Air Force Bases

Royal Air Force Station Alconbury, England

Location: Located 3 miles east of Alconbury, about 60 miles north of London, England.

Origin of current name: Named after a village in England

Date current name was assigned to base: December 18, 1955

Previous Names: RAF Stn #102 (aka RAF Stn Abbotts Ripton), 1938-9 Sep 1942; Alconbury Adrm, AAF Stn #102, 9 Sep 1942; USAAF Stn #102, c. Jul-26 Nov 1945. Alconbury RAF Stn, 24 Aug 1951.

Date Established: September 9, 1942

Date Occupied: June 1, 1952

Construction Began: January 10, 1938

Base Units: 93d Bomb Gp, 7 Sep 1942; 92d Bomb Gp, Jan 1943; 482d Bomb Gp, 20 Aug 1943; 435th Air Svc Gp, 15 Apr 1945óc. 20 Oct 1945. OL, Third AF, 1 Jun 1952; Det 1, 7523d Spt Sq, 1 Jun 1953; 7560th AB Sq, 7 Nov 1954; 7560th AB Gp, 25 Mar 1955; 10th AB Gp, 25 Aug 1959 (rdsgd 10th Cmbt Spt Gp, 15 Feb 1962).

Changes in Capability: Runways extended to 4,200 and 6,000 ft, additional hardstands and hangars constructed and taxiways altered preceding transfer to USAAF, fall 1942; first USAAF combat mission flown from field 9 Oct 1942; base accommodated B-17 and B-24 units flying missions to the European continent 1942-1945; accidental explosion while loading a B-17 killed 18 men and destroyed four B-17s on 27 May 1943; base reverted to RAF's Maintenance Command and became a bomb disposal site on 26 Nov 1945; facilities rehabilitated upon USAFE reoccupancy, with much new construction, 1951-1952; field also served as a storage and supply point 25 Aug 1951-1953; main runway extended, taxiway and apron completed 1955-1956; flying operations commenced May 1957; French insistence upon control of all nuclear weapons at French bases prompted the USAF to transfer 10th Tac Recon Wg to Alconbury in Aug 1959, at which time Alconbury temporarily headed up a four-base complex including RAF Bruntingthorpe, RAF Chelveston, and RAF Molesworth; electronic reconnaissance missions began after B-66s arrived 1959-1960; base also supported routine day and night visual photographic reconnaissance, electronic reconnaissance, and electronic counter measures commencing in the 1960s; because of noise complaints from nearby communities RF-4s replaced RB-66s 1965-1966; additional base buildings and facilities added in 1968 and major runway rehabilitation completed 1969-1970; facilities provided for a newly arrived, dual-based tactical reconnaissance squadron Jul 1970; facilities added for newly activated tactical squadron 15 Jun 1971; aircraft maintenance shop and bulk jet fuel storage facility completed 1973-1974; F-5 operations began 1976; 36 F-5 aircraft shelters constructed 1976-1978; two operations buildings, wing operations center, communications facility, and liquid oxygen and POL shelters completed 1977-1980; major housing renovation project finished 1978-1979; photo interpretation facility completed mid-1981; inactivation of two of Alconbury's three reconnaissance squadrons enabled beddown of additional F-5s in 1981; field training facility and maintenance complex projected for 1982-1983.

Changes in Status: AAF assumed beneficial occupancy Sep 1942, using field as a bomber base until 26 Nov 1945; under jurisdiction of RAF Maint Comd (later, merged with Bmbr Comd) used as a bomb disposal site from 26 Nov 1945óAug 1951; Third AF authorized construction and rehabilitation program for Alconbury and designated it a primary USAFE installation 24 Aug 1951; designated a USAF construction site 1. Sep 1953; a satellite base of RAF Sculthorpe 20 Sep 1955-Apr 1957; reassigned primary base status on 1 May 1957.