MAPROOM




They Came This Way
Part I — Movements of the 225th AAA S/L Bn
in Great Britain: Castle Camps


RUNWAY (14 K)


   The village of Castle Camps lies on the Essex/Cambridgeshire border, 15 miles southeast of Cambridge. [ See Castle Camps today; the photo above shows one of the runways as it looked last year (2000). ] On the map below, Castle Camps appears in the lower right in the center of the raised disk.

CASTLE CAMPS MAP (98 K)


   The airfield at Castle Camps was built in September 1939 and opened as a Debden satellite in June 1940. 85 Squadron and 111 Squadron had short periods there. 73 Squadron flew Hurricanes from Castle Camps in September, but there were no permanent structures, only tents to live in, and those squadrons left in November 1940 to convert to night flying. Castle Camps was exposed and windy and in 1941 some better facilities and operating runways were built. The original grass runways were replaced with tarmac runways by the end of 1941 and hard-standings were constructed as well (click on the following aerial photo of the airfield at Castle Camp to view a larger version; in the photo, All Saints Church is in the upper left, with the village of Castle Camps in the upper right background).

CASTLE CAMPS AIRFIELD (9 K)


In 1942 the first Mosquitos started to assemble here in great secrecy for test flying with 157 Squadron until replaced in March 1943 by Number 605 Mosquito Squadron. In July 1943 Castle Camps became a satellite of North Weald and the Mosquito began to be used for intruder operations, and later for bomber support operations. Mosquitos left Castle Camps in October 1943. 527 Radar Calibration Squadron replaced them until February 1944 when Spitfires arrived, then Typhoons, then Tempests, all leaving quickly. The Canadian 410 Squadron again flew Mosquitos from Castle Camps until April 1944. In July to October 1944, 68 Squadron's Mosquitos also arrived, and also those of 151 and 25 Squadron. In 1945 307 and 85 Squadrons flew from here, also in Mosquitos.

   The following is a complete list of squadrons (dates are in European format, dd/mm/yy):
85 Sqn Hurricane — 23/5/40-19/8/40 and 3/9/40-5/9/40
73 Sqn Hurricane — 5/9/40-6/11/40
157 Sqn Mosquito — 18/12/41-15/3/43
605 Sqn Mosquito — 15/3/43-6/10/43
456 Sqn RAAF Mosquito — 29/3/43-17/8/43
527 RCS Sqn Blenheim, Hurricane, Hornet, Moth — 15/6/43-28/2/44
91 Sqn Spitfire — 29/2/44-17/3/44
486 Sqn RNZAF Tempest — 6/3/44-21/3/44: 29/3/44-29/4/44
410 Sqn RCAF Mosquito — 30/12/43-29/4/44
68 Sqn Mosquito — 23/6/44-28/12/44
151 Sqn Mosquito — 8/10/44-19/11/44
25 Sqn Mosquito — 27/10/44-14/7/45
307 Sqn (Polish) Mosquito — 27/1/45-31/5/45
   The stay of the 225th (probably one day, 1 March 1944) coincided with the tenure of the 527th Radar Coordination Squadron (who were at Castle Camps between 15 June 1943 and 28 February 1944). The station closed in January 1946.


1943 Postcard Views of Castle Camps

   These magnificent vintage postcard views of Castle Camps come to us courtesy Madge Radley, a former WAAF stationed at the RAF fields at Debdon and Castle Camps, who purchased them in 1943, and her son, Alan Radley, who scanned them in 2001. (Alan's dad was also stationed at RAF Debdon, as an aircraft fitter.) Click on any card below to view an enlargement.

BARTLOW ROAD (14 K)
Bartlow Road

PARISH CHURCH (20 K)
Parish Church

THE CORNER (19 K)
The "Corner"

THE GREEN (13 K)
The "Green"

HIGH STREET (16 K)
High Street

HIGH STREET (17 K)
High Street



AIRFEILD MEMORIAL (20 K)

The RAF airfield memorial at Castle Camps
(click to enlarge; photo by Alan Hardy)


AIRFEILD MEMORIAL (11 K)

Closeup of the memorial
(click to enlarge; photo by Alan Hardy)



ROAD (18 K)

Sixty years ago, they came this way ...
Amidst the foliage of English Summer,
a view of All Saints Church, Castle Camp.



Next — Moor Park!



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