Royal Air Force Woodchurch or more simply RAF Woodchurch is a former Royal Air Force Advanced Landing Ground located in Kent, England. The airfield is located approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Ashford; about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of London.
USAAF Station AAF-419
|Woodchurch, Kent in England|
Shown within Kent
|Type||Advanced Landing Ground|
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
United States Army Air Forces
|Controlled by||RAF Fighter Command|
Ninth Air Force
|Built by||RAF Airfield Construction Service|
|In use||July 1943 - September 1944|
|Battles/wars||European theatre of World War II|
|Elevation||46 metres (151 ft) AMSL|
Opened in 1943, Woodchurch was a prototype for the type of temporary Advanced Landing Ground type airfield which would be built in France after D-Day, when the need for advanced landing fields would become urgent as the Allied forces moved east across France and Germany. It was used by the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces. It was closed in September 1944.
Today the airfield is a mixture of agricultural fields with no recognizable remains.
The following units were here at some point:
The USAAF Ninth Air Force required several temporary Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) along the channel coast prior to the June 1944 Normandy invasion to provide tactical air support for the ground forces landing in France.
While under USAAF control, Woodchurch was known as USAAF Station AAF-419 for security reasons, and by which it was referred to instead of location. Its Station-ID was "WC".
Movement to France took place in late July and most of the personnel and aircraft had left for Tour-en-Bessin (ALG A-13) by the 31st.
Woodchurch did not miss out as a haven for disabled bombers. On 29 June, a 458th Bomb Group Liberator landed without its nosewheel down, causing irreparable damage to the aircraft and urgent work for the runway repair crew, and another ailing B-24 put down safely on 19 July.
The area was fully returned to agriculture by the following year. Today, there is no physical evidence of the airfield, as the land has been redeveloped into either agricultural fields or meadows. The only way which the location of RAF Woodchurch can be determined is by comparing the road network on aerial photos of the airfield when it was active to the road network today. However, a privately owned airstrip does run parallel to the original main runway (01 - 19) and some evidence of the original dispersal standings can be seen from the air.
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