RAF Alconbury

Royal Air Force Alconbury or more simply RAF Alconbury is an active Royal Air Force station near Huntingdon, England. The airfield is in the civil parish of The Stukeleys, close to the villages of Great Stukeley, Little Stukeley, and Alconbury. Flying operations are no longer based at the site, with most of the land, including the runway, having been sold in 2009 to become the new settlement of Alconbury Weald.

RAF Alconbury
USAAF Station 102
Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire in England
RAF Alconbury's gate guardian, a US Air Force F-5E Tiger II, seen during 2020
RAF Alconbury
Shown within Cambridgeshire
Coordinates52°21′48″N 000°13′22″W
TypeRAF station (US Visiting Forces)
Area497 hectares (1,230 acres)[2]
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
OperatorUS Air Force
Controlled byUS Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa
RAF Bomber Command[1]
* No. 2 Group RAF
* No. 3 Group RAF
Site history
Built1937 (1937)/38
In useMay 1938–1942 (Royal Air Force)
1942–1945 (US Army Air Forces)
1951 – present (US Air Force)
Battles/warsEuropean theatre of World War II
Cold War
Garrison information
Occupants423d Air Base Group
Airfield information
IdentifiersIATA: AYH, ICAO: EGWZ, WMO: 035620
Elevation50 metres (164 ft)[1] AMSL
Direction Length and surface
12/30 2,500 metres (8,202 ft) Asphalt
06/24 (WWII) 1,750 metres (5,741 ft) Concrete
12/30 (WWII) 1,235 metres (4,052 ft) Concrete
18/36 (WWII) 1,235 metres (4,052 ft) Concrete
Notes: Flying ceased in 1995


Opened in 1938 for use by RAF Bomber Command, the station has been used from 1942 by the United States Army Air Force.[3] It was occupied by the 93d Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force: visitors included King George VI who visited the site and saw the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses there on 13 November 1942.[3]

It was announced by The Pentagon on 8 January 2015 that RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth would be closing by 2020. Most of the units at Alconbury and Molesworth will be moved to RAF Croughton, along with the personnel.[4] However, changing security conditions in Europe and resurgent politico-military moves by Russia have caused USEUCOM to begin reconsidering these closure actions in 2017 and actual closures remain in flux.[5]

Royal Air Force use

  • 15 Squadron from 15 April 1940 to 15 May 1940 operating the Bristol Blenheim IV - temporary move from RAF Wyton.[6]
  • 40 Squadron from 2 February 1941 to 31 October 1941 operating the Vickers Wellington IC - moved to RAF Luqa, Malta.[7]
  • 52 Squadron detachments from RAF Upwood during 1939 with the Fairey Battle and Avro Anson.[8]
  • 156 Squadron formed at Alconbury on 14 February 1942 from elements of 40 Squadron with the Vickers Wellington, moved to RAF Warboys in August 1942.[9]
  • A Detachment from No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit RAF (April 1985)[10]
  • No. 3 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit RAF (1941)[11]
  • No. XV Conversion Flight (January 1942 - May 1942)[12]
  • Sub site of No. 264 Maintenance Unit RAF (November 1945 - September 1948)[13]


United States Air Force use

  • 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing[14] (1959-94)
  • 85th Bombardment Squadron[14] ?
  • 527th Tactical Fighter Training Aggressor Squadron[14] (1976-88)

Based units

Units based at RAF Alconbury.[17]

United States Air Force

United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA)

  • 501st Combat Support Wing
    • Headquarters 501st Combat Support Wing
    • 423rd Air Base Group
      • 423rd Civil Engineer Squadron
      • 423rd Communications Squadron
      • 423rd Force Support Squadron
      • 423rd Medical Squadron
      • 423rd Security Forces Squadron

See also



  1. Falconer 2012, p. 33.
  2. "Defence Estates Development Plan 2009 – Annex A". GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 3 July 2009. p. 15. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  3. "Alconbury". American Air Museum in Britain. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  4. "RAF Mildenhall to close amid other Europe consolidations". Stars and Stripes.
  5. Vandiver, John (17 April 2017). "EUCOM Gives 'Another Look' at Planned Base Closures". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 1 September 2020 via military.com.
  6. Jefford 1988, p. 29.
  7. Jefford 1988, p. 38.
  8. Jefford 1988, p. 41.
  9. Jefford 1988, p. 63.
  10. Sturtivant, Hamlin & Halley 1997, p. 49.
  11. Sturtivant, Hamlin & Halley 1997, p. 50.
  12. Sturtivant, Hamlin & Halley 1997, p. 96.
  13. Sturtivant, Hamlin & Halley 1997, p. 216.
  14. "Alconbury". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  15. "95th Bombardment Group (Heavy)". Mighty 8th Cross-Reference - Preller. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  16. "801st Bombardment Group (Provisional)". Mighty 8th Cross-Reference - Preller. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  17. "Units". 501st Combat Support Wing. Retrieved 13 February 2019.


  • Falconer, J (2012). RAF Airfields of World War 2. UK: Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85780-349-5.
  • 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.
  • Sturtivant, R; Hamlin, J; Halley, J (1997). Royal Air Force flying training and support units. UK: Air-Britain (Historians). ISBN 0-85130-252-1.
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