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RAF Upper Heyford

RAF Upper Heyford
Welcome to RAF Upper Heyford 620th air base wing. This sign was seen at the entrance to the base in 2001.
Military structure
NameRoyal Air Force Upper Heyford
TypeAir Force Base
In use1916-1994

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RAF Upper Heyford was a Royal Air Force station located 5 mi (8 km) north-west of Bicester near the village of Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, England. The base was brought into use for flying in July 1918 by the Royal Flying Corps. During World War II it was used by many units of the RAF, mainly as a training facility. In September 1939 it was the home of No. 70 Wing RAF with Nos 18 and 57 Squadrons, part of No. 2 Group RAF. From March 1946 until June 1950 it was the home of No.1 Parachute Training School RAF.

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 bases in the United Kingdom as only the flight-line area required military identification to access. The rest of the base, save the commercial facilities, was accessible to military and non-military alike.

Uniquely, the airspace around the base (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.

The base was home to the Upper Heyford High School Hadites until Spring 1975 when the school moved to RAF Croughton. The School kept the name "Upper Heyford High School" until Autumn 1982 when it was then given its new name of "Croughton High School". The Upper Heyford/Croughton High School Hadites were renowned across DoDDS Europe high schools for their athletic legacy.

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