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Harrowbeer

Major

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The popular Knightstone Tea Rooms & Restaurant served as the original watch office for the airfield.

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Also known as: RAF Harrowbeer / Yelverton / Yelverton Business Park
County: Devon
Current Status: Industry / Open land / Public roads
Date: 15 August 1941 - 1950
Current Use: Disused
Used By: RAF

Harrowbeer Airfield, opened on August 15th 1941, played a major part in winning World War Two by accommodating numerous RAF fighter squadrons which mounted relentless offensive sorties against enemy targets.

Primarily Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Typhoon units achieved significant results through their fighter-bomber, bomber escort and convoy patrol duties. Further squadrons later proved highly active around the D-Day period in the summer of 1944 and ensured the Normandy invasion would be successful by closely supporting Allied ground forces and attacking a wide variety of targets such as German shipping and radar sites.

Another notable wartime event here was this airfield’s leading role in the early development of properly organised RAF air-sea rescue squadrons as No 276 Squadron maintained its headquarters at Harrowbeer between October 1941 and April 1944, saving many lives in the process.

After WW2 ended in Europe Harrowbeer closed as a station within RAF Fighter Command on May 13th 1946. Thereafter it remained open in a lesser capacity for communications and gliding until it finally closed during 1950.  Just over ten years later a plan emerged for it to replace Roborough as Plymouth's airport but the proposal fell through and much of the airfield was demolished in the 1960s.  However, this disused airfield remains popular locally and elsewhere, as evidenced by guided walks by the Harrowbeer Interest Group.

 

The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/09/2011):

  • Buckland Monachorum Parish Council
  • Dartmoor National Park Authority
  • Knightstone Tea Rooms
  • Leg O'Mutton Inn   
  • Lubricants South West                 
  • Maristow Estate
  • Polish Saturday School in Plymouth
  • RAF Harrowbeer
  • RAF Harrowbeer - 70th Anniversary Event
  • St Paul's Church, Yelverton
  • Team Systems
  • The Yelverton Carpet Company
  • Tim Lambie
  • Yelverton & District Local History Society

 Main unit(s) present:

  • No 1 Sqn
  • No 19 Gp Comms Flight
  • No 26 Sqn
  • No 64 Sqn
  • No 82 GS
  • No 126 Sqn
  • No 130 Sqn
  • No 131 Sqn
  • No 175 Sqn
  • No 156 (General Reconnaissance) Wing
  • No 183 Sqn
  • No 193 Sqn
  • No 229 MU
  • No 263 Sqn
  • No 266 Sqn
  • No 275 Sqn
  • No 276 Sqn
  • No 302 Sqn
  • No 312 Sqn
  • No 329 Sqn
  • No 401 Air Stores Park
  • No 414 Sqn
  • No 500 Sqn
  • No 610 Sqn
  • No 611 Sqn
  • No 616 Sqn
  • No 834 Sqn
  • No 838 Sqn
  • Force 135 (RAF Element)

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