This is something that was discovered while sorting thro’ a lot of old paperwork in an office! An article in the Dorset Echo, Friday May 25, 2007
LETTER IN DORCHESTER EVENING ECHO
FRIDAY MAY 25TH 2007
Written by: Dominic O’C, Crossways
It appears that we will not be content until we have completely obliterated what is arguably the most important wartime airfield in the south/southwest (Preserve wartime relics if you want peace, says councillor’ Echo May 17)
The history of RAF Warmwell is a long, important and highly courageous one – commencing in May 1937 as 6 APC (Armament Practice Camp) and acquiring the name of ’Warmwell’ instead of the original ‘Woodsford’, thereby avoiding confusion with the Avro factory airfield at Woodsford, Manchester in July 1938.
The pilots of the many squadrons based here over the years of war were from many nations and undoubtedly contributed greatly to changing the face of history.
As a protector of Portland Naval Base, Warmwell launched the Spitfires of 609/152 squadrons in action from Bristol to Bognor Regis.
The Goring and Rommel gun emplacements in Dieppe and the Hindenburg coastal battery were all severely damaged by Hurricane fighter bombers of 175 squadron. Westland Whirlwind fighter bombers continued to take the war to the aggressor on day and night raids in 1943.
USAAF Spitfires appeared in July 1942 briefly, followed by the Thunderbolts of 4th Fighter group in September 1943.
The Ninth USAAF went onto operate bombing and strafing attacks over France until they could move to France in August 1944. The RAF returned to provide the Second Tactical Air Force squadrons with air firing practice prior to them leaving to be based in France.
Finally, after VE day (May 8th 1945) in June Spitfires landed here after escorting the King and Queen on their visit to the Channel Islands. After the departure of the RAF Tempest Vs to Germany in September, the airfield was reduced to ‘care and maintenance’ in November.
A truly versatile airfield meeting the many and changing demands of war, bombed and suffering losses of pilots and other ground personnel. Warmwell fought on, providing one of a vital number of ‘springboard’ airfields from which we gained a foothold to advance across Europe to Germany.
One last landing was to take place – perhaps saving the pilot, Harald Penrose, chief test pilot of Westland aircraft.
After suffering an engine failure while flying a Western Wyvern he broke cloud at 3,000 feet to find himself in sight of Warmwell.
I support Peter Read’s call to save what little remains.
Is the developer, Ravine Investments, listening, I wonder?