorton, where their crews had been tutored in this particular aspect of air combat by the RAF. The detachment commenced operational flying on 3 July only to return to Scorton a week later.

397th Bombardment GroupEdit

On 5 August the 397th Bombardment Group arrived from RAF Rivenhall, equipped with Martin B-26 Marauders. The group consisted of the following operational squadrons:

  • 596th Bombardment Squadron (X2)
  • 597th Bombardment Squadron (9F)
  • 598th Bombardment Squadron (U2)
  • 599th Bombardment Squadron (6B)

The group's identification marking was a yellow diagonal band across both sides of the vertical tailplane. It moved the Advanced Landing Ground at Gorges, France, (A-26) on 19 August

The airfield was closed by the RAF in October 1944 and turned over for civil use.

See alsoEdit


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

  1. ^ Falconer 1998, p. 48.
  2. ^ a b "Hurn (Bournemouth)". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d Falconer 1998, p. 123.
  • 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
  • Falconer, J (1998). RAF Fighter Airfields of World War 2. UK: Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 0-7110-2175-9.
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • ControlTowers.co.uk http://www.controltowers.co.uk/H-K/Hurn.htm
  • USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to present

External linksEdit

  • Photographs of Bournemouth International Airport from the Geograph British Isles project