Welcome to The RAF in Essex, WW1 to WW2

Website about all the Airfields from RFC WW1 to WW2.

RAF Wethersfield

"Never was so much owed by so many to so few"
- Winston Churchill

RAF Wethersfield

Built for the RAF in 1942 and used by the US 9th Air Force during WWII. In the 1950s it was again taken over by the USAF as a base for F-84G Thunderjets, F-84F Thunderstreaks and later F-100 Super Sabres. It then became home to the Red Horse outfit, again an American unit, before being handed over to the the MoD, which now uses the base as a training site for Police, Fire Brigade and others. Also home to 614VGS, providing glider training to members of the Air Training Corps.

OVER nearly 50 years Wethersfield, Essex, became used to having “America” living next door. The first American servicemen to come to the RAF airfield on the edge of the village in 1944 belonged to a bomber group. They flew 140 highly dangerous bombing missions, losing 21 aircraft before they were moved to France in the wake of the D-Day invasion. Eighty-one American Dakotas from Wethersfield flew out British paratroops during the Battle of the Rhine in 1945 after which there was a break in the relationship until a fighter- bomber wing arrived in 1952. It meant building a runway nearly two miles long for the new Super Sabre jets, swallowing up an historic farm house and much agricultural land. In 1970, the fighter-bombers moved out and Wethersfield became home to several ground units.

The perimeter track of the airfield has been reduced to a single track agricultural road, however some of the loop hardstands still remain in the southwestern quadrant of the field. All three runways either have been quarried, or substantially reduced in width, with agriculture fields taking over the grass areas of the former airfield. A very small portion of the 28 end of the main runway still exists at full width. One T-2 hangar remains, along with a scattering of buildings. An automobile salvage yard has taken over some of the hardstands in the east end of the airfield, where once C-47s and gliders were stored. As of 2013 only one of the two T-2 hangars remain, with demolition claiming the other historical remaining buildings.