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on the day war was declared. Blenheims and Beaufighters of 236, 248, 254 and 500 squadrons over the next two and half years were engaged on patrol flights over the Western Approaches and Irish Sea. Reconnaissance sorties and bombing raids were also carried out on targets along the French coast. During this period two Dutch squadrons 320 and 321 equipped with Ansons and the American Lockheed Hudsons also help with these duties.


Tis period of frantic activity was to see the Coastal Command Development Unit spent a year based at the airfield testing and perfecting new systems for use in the war against the U-boats. One of the scientists and pilot of the unit’s Whitley aircraft was Michael Weizmann whose father was the first President of Israel.


Carew Cheriton attracted the attention of the German Luftwaffe with a number of air raids on the airfield between July 1940 and April 1941. On October 1st, 1940 a hanger and a number of buildings were totally destroyed together with two Avro Ansons in an early morning raid. Tis attack claimed the life of AC2 John Greenhalgh. A more tragic raid took place on April 15th, 1941 when the sick bay sustained a direct hit killing twelve airmen.


Te airfield transferred to Technical Training Command in October 1942, and the newly-formed No. 10 Radio School started its training programme. Hundreds of wireless operators were trained on the unit’s Oxford and Anson aircraft. Te five-week course prepared wireless operators for postings to operational squadrons. Te good safety record of the unit was marred on September aid, 1943 when two Oxford aircraft collided on the intersection of the two runways killing six aircrew. Te training continued until the unit disbanded in November 1945, and shortly afterwards the airfield closed.


For the historian, a large percentage of the airfield remains and is a wonderful time capsule of this period of history. Te control tower is the subject of a community project, and has been totally restored.


Among the other surviving structures are large sections of the three asphalted concrete runways, together with a number of hardstandings within shallow earth revetments. Several buildings survive in various states of repair to the north and west of the airfield between Sageston and Carew Cross. Tese include an ablutions block (SN 056032) now used as a farm building; air raid shelters (SN 054030 and SN050032); a gunnery training building (SN 049031) and a wireless operating training laboratory (SN 051031); various defence posts and weapons pits and a brick-lined reservoir capable of holding 10,000 gallons of water (SN 045031).


Tis ablutions block is a familiar


landmark on the north side of the Carew by-pass.


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