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Newchurch

Major
Also known as: RAF Newchurch
County: Kent
Current Status: Farmland
Date: 2 July 1943 - 13 December 1944 (derequisitioned)
Current Use: Disused
Used By: RAF
Landing Surface Types: Unpaved
Aircraft Roles: Fighter

Newchurch was one of a number of Advanced Landing Grounds on Romney Marsh in Kent. Construction was completed by the spring of 1943 with the two Supermarine Spitfire squadrons of No 125 Airfield arriving on 2 July 1943. These units carried out offensive operations until they moved to Detling in October. After upgrades to the facilities over the winter, Hawker Tempests, Spitfires and Hawker Typhoons from No 150 Airfield (later Wing) arrived in April 1944.

Tempests from Newchurch played a major role in the effort against V-1 flying bombs, with these aircraft achieving success both during the day and at night. All three squadrons from the Wing left in the second half of September 1944 for Matlaske and the airfield was derequisitioned later that year on 13 December.

Newchurch was equipped with two Sommerfield Track runways, with accommodation for personnel in tents. Blister hangars were later added but no hardstandings existed. The hangars and metal runways were removed after this extremely successful airfield’s closure with very little trace of the site remaining once it then returned to agricultural use.

 

The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have at least potentially significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/07/2013):

  • Newchurch Parish Council

 

ABCT were pleased to be able to sponsor the memorial unveiled at Newchurch on Saturday 27th September 2017. Click here for full details.

Main unit(s) present:

  • No 3 Sqn
  • No 19 Sqn
  • No 56 Sqn
  • No 125 Airfield
  • No 132 Squadron
  • No 150 Airfield
  • No 150 (Fighter) Wing 
  • No 184 Sqn
  • No 486 Sqn
  • No 602 Sqn
  • No 2749 Sqn RAF Regiment
  • No 2800 Sqn RAF Regiment
IWM (CH 11473).jpg

Pilots and ground crews of No 132 Squadron with their Supermarine Spitfire Mark VBs, lined up at Newchurch during the Second World War. © IWM (CH 11473)

IWM (CH 13428).jpg

Flight Sergeant Morris Rose of No 3 Squadron points out the essential characteristics of the V-1 flying bomb to other Tempest pilots at Newchurch, 23 June 1944. © IWM (CH 13428)

IWM (CH 14095).jpg

Hawker Tempest Mark V, of No 3 Squadron, parked at Newchurch, as another pair of aircraft takes off to patrol the Normandy beachhead during the Second World War. © IWM (CH 14095)

IWM (CH 18814).jpg

Squadron Leader A S Dredge, Officer Commanding No 3 Squadron RAF, briefs his pilots for a sweep over the Caen area, on the elevator of a Hawker Tempest Mark V, at Newchurch during the Second World War. © IWM (CH 18814)

IWM (HU 92119).jpg

Hawker Tempest Mark Vs of No 3 Squadron parked at Newchurch during the Second World War. © IWM (HU 92119)

IWM (HU 92120).jpg

Wing Commander R P Beaumont of No 150 Wing, leaning against a Hawker Tempest Mark V of No. 3 Squadron at Newchurch during the Second World War. © IWM (HU 92120)

IWM (HU 92140).jpg

Pilots of No 486 Squadron RNZAF wait for action in their dispersal area at Newchurch during the Second World War. © IWM (HU 92140)

IWM (HU 92141).jpg
Cottages taken over by the RAF near Newchurch, probably as part of No 150 Wing RAF Headquarters during the Second World War. © IWM (HU 92141)
IWM (HU 92146).jpg

Hawker Tempest Mark Vs of No 486 Squadron RNZAF parked in their dispersal area at Newchurch during the Second World War. © IWM (HU 92146)

IWM (HU 92147).jpg

Hawker Tempest Mark Vs of No 486 Squadron RNZAF parked in their dispersal area at Newchurch during the Second World War. © IWM (HU 92147)

IWM (HU 92148).jpg

The Commanding Officer of No 486 Squadron RNZAF, Squadron Leader J H Iremonger, standing by the cockpit of Hawker Tempest Mark V, 'SA-F', during the Second World War. © IWM (HU 92148)

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Key
Yellow = Landing and taxiing strips
Red = Buildings
Decoy Airfield(s):

Burmarsh

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