Since the Royal Flying Corps first set out a landing field in 1916, Heyford has had a long and distinguished history of great interest. RAF Heyford played a vital role during the first two World Wars as a training base.
Following the second world war Heyford took centre stage in the new emerging "Cold War" between the West and the Soviet Union and the site was handed over to the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command. During this time around 15,000 American servicemen lived and worked at Heyford and a strong American culture emerged. There became a particularly close bond between these Americans and the existing Oxfordshire British community which is still cherished until this day.
As part of the redevelopment of Heyford we are particularly sensitive to its historic importance and have identified, along with English Heritage, aspects of the site which should be retained and enhanced. There is also a planned Heritage Centre along with tours so that the wider public can appreciate for the first time, the significance of the site.
|1916||Royal flying Corps landing field for air training|
|1916 - 1918||Aircrews trained during WW1|
|1924||Airfield became a model for RAF airfields|
|1940||Part of Bomber Command, long range bombing technology & radar research|
|1939 - 1945||Commonwealth and allied nations training, military research|
|1946 - 1993||USAF Strategic Air Command base during the Cold War|
|1970's||Europe's largest fighter base with 56 hardened aircraft shelters|
|1991 - 1992||F111s involved in 1,798 sorties Desert Storm operation without a loss|
|1994||Station handed back to Ministry of Defence|