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28 March, 2015

// Okehampton II (Folly Gate)

Also known as: RAF Okehampton
Type: Major
County: Devon
Date: 1928 - 1960
Current Use: Disused
Current Status: Farmland / Village hall
Used By: RAF / Civil

Okehampton's main airfield near the village of Folly Gate opened in 1928 as an army co-operation base for visiting RAF squadrons (an unknown separate location was used for military purposes during WW1).  These units visited during the better months of each year for exercises until the outbreak of WW2 in September 1939.  Thereafter Okehampton became a more permanent all year round airfield from August 1940 and, apart from continuing with army co-operation duties, also kept a watch over surrounding coastlines in case of enemy invasion. 
The airfield closed again for the winter in November 1940 but once more reopened in May 1941, although from mid-war onwards it became primarily a Maintenance Unit base for aircraft spares.  During the second half of 1945 Okehampton gradually closed down in this new capacity but some artillery spotter aircraft could still be seen as late as the early 1950s before the land was eventually derequistioned in 1960.
The airfield remains tangible today, mainly through a building formerly used by the Women's Auxillary Air Force, now serving as Folly Gate Village Hall.

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

                Inwardleigh Parish Council

This former WW2 airfield was commemorated at 12 noon alongside the village hall at New Road in Folly Gate village. Postcode: EX20 3AB on Friday the 12th of August 2011.

Main unit(s) present:
  • No 16 Sqn
  • No 225 Sqn
  • No 73 MU

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