Timeline

Day Month Year Event
  1943 Construction of the station began by the McAlpine company
and was to consist of a 2000 yard runway, two T2 hangars and
50 loop dispersals.
 
16thSep1943 The US 32nd General Field Hospital moved to the Fairford
town area.
 
 Dec1943 Before the station opened and while still under
construction Airspeed Oxford training aircraft
from No 3 (P) Advanced Flying Unit based at South Cerney
used Fairford for flying training.
 
17thJan1944 A station opening party arrived in preparation for the
official opening the next day.
 
18thJan1944 The RAF station opened as part of Number 38 (Airborne
Forces) Group, RAF.
 
13thFeb1944 Senior officers from No 38 Group HQ visited RAF Fairford
by air, the station’s first official aircraft movement.
18thMar1944 620 Squadron, RAF arrived  from RAF Leicester East with 50
Stirling aircraft and 100 Horsa gliders and immediately
begun flying Special Operations Executive (SOE) support missions. 
Most SOE
missions saw aircraft from RAF Fairford stop at Tarrant Rushton
airfield before heading off to Europe.
 
25thMar1944 190 Squadron, RAF arrived also with 50 Stirling IV aircraft and 25
Horsa gliders.
 
30thMar1944 190 and 620 Sqns were split into 9, 10, 23 and 24
Flights.  
 
29thApr1944 RAF Fairford lost its first Horsa glider when it crashed
in the local Fairford area.
 
1stMay1944 The US 32nd Field Hospital left Fairford town and later
became the first hospital to be setup in occupied
France.
 
17thApr1944 A Horsa glider, LJ263, crashed into the RAF Fairford
control tower.
 
22ndMay1944 The final exercise for D-Day took place, Exercise
Turnaround.
 
2ndJun1944 The station was sealed in preparation for D Day.
 
5thJun1944 As part of D-Day RAF Fairford supported Operation Tonga
when 45 Stirlings with 900 paratroopers from the 6th
Airborne departed to secure bridges on the River Orne in
France.
6thJun1944 Missions for Operation Mallard were flown as support for
the previous day’s Operation Tonga.  25 Stirlings
supported D-Day+1 by transporting the 6th Airborne
Landing Brigade to France as re-enforcements.
18thJun1944 190 Sqn took part in Op Townhall VIII, a large re-supply
mission in Europe.
 
19thJun1944 4 Waco gliders arrived at RAF Fairford for trials with
the Stirling tow aircraft.
 
29thJun1944 2886 Squadron of the RAF Regiment who were previously at RAF
Fairford moved to the Hawkhinge area.
27thJul1944 A P-47D, 42-75863, crashed while taxiing at RAF
Fairford.
 
 Jul1944 Missions flown to support SOE and SAS operations over
Europe increased to the rate of 20 a night.
22ndJul1944 RAF Fairford’s aircraft continued to suffer losses, on
this day two Stirlings, LJ 882 and LJ684, went missing
while on missions over Europe.
 
28thJul1944 Two Dakotas ferried SAS troops from RAF Fairford to a
landing site in Normandy, France.
 Aug1944 With the D-Day invasion missions over RAF Fairford
returned to flying SOE and SAS support missions each
night.
 
6thSep1944 A Stirling aircraft, EF296, crashed on landing due to a
burst tyre.
 
16Sep1944 190 and 620 Sqns towed 32 Horsa gliders to
Rome/Crompton, Italy as part of Operation Molton to
retrieve survivors.
 
16thSep1944 Operation Market Garden missions were launched in
support of Arneham.  Pathfinders from 21 Landing Company
left RAF Fairford in 12 Stirlings.
 
5thOct1944 An advanced party moved to RAF Great Dunmow, Essex to
prepare for the moving of 190 and 620 Sqns there.
 
14thOct1944 190 Sqn left RAF Fairford for RAF Great Dunmow as the
front line moved from France to Holland. 
16thOct1944 620 Sqn and the station HQ left Fairford for RAF Great
Dunmow.  RAF Fairford became a satellite station of RAF
Keevil.
 
