RAF Holmsley South

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Quick Summary

Location
50°47'17"N
001°41'57"W
Country
 United Kingdom
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Description

RAF Holmsley South is a former World War II airfield in Hampshire, England. The airfield is located approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of Christchurch, Dorset; about 90 miles (140 km) southwest of London Opened in 1942, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as a bomber and later as a transport airfield. After the war it was closed in late 1946. Christchurch Council from December 1946 to 1961 used the old accommodation sites including WAAF Nissen Huts as temporary accommodation for families waiting for a council house. Today the remains of the airfield are part of a Forestry Commission project near the New Forest.

USAAF use

Holmsley South was known as USAAF Station AAF-455 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. It's USAAF Station Code was "HM". The 394th Bomb Group moved to Holmsley from RAF Boreham between 24 and 28 July 1944. Operational squadrons of the group were: 584th Bomb Squadron (K5) 585th Bomb Squadron (4T) 586th Bomb Squadron (H9) 587th Bomb Squadron (5W)The group remained in the theater to serve with United States Air Forces in Europe as part of the army of occupation at Kitzingen, Germany. It was transferred, without personnel and equipment, to the United States on 15 February 1946 and was inactivated on 31 March 1946.

Civil use

With the facility released from military control in 1946, Holmsley South has since stood derelict and, while a few odd parts of the runways and a few dispersal points remain, the vast majority of the concreted areas have been removed along with the buildings around the airfield leaving a large open area. Some other areas have been planted with conifers by the Forestry Commission. Several public camping sites and a caravan park have been created on the former hardstanding groupings along the northeast side of the main perimeter track, as well as both sides of the former 07 runway on the southwest of the airfield.
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