Nostalgia: When Cotswold Airport was a military base

Next year marks 30 years since the RAF left the airfield at Kemble.

Once the base of the Red Arrows, it is now home to an array of civilian and veteran aircraft, including one of the last British Airways Jumbo jets in retired from passenger service.

Built in 1936 as an RAF station, it was used in the Second World War for preparation and ferrying aircraft around the country.

In 1940 one of its pilots, Pilot Officer Alec Bird, flying an unarmed Hurricane brought down a German bomber after colliding with its tail.

In 1966 the Red Arrows moved in with their Gnat and then Hawk aircraft, before flying off to Scampton in 1983.

The next residents were the American who brought their F-15 Eagles, A-10 Thunderbolts, Boeing Stratotankers and other aircraft. As the Cold War subsided they handed the field back to the Ministry of Defence and the final military flights were in 1993.

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