20thOct1944 Albemarle aircraft with Waco and Horsa gliders from
Flights C, D and F of the 22nd Heavy Glider Conversion
Unit moved to RAF Fairford.
 
12thDec1944 Ninety-seven C-47s from the 50th Troop Carrier Wing
stopped at RAF Fairford for 3 days before returning to
their base in France when their exercise was cancelled.
 
21stOct1945 The Flights from 22 Heavy Glider Conversion Unit moved
from RAF Fairford to their parent station RAF Blakehill
Farm.
 
27thJan1946 1529 Radio Aids Training Flight with Oxfords moved to
RAF Fairford until mid 1946.
 
Jan1946 1556 Radio Aids Training Flight came to RAF Fairford
until July.
 
 Feb1946 1555 Radio Aids Training Flight came to RAF Fairford,
staying longer than the others until August 1947.
 Sep1946 47 Squadron arrived with Halifax Mk7 aircraft and carried out
exercises with airborne forces before moving to
Dishforth in Sept 1948.
 
 Apr1947 It was approved for RAF Fairford to accept in the near
future up to 24 aircraft, 2 Squadrons and 283 Wing.
14thApr1947 283 Wing RAF and 113 Squadron arrived at RAF Fairford with
the task of providing the 6th Airborne Division with
transport training.  283 Wing HQ moved to RAF Fairford
from Palestine.
21stAug1947 297 Squadron moved to RAF Fairford from RAF Brize Norton with
Halifax aircraft.
 
19thSep1947 295 Squadron was reformed with Halifax aircraft but disbanded
in Oct 1948.
 
22ndOct1947 By this time RAF Fairford was home to 24 Halifax, 5
Hamilcar gliders, 1 Oxford and 1 Tiger Moth aircraft.
7thAug1948 The UK government approved a request by the United States to
operate heavy bombers from airfields in England.
 
Sep1948 As part of a reduction in forces 295 and 297 Sqns were
reduced to 12 Halifax aircraft.
 
15thSep1948 113 Sqn was disbanded at RAF Fairford, while 47 Sqn
moved to Dishforth.
 
1stOct1948 295 Sqn was disbanded and became part of 297 Sqn.
 
1stNov1948 297 Sqn left Fairford for Dishforth.
 
13thDec1948 A Harvard, FT224, crashed close to Fairford.
 
Dec1948 Wartime station RAF Fairford was closed.
 
 Aug1949 Until June 1950 RAF Fairford’s runway was used by 204
Advanced Flying School based at nearby RAF Brize Norton who
flew Mosquito training aircraft.
7Jul1950 The United States Air Force’s 7507th Air Base Squadron
was formed at RAF Fairford under the command of Major
Flood and USAFE.
 
29Jul1950 The 817th Engineering Aviation Battalion arrived.
 
18Aug1950 Construction plans to build an 8000’x150′ runway with
two 1000′ overruns were agreed upon.
 
22Sep1950 An RAF Anson aircraft, UP513, had its tail unit collapse
on landing at RAF Fairford when officers from HQ 3 Grp
visited.
 
 Oct1950 A Tiger Moth aircraft was delivered to the RAF Fairford
Station Flight for flying practice use.
 
30Dec1950 Nine B-50s of the 93rd Bomb Wing based at RAF Marham
arrived at RAF Fairford, with air traffic control
operating out of a C-47.  They returned to RAF Marham on
4th January.
 
21Apr1951 A Company of the 804th EAB arrived at RAF Fairford to
help with construction work.
 
3May1951 The 7th Air Division became part of the new 3rd Air
Force while Fairford was being improved to handle B-29
and B-50 bombers. 
 
18May1951 The 7507th ABS became the 7507th Air Base Group.
 
19May1951 A new unit, the 2nd Aviation Field Depot Squadron were
formed at RAF Fairford to handle munitions.
 
25May1951 The 7507th Air Police Sqn, Food Services Sqn,
Installations Sqn, Medical Sqn, Motor Vehicle Sqn,
Operations Sqn and Supply Sqn were formed at RAF
Fairford.
 
