Upwood & The Raveleys History Pages
RAF Upwood originated in September 1917 when the War Department requisitioned Hill Farm, then owned by Lord de Ramsey, for use as an Emergency Landing Ground. The airfield was later used as a Home Defence 1st Class Night Landing Ground for BE2 aircraft of 7 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. By the summer of 1918 permanent huts and five large hangars had been constructed and the site renamed Upwood Airfield, under 6th Brigade, Midland Area of the 47th Home Defence Wing of the newly formed Royal Air Force. When World War I ended the airfield reverted to agricultural use with the buildings being salvaged by local farmers.
Lincoln from RAF Upwood - 1955
The Royal Air Force returned to Upwood Airfield in January 1937 when Squadrons 52 and 63, equipped with Hawker Hind and Audax bi-planes, were located there. Squadrons 90 and 53, equipped with Bristol Blenheims, replaced 52 and 63 Squadrons by February 1940 - their main mission to train RAF personnel for bombing missions. These two units later merged to form 17 Operational training Unit (OTU).
Joseph Jakobs was parachuted in to spy on RAF Upwood in Jan 1941. Breaking his ankle on landing he was easily captured and eventually imprisoned in the Tower of London becoming the last known person to be executed in the Tower.
By April 1943 the airfield came under No. 8 PFF (Pathfinders) Group but as the grass runways were frequently waterlogged, upgrading work was required.
Entrance to RAF Upwood
Canberras from RAF Upwood
Above text courtesy of Upwood & Raveleys Local History Group
Further Information & Useful Links
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Parachuted in to spy on RAF Upwood & the last person to be executed in the Towerof London
This independent site is full of information and photos. Regularly updated.
|Cambs Community Archives Network
|Various photos of RAF Upwood, including personnel
|Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust
|The ABCT was established to acknowledge the enormous and unique contribution airfields made since 1909.
|Nene Valley Gliding Club
|Website for gliding club which uses land next to RAF Upwood