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RAF High Halden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

RAF High Halden
USAAF Station AAF-411

Highhalden-jul45.jpg
High Halden airfield, July 1945. The ALG's laid down in southern England had two runways, while the ones laid down in France after the invasion generally had only one strip laid down east-west for speed of construction.
Summary
Airport typeMilitary
OwnerAir Ministry
OperatorUnited States Army Air Forces 1944
Royal Air Force 1944
LocationHigh Halden, Kent
Built1943 (1943)
In use1944-1944 (1944)
Elevation AMSL39 ft / 12 m
Coordinates51°07′17″N 000°42′16″E / 51.12139°N 0.70444°E / 51.12139; 0.70444
Map
RAF High Halden is located in Kent
RAF High Halden
RAF High Halden
Location in Kent
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
04/22 4,440 0 Sommerfeld Tracking
11/29 3,840 0 Sommerfeld Tracking
Republic P-47D-28-RE Thunderbolt Serial 44-20244 of the 367th Fighter Squadron
Republic P-47D-28-RE Thunderbolt Serial 44-20244 of the 367th Fighter Squadron

RAF High Halden is a former Royal Air Force Advanced Landing Ground in Kent, England. The airfield is located approximately 8 miles (13 km) west-southwest of Ashford; about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of London.

Opened in 1944, Ashford was a prototype for the type of temporary Advanced Landing Ground type airfield which would be built in France after D-Day, when the need for advanced landing fields would become urgent as the Allied forces moved east across France and Germany. It was used by the United States Army Air Forces. It was closed in September 1944.

Today the airfield is a mixture of agricultural fields with no recognisable remains.

History

The USAAF Ninth Air Force required several temporary Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) along the channel coast prior to the June 1944 Normandy invasion to provide tactical air support for the ground forces landing in France.

USAAF use

High Halden was known as USAAF Station AAF-411 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 "HH".

358th Fighter Group

An advance party of the 358th Fighter Group moved into High Halden airfield in on 13 April 1944 from RAF Raydon. Operational squadrons of the 358th were:

  • 365th Fighter Squadron (CH)
  • 366th Fighter Squadron (IA)
  • 367th Fighter Squadron (CP)

The group was assigned to the XIX Tactical Air Command, 100th Fighter Wing.

The 358th began movement to the ALG at Cretteville France (ALG A-14) on 29 June, however the group continued to operate from High Halden until 16 July with the remainder of the ground support personnel leaving on the 18th.

RAF Use

Used by 616 Squadron with Meteor Fighters when hunting down V1 Flying Bombs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_Wl7Wl6G0k at 3 mins:30 seconds

Current use

With the facility released from military control the airfield area was returned to the farmers, which put it back into agricultural use.

Today, the area is unrecognizable as an airfield. High Halden's precise location can only be determined by matching the secondary roads in the area with those visible on aerial photography taken during the airfields active use. Close examination of recent aerial photography shows some evidence of scarring on the landscape that still exists, which align with the NE/SW runway. In the local area, a few outward traces remain of the airfield, consisting of some metal PSP that was used for fencing.

A memorial to those who served at the airfield has been erected close to the northern end of the 04/22 runway on Bethersden Road.

See also

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

Citations

Bibliography

  • Freeman, Roger A. (1994) UK Airfields of the Ninth: Then and Now 1994. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-80-0
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1996) The Ninth Air Force in Colour: UK and the Continent-World War Two. After the Battle ISBN 1-85409-272-3
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to present
This page was last edited on 15 March 2019, at 00:49
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