1Jul1951 RAF Fairford was transferred to the USAF with just 3 RAF
officers remaining for liaison duties.
 
10Mar1952 The 7522nd Air Base Sqn were assigned to RAF Fairford.
 
1Jul1952 The 7582nd Air Base Sqn were assigned to RAF Fairford.
 
1Aug1952 The 7582nd Air Base Sqn left RAF Fairford.
 
26Aug1952 A Prentice trainer, VS394, crashed during formation
practice while over RAF Fairford.
 
16Oct1952 The base was transferred to the Strategic Air Command
and the 7507th renamed the 3919th ABG.
 
10Nov1952 The 7522nd Air Base Sqn left RAF Fairford.
 
7Feb1953 The first residents arrived, seventeen B-36 bombers from Carswell AFB.
 
7Feb1953 A B-36 flew for 30 miles after its crew baled out before crashing near Chippenham.
 
7Apr1953 The first two B-47s arrived at RAF Fairford for a short
stay on a proving flight.
 
2Jun1953 The first deployment of forty-five B-47s arrived from 306th Bomb
Wing in the US with an Atlantic crossing of less than
six
hours.
 
28Jul1953 A 305th BW B-47 flew from Maine, USA to RAF Fairford in
4h45m 
 
4Sep1953 Forty-five B-47s of the 305th BW flew from Florida to Fairford
to replace the forty-five from the 306th BW who flew back home
to Florida.
 
Nov1953 The first B-47E deployment to the UK arrived at RAF
Fairford.
 
28Apr1954 The 303rd Air Refueling Sqn, 303rd Armament and
Electrical Maint Sqn, 303rd Bomb Wing, 303rd Field Maint
Sqn, 303rd Periodic Maint Sqn, 303rd Tactical Hospital,
358th Bomb Sqn, 359th Bomb Sqn and 360th Bomb Sqn
arrived at RAF Fairford.
 
8May1954 Three RB-47E aircraft leave RAF Fairford for a secret
mission over the Soviet Union.
 
5Jun1954 The 303rd Air Refueling Sqn, 303rd Armament and
Electrical Maint Sqn, 303rd Bomb Wing, 303rd Field Maint
Sqn, 303rd Periodic Maint Sqn, 303rd Tactical Hospital,
358th Bomb Sqn, 359th Bomb Sqn and 360th Bomb Sqn left
RAF Fairford.
 
19Jun1954 The 68th Field Maint Sqn arrived at RAF Fairford.
 
Jul1954 Reconnaissance aircraft RB-47Fs from the 5th SRW visited
RAF Fairford.
 
 Jul1954 Also in July three squadrons of B-47Es from the 43rd BW
came to Fairford for a three month deployment.
 
20Jul1954 A B-47E, 51-1738, from the 68th Bomb Wing crashed on
take off.
 
4Aug1954 The 68th Field Maint Sqn left RAF Fairford.
 
6Aug1954 Another B-47E, 51-2382, crashed after stalling on take
off 2 miles from Fairford, all four onboard were killed.
 
18Sep1954 The 43rd Air Refueling Sqn, 43rd Armament and Electrical
Maint Sqn, 43rd Bomb Wing, 43rd Field Maint Sqn, 43rd
Periodic Maint Sqn, 43rd Tactical Hospital, 63rd Bomb
Sqn, 64th Bomb Sqn and 65 Bomb Sqn arrived at RAF
Fairford
 
 Dec1954 A Fairford based B-47 flew for 47 hours 35 minutes
covering 21,000 miles to test the potential range of the
aircraft.
 
9Dec1954 The 43rd Air Refueling Sqn, 43rd Armament and Electrical
Maint Sqn, 43rd Bomb Wing, 43rd Field Maint Sqn, 43rd
Periodic Maint Sqn, 43rd Tactical Hospital, 63rd Bomb
Sqn, 64th Bomb Sqn and 65 Bomb Sqn left RAF Fairford.
 
Apr1955 Exercise Boiler Maker saw sixty B-47s recover to
Fairford.
 
