View Full Version : Chipping Walden

Baz JJ
8th September 2013, 04:53 PM
I see the Com's Site 3 is located in Calves Close Spinney.

Situated some way from the actual Chipping Walden Airfield, this site appears to be part of a farm, but judging by the derelict buildings, definitely had a military purpose.

Does anybody know whats its function was ?

8th September 2013, 06:11 PM

RAF Chipping Warden No12 Operational Training Unit (Bombers)

I believe that Com3 is to the East of the old runway and that the control tower still exists near the industrial estate.

History of the airfield is as follows

07/41 to 06/45, No. 12 Operational Training Unit from Benson with Ansons and Wellingtons. 12 OTU took part in many bombing and leaflet dropping operations. Satellite airfields used at various times were Edgehill, Gaydon and Turweston.

01/12/42, Vickers Wellington crashed on take off hitting the control tower and hangars, many casualties and two people killed.
08/45 to 01/46, No. 10 ANS from Swanton Morley.

01/46 to 12/46, No. 114 Sub Storage Unit of No. 6 Maintenance Unit at Brize Norton storing Horsa gliders awaiting disposal. Airfield then closed.

09/52 to 09/53, No. 8 FTS Oxfords from Wellesbourne Mountford, airfield then closed.

It appears that the airfield was open from 1941 and then closed in 1946 only to briefly reopen in 1952-53.

During its time it had 2929 Personnel and hard standing for 30 bombers.

8th September 2013, 06:16 PM
I meant to add that the Com3 area of RAF Chipping Warden is only half of the story as near the farm there are some complete buildings including several shelters including the Stanton shelter, Pill boxes and Anti aircraft pits.

Link to pics taken by some enthusiasts


Baz JJ
8th September 2013, 06:28 PM
Thanks Charlie. Very interesting.
I had a google and came up with some of those photos.

I get the impression that the site may well have been an anti aircraft defence for the airfield - logically enemy bombers would have come from the East. The buildings look like storage and the shelter suggests there were a few people around. I read somewhere that it was rumoured that the site was an HQ for the airfield, which might have some legs. Many of the trees have grown up since the war so it was probably less densely wooded then.

8th September 2013, 06:39 PM
The parade ground is at the com3 site so it would be a good bet that the HQ was there especially with the amount of air raid shelters plus its in a wood. (Moreton in the marsh had its HQ and quarters in the neighbouring wood)

Baz JJ
8th September 2013, 06:47 PM
Sounds very plausible.

The reason for the OP was I thought somebody might have done some initial research or digging around when the periodic use of the land for Airsoft was agreed with the landowner.

8th September 2013, 06:53 PM
I would love to metal detect it I would imagine it would bring up some interesting finds

8th September 2013, 07:07 PM
I would love to metal detect it I would imagine it would bring up some interesting finds

And the occasional pistol mag here and there too :)

8th September 2013, 08:18 PM
Comm's 3 was the Communial Sote No.3 and that area were the following:

Officers Mess
Bath House
Sgt's Mess (for 300)
Dining Room (for 1300)
Ration Stores
Grocery Shop Airmans Bath House
Barbers, Tailors and Shoe Maker Shop.
Picket Post
Squash Courts
Gas Decontamination Room
Fuel Compound
Stand-by House
Rst Room
Static 20,000 Gal Water Storage Tank
Post Office
Education Office
Pumping Stantion
Station Commanders House

The actual wartime Parade Square was over on the Airfield Site.

If anyone is interested in the Communial Site No.3 itself, then Tony has a lot of information, as do I. If you are interested in aircraft losses, then check out my website http://www.aviationresearch.co.uk and fire away with any questions.


8th September 2013, 08:26 PM
Wow Garfy thats quite impressive

Baz JJ
8th September 2013, 08:26 PM
Thanks Garfy.

Do know which of the buildings on your list are still present as buildings on the site ?

8th September 2013, 08:35 PM
Thank you.

If you go to my website and click on the '12 OTU' tab on the left you will see the high amount of losses that they had at RAF Chipping Warden. In fact RAF Chipping Warden (12 OTU) had, at one time, the worst safety record of any OTU during the war. RAF Chipping Warden was actually closed for two weeks while the top brass visited to find out why there were so many losses.

I have many of the crash locations, but choose to keep them off-line due to souvenir hunters wanting to dig up farmers fields with JCB's, without the relevant paperwork and showing a total lack of respect for what are war graves.

Lest We Forget

8th September 2013, 08:38 PM
Thanks Garfy.

Do know which of the buildings on your list are still present as buildings on the site ?

Tony has put up some buildings and their locations here......


8th September 2013, 08:40 PM
I have a copy of the plans (in a book), which I will bring along to the next game at RIFT Comm's 3 site.

Baz JJ
8th September 2013, 08:52 PM
Thanks. I found your website very interesting and it seems quite clear to me that the No.3 site was very active and therefore of great historical interest to anyone with an interest in military history.

Baz JJ
8th September 2013, 09:12 PM
I should add that I have a detailed map of the site but it lists the buildings by their new/current Airsoft names.

I can see that the Kill House was the old generator room, but I was trying to cross refer that map against your list.

8th September 2013, 09:33 PM
Garfy Is our personal R.I.F.T historian and is a bit of an expert where our site is concerned!
The land owner has had the land in the family for many many years and was so helpful with the lands history. :)

We are very lucky :)

Baz JJ
14th October 2013, 09:59 PM
I came across these sets of photos whilst researching the history of the site