RAF Upper Heyford Chasing Cold War Ghosts in Rural Oxfordshire. Ten miles north of Oxford, amidst the green fields and sporadic woodlands of the English countryside, there lies an abandoned military base an encampment of concrete buildings, bunkers and barbed wire spread out around a central runway that bisects the site from east to west. Once, RAF Upper Heyford was a thriving, active air base. During the Cold War period the United States Air Force set up camp right here in Oxfordshire, moving their nuclear ready aircraft ever closer to their enemies in Moscow. By 1. 97. 1, it was the largest fighter base anywhere in Europe. All of that was set to change, however. With the arrival of the 1. Soviet Union collapsed in upon itself and the Cold War fizzled out like a wet firework. The Americans went home, taking their guns and bombs with them while the sprawling military installation at Upper Heyford was largely left to fall into decay. As chance would have it, I had an invitation to explore the Upper Heyford base not long ago. My guide for the day, King. Rat, was a photographer and Cold War buff whose involvement with conservation projects at the base earned him certain access privileges a useful thing to have, as many of the interesting facilities at Upper Heyford are still under round the clock security. Waiting for my ride at the train station, it occurred to me that this would be the first time Id visited a Cold War site on this side of the Iron Curtain. Having spent the majority of the last five years researching military history in Eastern Europe, the idea of touring a USAF base in England felt positively alien to me. But then my guide appeared, and all such thoughts gave way to excitement as we began to make our way to Upper Heyford. The Sight Below Glider Rar' title='The Sight Below Glider Rar' />World War ZWhen the United States Air Force arrived at Upper Heyford, they brought with them a fully functional town. Around the perimeter fence of this high security airbase they built houses, apartments, a school and a cinema bars, baseball courts and a hospital, supermarkets and a petrol or rather, gas station. They had a running track, those US airmen and their families a recreation centre, a bowling alley and a police station. In 1. 99. 3 however, it all came to an end. The Cold War thawed and the settlement disbanded. After that, Upper Heyford reverted to the property of the British MOD. The World Ends With You Patch Italy Map. Some of the buildings have been leased out since, a patchy industrial estate growing amongst the boarded up barracks but many of these facilities have just been left, either awaiting buyers, or a final verdict on their fate. Y06J_2CPwk/0.jpg' alt='The Sight Below Glider Rar' title='The Sight Below Glider Rar' />The former settlement around the base at Upper Heyford had blossomed, at least in part, due to uniquely relaxed regulations on site. This was the only military base in the UK which had remained fully accessible to military and non military alike only the flight line area required military authorisation to access. Driving into Upper Heyford ourselves, we were deep into the blocks of utilitarian, military housing long before wed seen our first checkpoint. SU. Vi N si N Ha t Av F ng iat U ar or N B, s H IS B o ot S ot Lin U h 3 e E 2. Volume 36 3 March 2014 A Buyers Resource Sellers Lead Source. Issuu is a digital publishing platform that makes it simple to publish magazines, catalogs, newspapers, books, and more online. Easily share your publications and get. Continuing on from my prior Diamond Reo post, this is the bands debut issued by Big Tree Records in 1975. While their sophomore album was on the verge of being proto. Militaria Mart features a reputable dealer directory and resource site for collectors of militaria. JPY Japanese Yen Latest News, Analysis and Forex. Latest JPY market news, analysis and Japanese Yen trading forecast from leading. At first glance, the place looked rather like a ghost town gardens overgrown, some windows boarded up but soon, we started passing signs of life amidst the ruin. Nestled here and there were private houses, curtains drawn and lawns neatly mown. We passed pedestrians, the occasional joggers and dog walkers regular civilians, making a home for themselves amongst the Cold War debris. As my guide told me, the MOD have encouraged young families to move back into these former RAF houses at Upper Heyford. As many as 3. 00 have been sold into private hands so far, although an MOD plan to build a further 1. Filmmakers, too, have been drawn to the empty streets and houses at Upper Heyford. While much of the bases residential area is lying in various states of dereliction the hospital building for example, while awaiting a new buyer, has fallen prey to vandals and graffiti a few structures have been immortalised. We drove past the Base Exchange forecourt that I immediately recognised from the zombie movie World War Z. Bubble letters above the boarded up entrance spelled out, Welcome to your storeThat wasnt the first time Upper Heyford has featured on the silver screen, either. It starred as a USAFE base in West Germany, for the 1. Bond film Octopussy it had its name changed to Lower Heyford for a feature in the drama series 2. The Fourth Protocol it stood in for the fictional RAF Baywaters. Recognise this passageway Try imagining it with Brad Pitt, a bicycle and zombies. We stopped in a shop this time a real one, not the backdrop to some post apocalyptic zombie movie. The place struck me as a mix between a regular village shop, and the kind of clean and purpose built facilities Id encountered at active military bases during my time with the cadets penny sweets and broadsheet papers, arranged on scrubbed metal shelves. There was a smell in the air of bleach and rubber. On the counter, a collection pot for the UK military charity Help for Heroes. Fully stocked on drinks and snacks, we headed back to the car. It was time to cross the main security fence past the barbed wire and checkpoints, past the colourful array of warning signs, to take a closer look at the inner workings of a nuclear ready Cold War air force base. RAF Upper Heyford. The military base at Upper Heyford led a relatively quiet early life. The Royal Flying Corps moved onsite in 1. RAF flights coming out of Upper Heyford two years later. For the most part though, it served through both World Wars and the period between as a training facility. Following WWII, the RAF moved out of Upper Heyford and leased the site to the US Air Force. In response to what was perceived as a growing threat in the Soviet Union, the site at Upper Heyford was just one of four UK airbases which would provide the US with a tactical foothold in Europe. The others RAF Brize Norton, RAF Fairford and RAF Greenham Common would be similarly developed over the coming years to provide a home for the strategic bombers of the USAF. The first American personnel arrived in July 1. Air Base Squadron, consisting of one officer and 2. Following an official handover to the USAF Third Air Force in May the following year however, the base would begin a radical redevelopment program. Over the course of its role as a US Air Force base in Europe, Upper Heyford saw a long list of tactical wings and flight squadrons come and go. In those first years after the handover, rotational temporary duty units stationed here included the 9. Bomb Wing, 9. 7th Air Refuelling Squadron, 5. Air Refuelling Squadron, 3. Bomb Wing, 8th Air Sea Rescue Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing, 5th Bomb Wing Detachment, and the 2. Ricoh Aficio 1045 Rpcs Driver more. Bomb Wing. Some relative stability would come in 1. Third Air Force transferred control of the base to the USAF Strategic Air Command. The SAC brought with them the Boeing B 5. Bombardment Squadron and over the following years, as the base was expanded and reinforced for these larger, heavier aircraft, a full compliment of 4. B 5. 2 bombers would be deployed under the 2nd Bombardment Wing. In the second half of the 1. RB 3. 6 Peacemakers of the 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing and by 1. Soviet nuclear tests and the missile crisis in Cuba, Upper Heyford played host to the top secret Lockheed U 2 spy planes.
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