1May1955 The Provisional Fairford Task Force was formed, all
other details unknown.
 
22May1955 The 1st Bomb Sqn, 9th Field Maint Sqn and 99th Bomb Sqn
arrived at Fairford.
 
24May1955 The 9th Armament and Electrical Maint Sqn and 9th
Periodic Maint Sqn arrived.
 
8Jul1955 The 1st Bomb Sqn left Fairford.
 
9Jul1955 The 9th Armament and Electrical Maint Sqn, 9th Periodic
Maint Sqn, 9th Field Maint Sqn and 99th Bomb Sqn left.
 
15Oct1955 The 3919th ABG was renamed the 3919th Support Squadron.
 
15Oct1955 The 3919th (7507th) Air Police Sqn, Food Services Sqn,
Medical Sqn and Motor Vehicles Sqn left.
 
1May1955 A B-47E, 52-0386, crashed on take off from RAF Fairford.
 
15Jun1956 The 2nd Aviation (Field) Depot Squadron left RAF
Fairford.
 
 Dec1956 Forty-four British air traffic controllers were trained at
Fairford by the United States Military Air Transport
Service to support USAF air traffic control operations
in the UK.
 
1Jan1958 RAF Fairford was assigned the additional peace-war
responsibility of supporting aircraft of the “Reflex
Action” force on continuous alert.  This included the
operational control of the visiting aircraft.
1Jan1959 The 3919th Air Base Squadron was re-designated the
3919th Combat Support Group, in accordance with SAC
General Order 67, dated October 1958.  The 3919th CSG
was assigned to the 3920th CSG at RAF Brize Norton.
 April1959 In April there were fifteen Reflex redeployments of the
six B-47s from the 68th BW, Chennault AFB, Louisiana. 
An annual 7th Air Division also took place and the base
was given a satisfactory rating.
 May1959 In the month of May, the 3919th supported six B-47s on
Reflex Alert at RAF Fairford.  Throughout the month
twelve different aircraft arrived and departed.  All of
the aircraft were from the 68th Bombardment Wing of
Chennault AFB.
 May1959 The authorised manning figures for the 3919th CSG for
the month of May was 800 military personnel.
May1959 Thirty-one bomber alerts were held this month,
twenty-one Alpha, eight Bravo and two Cocoa.
 
 Jun1959 Six Reflex B-47 bomber aircraft from the 68th Bomb Wing
were supported by the base, with fifteen different
aircraft arriving and twelve departing that month.  
 
Jun1959 Seven Bravo alerts and one Cocoa alert were held in
June.
 
 Aug1959 Six Reflex B-47 bomber aircraft from the 68th Bomb Wing
were supported by the base, with twelve different
aircraft arriving and departing that month.  
 
5Aug1959 Colonel Bender, the 68th BW Commander, visited RAF
Fairford.
 
20Aug1959 Colonel Strauss, the 806th Division Commander, visited.
 
Aug1959 Five Alpha alerts and ten Bravo alerts were held in
August.
 
 Sep1959 Six Reflex B-47 bomber aircraft from the 68th Bomb Wing
were supported by the base, with twelve different
aircraft arriving and departing that month.  
 
Sep1959 Fifteen different aircraft arrived and twenty departed
in September.
 
Sep1959 Twenty-three Alpha alerts, nine Bravo alerts and one
Cocoa alert were held.
 
15Sep1959 Colonel Keyes, Director of Operations for the 806th Air
Division visited.
 
 Oct1959 Six Reflex B-47 bomber aircraft from the 68th Bomb Wing
were supported by the base, with eighteen different
aircraft arriving and 18 departing that month.  
 
Oct1959 Twenty-two Alpha alerts, ten Bravo alerts and two Cocoa
alerts were held.
 
 Nov1959 Six Reflex B-47 bomber aircraft from the 68th Bomb Wing
were supported by the base, with twelve different
aircraft arriving and departing that month. 
 
Nov1959 Twenty-two Alpha alerts, nine Bravo alerts and two Cocoa
alerts were held.
 
