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Base dataEdit

RAF Upper Heyford.
Category. Statistic.
Location. UK.
Opened in. 1916 .
Closed in. 1994.
Operated by. 1916-1918 Royal Flying Corps, 1918-1950 Royal Air Force and 1950-1994 United States Air Force.
Owned by. RAF.
Outside link.


Former RAF Upper Heyford from the air - 2355952

Former RAF Upper Heyford from the air in 2011.

Rf101 66trs 1959

McDonnell RF-101F-56-MC 56-0217 of the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. The combination green, yellow, blue and red stripes on the tail signify the wing commander's aircraft.

RAF Upper Heyford was a Royal Air Force station located 5 miles (8 km) north-west of Bicester near the village of Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, England.

The station was first used by the Royal Flying Corps in 1916 but was not brought into use for flying until July 1918 by the Royal Air Force. During the inter-war years and continuing through the Second World War until 1950 Upper Heyford was used mainly as a training facility. During the Cold War, Upper Heyford initially served as a base for United States Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) strategic bombers and later United States Air Forces In Europe (USAFE) tactical reconnaissance, fighter and fighter-bomber aircraft in the UK.

Upper Heyford was unique among airfield in the United Kingdom as only the flight-line area required military identification to access. The rest of the station, save the commercial facilities, was accessible to military and non-military alike. Upper Heyford was also unique in that the airspace around the station (from the surface to 3500') was protected by a mandatory radio area (UHMRA) in which private pilots were required to be in contact with the base controllers on frequency 128.55 when flying past or overhead.

On 7 March 1966, French President Charles De Gaulle announced that France would withdraw from NATO's integrated military structure. The United States was informed that it must remove its military forces from France by 1 April 1967.

In March 1986, the 66th Electronic Combat Wing detached the 42nd ECS to the 20th TFW to take part in Operation El Dorado Canyon, the American raid on Libya.

On 25 January 1991, the wing was once again up to four flying squadrons when the 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron was reassigned to the 20th from the 66th Electronic Combat Wing as part of Operation Desert Storm.

A CND peace camp was set up outside here in the 1980s. It closed in 1984. It has subsequently been used for both a film-set, then in part for both an light industrial park and housing estate. 

The planed expansion of the housing estate was scrapped in circa ~2008 after sum local controversy had occurred over it's size and visual impact.

See alsoEdit

  1. Noteworthy Air bases
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