RT Call "MAXMUS"(WW2),
Code GAOA(till 1960).EGLK.
Lat/Long 51 19 30N/00 50 30W.
Grid ref SU 806595.
320 feet ASL.
10 miles SSE of Reading.
RUNWAYS(1946):08/26 200x50 yds,14/32 1400x50 yds,01/19 1400x50 yds.
RUNWAYS(1970):08/26 1286x46 m,14/32 884x46 m,01/19 869x46 m.
RUNWAYS (2000):26/08 1342x46 m.Also 08/26 (GRASS) 500x18 m .
In October 1941 a site at Hartfordbridge Flats was requisitioned for the construction of an airfield.Work started almost immediately and the airfield, now known as Blackbushe,was opened as "Hartford Bridge"on 1/11/42.In fact ,even before it was opened,the RAE from nearby Farnborough,had been using the site for glider trials.At first part of 70 Group,the airfield became part of 2TAF on 15/11/43,and on 2/12/44 the name was officially changed to "Blackbushe".The airfield was transferred to 46 Group/Transport command in March 45.Transport Command continued to be the main users until the airfield closed on 15/11/46.
On February 15th 1947 the airfield was transferred to the Ministry of Civil Aviation,and re-opened as "Blackbushe Airport".Blackbushe soon became a major centre for charter and cargo operators such as Britavia,Eagle Aviation,Airwork etc.
An additional occupant,arriving in 1955, was the US Navy,who built a large hangar in the NE corner of the field.In spite of,or perhaps,because of all this activity,Blackbushe was eventually forced to close on 31/5/1960.
In spite of closure in 1960 ,Blackbushe refused to die.The airfield formally re-opened again on 6/10/62(although a small number of light aircraft operated by the Blackbushe Aero Club had remained during the closure ),this time as a GA airfield.At the time of writing this,Blackbushe is a busy and popular General Aviation field,and hopefully ,will remain so for the foreseeable future.Visit the Blackbushe Airfield Website.
In 1955 the U.S.Navy moved in with FASRON 200,a naval liason unit.They operated a number of R4D-8 aircraft(C-117D Super Dakotas)on communication services to other US bases in the UK and Europe.THE unit also had a number of SNB-5(Expeditor)aircraft,and in 1958/59,two R4Y-1(C-131) VIP aircraft.When the airfield closed in May 1960 the unit moved out to West Malling.