 Dec1959 Six Reflex B-47 bomber aircraft from the 68th Bomb Wing
were supported by the base, with fifteen different
aircraft arriving and departing that month
.  
Dec1959 Twenty-two Alpha alerts, nine Bravo alerts and one Cocoa
alert were held.
Jan1960 Six B-47 aircraft from the 68th Bombardment Wing of
Chennault AFB, Louisiana were supported, while nine
arrived and nine departed that month.  Three aircraft
were diverted to Spain on their way to Fairford because
of the weather.
 
Jan1960 Nineteen Alpha alerts, five Bravo alerts and two Cocoa
alerts were held in January.
 
 Feb1960 Six B-47 aircraft from the 68th Bombardment Wing of
Chennault AFB, Louisiana were supported, while twelve
arrived and twelve departed that month.  Scarves that
the crews were issued to wear on alert became a
problem.  The blue ones issued by RAF Fairford were no
longer presentable so the white scarves provided by
their home station were used instead.
 
Feb1960 Twenty-eight Alpha alerts, six Bravo alerts and one
Cocoa alert were held.
 
 May1960 Six B-47 aircraft from the 68th Bombardment Wing of
Chennault AFB, Louisiana were supported, while twelve
arrived and twelve departed that month.  TAC Site #3 on
base was prepared for use when winds introduced the need
to use Runway 10.
 
 Jun1960 Six B-47 aircraft from the 68th Bombardment Wing of
Chennault AFB, Louisiana were supported, while fifteen
arrived and fifteen departed that month.
 
22Jun1960 A requirement for maintenance personnel to familiarise
themselves with the loading of the new B-52 aircraft was
received.  The project codenamed Alarm Bell would
involve the use of an MN-8 bomb bay training device at
RAF Brize Norton.
 
 Jul1960 Six B-47 aircraft from the 68th Bombardment Wing of
Chennault AFB, Louisiana were supported, while twelve
arrived and twelve departed that month.
 
16Jul1960 B-52 aircraft were expected to now become possible
visitors to air bases in the UK.
 
26Jul1960 The base had a Broken Arrow exercise, during which a
Bravo alert was held.
 
 Aug1960 Six B-47 aircraft from the 68th Bombardment Wing of
Chennault AFB, Louisiana were supported, while fifteen
arrived and fifteen departed that month.
 
24Aug1960 The SAC Inspector General, Brig Gen Wells, conducted an
inspected of all base facilities and considered the
operation was being run well.
 
 Jul1961 The Reflex Action aircraft strength doubled and the 68th
BW increased to 9 B-47s and the 96th BW to 3.
 
1Jul1962 The 3919th Combat Defense Sqn and 3919th Transport Sqn
formed at RAF Fairford.
 
1Dec1962 SAC alert posture was maintained and a KC-97 from the
19th ARS airlifted B-52 support teams to Fairford.
 
 1962 B-52 bombers started visiting the base, but were very
rare and didn’t stay long.
 
5Apr1963 Although being planned no dates had yet been decided for
the USAF bomber withdrawal.
 
Jun1963 Aircraft deployments scaled down to 9 bombers.
 
8Nov1963 It was announced that RAF Fairford would be returned to
the RAF by July 1st 1964.
 
 1963 Project Clearwater halted large scale bomber
deployments.
 
 Apr1964 Investigations began to see if the Central Flying School
could make use of RAF Fairford once the USAF had left.
 
6May1964 It was decided that the RAF could use RAF Fairford after
the USAF withdraw.
 
26Jun1964 The RAF take control of RAF Fairford as the USAF
withdraw.
 
30Jun1964 The 3919th Combat Support Sqn along with all other USAF
units left.
 
 Nov1964 C flight of the Central Flying School with Gnat T-1
aircraft, a satellite of Brize, move in from Little
Rissington.
 
1Mar1965 The Red Arrows were formed at RAF Fairford
 
1Nov1965 53 Sqn form as the RAF’s first and only heavy lift
squadron with Belfast aircraft.
 
