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Memorial to Fighter Command Featured

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Published in Malmesbury Newspapers
Tuesday, 04 June 2019 04:18
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ONE of the key Wiltshire airfields used during the Second World War by RAF Fighter Command has had a memorial unveiled to the memory of those who served there.

The airfield at Colerne has had an inscribed stone placed at the site through work by the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust.

Over the weekend of June 1-2, memorials commemorating the role other airfields played at Charmy Down and Leighterton Airfields were also marked with ceremonies and stones by the Trust.

Colerne first opened in 1940 as a combined fighter and aircraft maintenance base.

It gave distinguished service during the war as de Havilland Mosquito squadrons were heavily involved in night fighter and intruder duties.

By the end of fighting Colerne witnessed some of the RAF’s first jet fighters, subsequently becoming a prominent home for flying training and transport units.

Aircraft at the base have also included in the past Bristol Brigands, Bristol Buckmaster Aircraft and Boulton Paul Balliol planes.

Those known to have served at RAF Colerne during the war include LAC Ronald Earnest Alston; F/Lt Kenneth Freeman Mills; F/Lt Percy William Pope, and F/Lt Frederick Thomas Reynolds.

Tragically F/Lt Reynolds was killed in the last weeks of the war when his Mosquito crashed in flames at Amiens in France in March 1945.

The airfield closed in an RAF capacity in 1976 and passed to Army control but RAF activity continues due to the presence of the Bristol University Air Squadron.

Before the war the area of the airfield was called Doncombe Farm.

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