TARRANT RUSHTON

Code:MAZT,later EGWT.
Lat/Long N50.51.00 W02.04.30.
Grid ref ST946058.
255 feet AMSL.
Ident"TK".later "KS".(1944 RT callsign"Cheekbone",HF/DF AN7)

RUNWAYS:Concrete.01/19 2000x50 yds,08/26 1400x50 yds,13/31 1400x50yds.

tr map
Tarrant Rushton plan - 1945
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Building of the airfield at Tarrant Rushton commenced in May 1942,the airfield being intened for the use of airborne forces of 38 Wing.On 17th May 1943 the base was handed over while still unfinished.Glider operations finally started in October 1943 and continued until 1945.Aircraft from Tarrant took part in both D-Day and operation"Market Garden "(Arnhem).During the closing stages of WW2 aircraft were used for SOE operations.
In September 1946 the airfield was placed on Care and Maintenance status until abandoned in December 1947.

To view excerpts from the station Operations Records Book (originally on the now defunct Tarrant Rushton website), click on the links below.
Tarrant Rushton Operations Record Book 1943.
Tarrant Rushton Operations Record Book 1944.
Tarrant Rushton Operations Record Book 1945.
Tarrant Rushton Operations Record Book 1946.

However 6 months later in June 1948 Flight Refuelling arrived to begin 30 years of occupancy.Almost immediately,Flight Refuelling became involved in the Berlin Airlift and ,between July 1948 and August 1949,carried out nearly 4500 sorties using Lancastrians and Lancasters.

The photo below, provided Dave Horne, shows a Flight Refueling Lancaster XPP(Canadian built ) undergoing mainetance at Tarrant Rushton in 1948.Dave's father was an engine fitter working on the aircraft at Tarrant.Thanks to Derek King for clarifying the precise type.

During the following 30 years most activity was centred around conversion of aircraft for in-flight refueling.The most numerous type was the Gloster Meteor.Trials were carried out with KB-29Ds of the USAF (see image below) using a three point probe & drogue system.In addition a number of Meteors were refurbished for export to Syria, Israel,Egypt,France, Sweden and Ecuador. F-84s and T-33s of the Belgian Airforce also received attention from Flight Refueling Ltd.To see a list of known exports of Meteors via Tarrant Rushton,and also aircraft converted to U.15/16/21 configuration.To view CLICK HERE.

In the 70s Flight Refueling moved out,flying operations moving to Hurn,and the airfield was used only by gliders and occasional light aircraft until it was officially closed on 30th of September 1980.

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Tarrant Rushton from the air in 2010.The runway layout still shows clearly although 20 years have passed since most of the concrete was removed.
Amongst the buildings still remaining at Tarrant Rushton is this hangar,photographed in March 2003 by Shaun Churchill.
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RAF UNITS
7 Sq ,Canberra TT18,arr 4-70,dep 5-70(Based temporarily for training)
196 Sq,Stirling III/IV,arr 7-1-44,dep 14-3-44
295 SQ,Halifax A.VII,formed 21-1-46 from 190 Sq,renumbered as 297Sq 1-4-46
297 Sq,Halifax A.Vii,Renumbered from 295 Sq 1-4-46,dep 5-9-46
298 Sq,Halifax V/III/A.VII,formed 4-11-43,dep 5-7-45.
644 Sq,Halifax V/III/A.VII.formed from elements of 298Sq 23-3-44,dep 1-12-45
Airborne Forces of 38 Wing used Hamilcar,Hadrian and Horsa Gliders.
210 Advanced Flying School/RAFTC,Meteor F3/T7,Vampire FB5,Oxford,arr 5-8-52,closed 29-4-54(some sources give date as 13-3-54).

The remains of Halifax V LL332Y of 298 Squadron which crashed at Mont De Lavaut on 11-09-44 whilst
on a para-dropping mission . 4 on board were killed - two survived.

Photos of Tarrant Rushton today may be found at Airfield Information Exchange'sWebsite.
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