May1966 Freight tasks start moving from RAF Brize Norton to RAF
Fairford.
 
1Jun1966 RAF Fairford is moved from Flying Training Command to
Transport Command, with 3 Belfast and 20 Gnat aircraft
currently present.
 
1Jul1966 10 Sqn move to RAF Fairford, while the runway at their
home station RAF Brize Norton was re-surfaced, with the
RAF’s new VC-10s being delivered to them slowly.
 
 Aug1966 RAF Fairford’s runway was slurry-sealed as part of the
preparations for Belfast and VC-10 operations.
 
 Sep1966 The Red Arrows and CFS Gnats left for RAF Kemble earlier
than planned leaving the station’s aircraft to become 8
Belfasts and 10 VC-10s by mid 1967.
 
May1967 53 Sqn left for RAF Brize Norton and the station became
a relief landing ground again.
 
3Jul1967 RAF Fairford was approved to become a flying test centre
for Concorde.
 
 Sep1967 The base was re-opened as an independent station of Air
Support Command to become home to the new C-130s.
 
 Sep1967 RAF Fairford also took over command of the Supply and
Engineering Squadrons of the Aircrew Officers Training
School at South Cerney until 22nd Jan 1968.
 
Oct1967 A liaison officer from BAC moved to RAF Fairford to
prepare building for use with Concorde.
 
5Jan1968 As part of its retirement a Hastings transport aircraft
made a fly-past at Fairford.
 
22Jan1968 South Cerney becomes a satellite unit of RAF Fairford
and is primary used for its housing.
 
25Feb1968 47 Sqn reforms at Fairford to be equipped with the new
C-130 aircraft.  RAF Fairford will receive the 19th to
43rd aircraft delivered to the RAF.
 
1Mar1968 RAF Fairford becomes a No 38 Group unit.
 
4Mar1968 The airfield at RAF Fairford re-opens to aircraft.  The
first visitor was an RAF Varsity which tested the ILS
system while VC-10s visited the station for the rest of
March.
 
26Mar1968 The first three RAF C-130s arrive at RAF Fairford,
XV219, XV221 and XV222.  
 
1Apr1968 RAF Fairford starts 24 hour operations with C-130s
already conducting worldwide flights.
 
16May1968 RAF Andover aircraft from 46 Sqn, RAF Abingdon visit RAF
Fairford for 6 weeks.
 
Jun1968 RAF Fairford C-130 strength reached 15.
 
10Jun1968 30 Sqn reforms at Fairford with the C-130
 
Jul1968 RAF Fairford C-130 strength reached 19 while the
aircraft begin participating in exercises.
 
Sep1968 30 Sqn continues to build up its aircraft numbers and
reaches 21 C-130s in October.
 
5Dec1968 Bad weather at their home station caused two RAF
Britannias and VC-10s to divert to Fairford.
 
 Feb1969 RAF Fairford flew 100% of its tasked hours for the first
time, resulting in approx 1500 movements that month.
 
24Mar1969 RAF C-130 XV180 flown by Fl Lt Coutts crashed shortly
after a roller landing at 16:25 killing all six on
board.
 
9Apr1969 Concorde 002, G-BSST, lands at Fairford after its first
flight from Filton at 14:50.
 
13Jun1969 A Central Flying School Gnat, XP501, makes a forced
landing after hydraulic failure and is declared a write
off.
 
22Jul1969 An RAF Jet Provost training aircraft made a genuine
engine out emergency landing at Fairford.
 
Oct1969 RAF C-130s from RAF Fairford helped in the hurried
re-enforcing of troops in Northern Ireland.
5Mar1970 With so many taskings that day RAF Fairford was without
any C-130s on the ground for the first time.
18Jun1970 It was announced to the British press that BAC would
setup a Concorde development facility at RAF Fairford.
 
Sep1970 RAF C-130s from RAF Fairford took part in Operation
Shoveller to aid Jordan during a civil war.
 
 Nov1970 Plans were made to consolidate the RAF’s C-130 force by
moving the aircraft at Fairford to RAF Lyneham.
 
