Royal Air Force Station Langar or more simply RAF Langar is a former Royal Air Force station located near the village of Langar, Nottinghamshire, England. The airfield is located approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) east-southeast of Radcliffe on Trent and about 100 miles (160 km) north-northwest of London, England.
USAAF Station AAF-490
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
United States Army Air Forces
Royal Canadian Air Force
|Elevation AMSL||121 ft / 37 m|
Location in Nottinghamshire
Opened in 1942 during World War II, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as troop carrier transport airfield. After the war it was provided to the Royal Canadian Air Force which used it as an operational base until 1963.
Today the airfield is the location for the British Parachute Schools, who use the original control tower for their headquarters. The former Avro industrial complex is used by private industry.
The first flying unit arrived in September 1942 when No. 207 Squadron arrived with Lancaster bombers from RAF Bottesford. 207 Squadron was a major RAF Bomber Command unit and participated in major raids on occupied Europe.
In November 1943 Langar was transferred to the USAAF Ninth Air Force as a troop carrier group base. Langar was known as USAAF Station AAF-490 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. Its USAAF Station Code was "LA".
The 435th TCW was assigned to the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing.
The 441st Troop Carrier Group arrived at Langar on 17 March Baer AAF Indiana with four squadrons of 56 C-47s. Those being:
The 441st was a group of Ninth Air Force's 50th Troop Carrier Wing, IX Troop Carrier Command. It was scheduled to be assigned to Langar, however it only remained until 25 April until being moved to RAF Merryfield.
In August 1944 Langar was returned to RAF control for operational use.
In October 1944, RAF Bomber Command returned to Langar moving in with No. 1669 Heavy Conversion Unit with 32 Lancasters which used the station until March 1945. Although retained by the Ministry of Defence. The airfield was used after the war for a short time for prisoners of war and then for displaced persons. Early in 1952 it was taken over by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to become a supply station be for their NATO squadrons. The airfield was constructed on the old domestic and technical sites with completely new buildings, to a much higher standard than the Air Ministry was used to, by an English design team led by architect Peter Benton, under the direction of an RCAF officer. For 12 months nearly 1000 men worked constructing the station, which worked around two two acre warehouses. another was added later and is now in private ownership. The first RCAF personnel arrived autumn 1952.
The airfield was used for eleven years (1952–1963) as 30 Air Materiel Base, RCAF Langar. Langar was the RCAF's primary supply station for No. 1 Air Division RCAF in Europe, a complex of four fighter bases set up in nearby RAF North Luffenham and in France and West Germany by Canada to help meet NATO's European air defence commitments during the Cold War. It was the only Canadian airfield in the UK.
The RCAF established No. 30 Air Materiel Base (AMB), to handle the transportation of supplies, equipment, aircraft, personnel, and other support essential for the operation of the four NATO air bases and its headquarters. Several units were attached to 30 AMB; No. 137 (Transport) Flight, which was attached to the Movements Unit of 30 AMB, operated several types of aircraft including six Bristol Freighters, one Beechcraft Expeditor, and two Dakotas. No. 312 Supply Depot handled medical supplies and spares for mechanical equipment, including aircraft (e.g. the F-86 Sabre) and vehicles. No. 314 Technical Services Unit was tasked with inspecting all supplies before they were forwarded to operational bases. This unit also assisted with repair contracts and provided technical advice.
With the facility released from military control in 1963, the airfield (now called Langar Airfield) is the base for the British Parachute Schools, who use the original control tower for their headquarters. The former Avro industrial complex is used by private industry. There is a go-karting track.
The airfield is relatively intact, with most of its wartime facilities still in use. The main runway (01/19) and NE/SW secondary (07/25) are still active and in use. The original technical site is still in use, along with both wartime T-2 hangars. Additional postwar hangars and a secondary maintenance site built to the northwest, along with many of the loop dispersal hardstands around the wartime perimeter track still exist.
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