Operational Sites and Bases

Air Bases

Primary Air Base

RAF Upper Heyford

RAF Upper Heyford

Full name of site:

RAF Upper Heyford

Location:

Bicester OX25 5BZ, Storbritannien

Operational period:

1927

to

1994

Primary user:

RAF, USAF

Description:

RAF Upper Heyford originated in the First World War but was closed shortly after the end of hostilities. It was then reinstated in the 1920s and several buildings survive from that time. In 1950 the airfield was chosen as an overseas base for the United States’ Strategic Air Command (SAC) and was substantially rebuilt to accept a new generation of potentially atomic armed bombers.

Examples of SAC buildings constructed at that date include weapons storage igloos, nuclear core stores, and nose docking hangars examples of which may also be found in North America, Europe and North Africa.

From the mid-1970s under the NATO policy of Flexible Response the airfield’s key infrastructure was hardended against attack. New structures included protected headquarters and operations blocks, command centres, fuel and communications facilities, bomb stores and 56 hardened aircraft shelters.

Similar facilities may be found across NATO bases in western Europe.

Ownership:

Private

Valuation of authenticity and integrity:

Partial - The USAF withdrew from Upper Heyford in 1993 and the base was sold shortly afterwards leaving many of the structures untouched and in their late Cold War form. A number of buildings and structures are protected as listed buildings and scheduled monuments and the airfield is a designated Conservation Area.

Status and access:

The former airfield is in multiple private occupancy, some has been redeveloped, public access is pemitted to a heritage centre and base tours are organised.