Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

RAF Tempsford

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Airport type  Military
00/00  0
0  Concrete
Owner  Air Ministry
Operator  Royal Air Force
0  0
Address  Sandy SG19 2BS, UK
RAF Tempsford
Location  Tempsford, Bedfordshire
Similar  Shuttlewo, Shuttlewo College, Little Gransden Airfield, Sandy Town Council, Moggerh Park

Raf tempsford 1939 45 may 2014

RAF Tempsford is a former Royal Air Force station located 2.3 miles (3.7 km) north east of Sandy, Bedfordshire, England and 4.4 miles (7.1 km) south of St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, England.


The airfield was perhaps the most secret airfield in the Second World War. It was home to the Special Duties Squadrons, No. 138, which dropped Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents and their supplies into occupied Europe, and No. 161, which specialised in personnel delivery and retrieval by landing in occupied Europe.

RAF Tempsford is very close to Little Gransden Airfield and can be clearly seen from flights climbing out from the westerly runway 28. Other active airfields nearby include the former RAF bases at Gransden Lodge and Bourn.

Unveiling of a memorial at raf tempsford hd

Operational units and aircraft

  • No. 53 Squadron RAF detachment (1946) - Consolidated Liberator VI and VIII
  • No. 109 Squadron RAF (1942) - Vickers Wellington I
  • No. 138 Squadron RAF (1942-1944) - Handley Page Halifax II and V
  • No. 149 Squadron RAF (1943-1944) - Short Stirling III
  • No. 161 Squadron RAF (1942-1945) - Westland Lysander IIIA and other types
  • No. 426 Squadron RCAF (1945) - Consolidated Liberator VIII
  • No. 617 Squadron RAF detachment (1945) - Avro Lancaster I & III
  • Tempsford now

    By 2002 part of the former Tempsford airfield was a concrete-making facility and some of the main airfield buildings had been turned into various commercial workshops. A nearby public footpath led to the end of a substantially intact runway and then on to Gibraltar Farm, the agents' final dispatch point.

    This barn contains several plaques and memorials to the agents, both men and women, who were flown from the airfield, many of whom were later killed after being captured and tortured. A memorial is also to be found in St Peter's Church, in the nearby village of Tempsford, and the Tempsford Memorial is outside the church, commemorating the men and women who served as secret agents in occupied Europe during the Second World War and the RAF aircrew who transported them.


  • AndrĂ©e Borrel and Lise de Baissac (Odile), were the first female SOE agents to be parachuted into occupied France. They flew out from RAF Tempsford on 24 September 1942.
  • Flying Officer Gerald Cruwys was awarded the Croix de guerre for his work with the French Resistance while at RAF Tempsford.
  • Group Captain Edward 'Mouse' Fielden, Station Commander of RAF Tempsford (1942-1944) and a former royal pilot
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Lewis Macdonald Hodges was the Commander of 161 Squadron from May 1943 to 1944.
  • Group Captain Percy Charles Pickard was awarded a second bar to his DSO in March 1943 for his outstanding leadership in command of 161 Squadron
  • Group Captain Hugh Verity, author of We Landed by Moonlight
  • Violette Szabo flew out on both her missions from RAF Tempsford.
  • Wing Commander F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas, otherwise known as the White Rabbit, was dropped in France on 27 February 1943 having been flown out from RAF Tempsford by Pilot Officer Foster.
  • References

    RAF Tempsford Wikipedia

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