The Wartime Memories Project - RAF Honeybourne

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Honeybourne Airfield opened 3/12/40 and was used for training Canadian pilots.

The Airfield closed in 1947. The runways have now reverted to farm land and part of the site is now an industrial park. The control tower is now a private dwelling.

Plan of the Airfield

RAF Honeybourne - plan

Wireless-Operator/Air Gunner Sgt Donald A. Marriott died in 'plane crash over England returning from training mission. The aircraft was an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V Bomber from no.24 Operational Training unit, Honeybourne serial no.Z6639. The Whitley was a pre war bomber which had been superceded by the Halifax,so was elderly by wartime standards and probably the worse for wear. It had taken off from Honeybourne on a non operational training flight shortly after lunch. Soon thereafter the weather worsened developing low cloud and rainstorms.Airborne crews were recalled to base and even an American Douglas DC33 landed because of the appalling conditions. We will never know what happened,but the crew was inexperienced and the most likely explanation is that they became disorientated due to the adverse weather and decended to ascertain a position. The Whitley crashed into high ground just 200yds from the Royal Observer Corps post at Broadway Tower at 14.15hrs. and the e ntire crew except for the rear gunner were killed on impact, he, however, died of his injuries.It is very sad that so many bomber aircrew were killed in accidents just like this,a fact which is not widely appreciated. The other crew were:-

  • Sgt. H.G.Hagan.Pilot
  • Sgt. R.S.Phillips. Navigator
  • Sgt. D.H.Kelly. Bomb Aimer
  • Sgt. G.E.Ekins. Rear Gunner

A whitley from Honeybourne was shot down by dca in my area, orne normandy 20 may 22 23 1944. Pilot FL Goodwin. All the rcaf crew desappeared in the crash and we will erect a monument in 2005 due to the fact the crash has been discovered only in 1998 by myself after a long investigation. There were only 2 witnesses.

Roger Cornevin-Hayton

I am researching the Roll of Honour for my old school and one casualty was Pilot Officer E.L. Bedford. He took off from Honeybourne in a Whitley bomber belonging to 24 Operations Training Unit (OTU) on 24/25 June 1942 heading for Bremen. OTU's very often flew in missions with a/c crewed by trained crews.

The Whitley was a Mk V serial number Z 9441. The rest of the crew were: Pilot Officer J.A. Preston RCAF, Pilot Officer W.G.W. Lapham and Sergeants C.R. Robertson RCAF and A.E.Owen.

Any information please?

Phil Stanbridge

My friend Tanina is searching for her grandad, who was based in Honeybourne in the 40s. His name we beleive is/was Theodore Bell. He was an Amercian G.I. Had had a relationship with Tania`s nan, Anne Lloyd/Smith and they had a son Roger in 1945. Theodore knew of his son and returned from states when his son was about one year old. I was just wondering if anyone had any pictures of the troops around then. Any information would be a start. Kind Regards

I currently rent a small unit on the old airfield site near to the scrapyard entrance. As a keen aviation enthusiast I am very interested in the site. I have often wondered where the runways used to be and to what type of use the airfield was put. There are numerous bomb shelters still in existence which lead one to assume that the control tower would not have its own shelter, time and economic restraints usually meant that underground shelters, especially those under buildings, were avoided if at all possible. please let me know if I'm wrong. Do you have any wartime photos of the site as I would be very pleased to see some. One thing I was curious about when viewing the 'control tower' was the viewing hut on the roof. Other wartime control towers had these wooden glazed huts attached to provide a view point over the airfield. Is there any evidence of this structure on the roof?

Simon Chandler

I live in the old control tower on Honeybourne airfield and am interested in the construction of the building, primarily if we have any underground bunkers or passages below the tower itself. It was built in 1940 I think.

Do you know where I could get any information, would MOD plans be free after this length of time?

Harry Righton


Honeybourne hanger
Hanger now used as an industrial unit.
If you have any Photographs you would like to share please get in touch.

List of those who served here.

  • Theodore Bell.
  • Pilot Officer E.L. Bedford.
  • Irene (Parr) Brennan. WAAF
  • F/S Dwyer. pilot. 24 OTU.
  • Sgt. G.E.Ekins. Rear Gunner 24 OTU. Read his Story
  • Stuart Paul Gibson
  • F/O David Webster Goodwin. pilot 24 OTU. (d. 23 May 1944) Read his Story
  • Sgt. H.G.Hagan. Pilot 24 OTU. Read his Story
  • Joseph Hong. nav. 24 OTU. Read his Story
  • John Hopper. air gunner 24 OTU. Read his Story
  • Sgt W.M. James. airgunner
  • Sgt. D.H.Kelly. Bomb Aimer 24 OTU. Read his Story
  • S/L King. pilot. 24 OTU.
  • Pilot Officer W.G.W. Lapham
  • Sgt. A.E.Owen.
  • Sgt Donald A. Marriott. W/op Airgunner 24 OTU. Read his Story
  • Donald McLeod
  • Sgt. R.S.Phillips. Navigator 24 OTU. Read his Story
  • Pilot Officer J.A. Preston RCAF
  • Sergeant C.R. Robertson RCAF
  • F/O Russell. pilot. 24 OTU.
  • F/O Scrivens. pilot. 24 OTU.
  • P/O George 'Geordie' Wade. Air Bomber. 24 OTU. Read his Story
  • F/S Ward. pilot. 24 OTU.
  • Sgt Wilde. pilot. 24 OTU.
  • Charles Beverly Wyckoff. air bomber 24 OTU.Read his Story

If you have any names to add to this list, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.

If you have a story which you would like to share, or a website dedicated to an airfield or aircrew, please get in touch.

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Angry Skies Across The Vale
Brian Kedward
Our Price: 28.00

An authentic day-to-day record of the events that took place on the RAF Airfields at Honeybourne and Long Marston.

More Information on
Angry Skies Across The Vale

Airfields Index

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