1Feb1971 With 30 and 47 Sqns both having moved to nearby RAF
Lyneham, each with 10 C-130s, RAF Fairford became an Air
Support Command relief landing ground.
 
30Apr1971 The HQ at RAF Fairford was finally disbanded.
 
1May1971 RAF Fairford reverts to being a relief landing ground
for nearby RAF Brize Norton, as well as a satellite
station of it.
 
17Dec1971 Concorde 01, the first pre-production aircraft made its
first flight from Filton to Fairford.
 
6Jan1972 All three Concorde aircraft were together at Fairford
for the first time.
 
29Apr1972 Gnat and Hunter aircraft from the Central Flying School
at RAF Valley deployed to RAF Fairford while their home
runway was re-surfaced until 19th June.
 
2Jun1972 Concorde 002 left Fairford for a 45,000 mile global
sales tour.
 
28Mar1973 Concorde 002 was damaged at Fairford after being crushed
against its hangar while being towed.
 
26Jul1973 The first Vulcan from RAF Waddington arrived, XM600,
while their home runway was re-surfaced.  The deployment
lasted until November.
 
13Feb1974 Concorde 202 G-BBDG arrived from Filton on first flight.
 
Apr1974 A Hastings aircraft TG553 arrived which was later burnt
on the base fire dump.
 
 Jun1974 VC-10, Belfast and Britannia aircraft moved to RAF
Fairford from Brize Norton for 2 months while their home
runway was re-surfaced.
 
16Jul1974 The first evacuation flights from occupied Cyprus arrive
back in the UK containing Britons.
 
26Aug1974 Concorde 002 makes a heavy landing at Fairford meaning
it missed an appearance at the Farnborough air show.
 
23Oct1974 England’s Princess Anne flew on Concorde around the Bay
of Biscay.
 
27Feb1975 Concorde 204 G-BOAC arrived from Filton on its first
flight.
 
12Mar1975 100 tons of ice were transported to Fairford to allow
Concorde to conduct a runway slush test.
 
19Jun1975 British Airways start their Concorde flight training at
Fairford.
 
5Nov1975 Concorde 206 G-BOAA arrived from Filton on its first
flight.
 
26Nov1975 A NATO exercise, Advent Express, saw Allied Command
Europe (ACE) Mobile Force troops arriving in a variety
of aircraft including C-5s, C-130s and C-160s.
 
16Jan1976 The government announced the closure of the Concorde
flight test center at Fairford.
 
4Mar1976 Concorde 002 departed to Yeovilton, already having flown
836 hours in 438 flights.
 
18May1976 Concorde 208 G-BOAB arrived from Filton on its first
flight.
 
23Aug1976 The Concorde flight test centre will now close in
January not November it was announced.
 
25Aug1976 Concorde 210 G-BOAD arrived from Filton on its first
flight.
 
7Mar1977 Richard Noble tested the super car Thrust 1 on the
runway at RAF Fairford.
 
12Apr1977 British Airways moved the flying part of their Concorde
pilot training programme from Brize Norton back to
Fairford after noise complaints.
 
28Apr1977 Robert Horne with Ferrari set a land speed record along
Fairford’s runway.
 
15Nov1977 Exercise Avon Express saw more ACE Mobile Force troops
arrive at Fairford in C-5s, C-130s and C-141s, and
German C-160s, Belgium C-130s, and Italian C-130s.  The
exercise lasted until the 28th.
 
26May1978 The government reject Greenham Common as a potential new
tanker base for safety reasons leaving Brize Norton and
Fairford as options.
 
 July1978 The Ministry of Defence announced that RAF Fairford
would be the new home for 15 USAF tanker aircraft.
 
7Sep1978 The first two KC-135s arrived at Fairford as part of
Exercise Autumn Forge.
 
14Sep1978 Five additional KC-135s arrived for Exercise Autumn
Forge and stay for 14 days.
 
11Nov1978 The 11th Strategic Group were re-activated at Fairford.
 
1Feb1979 The 7020th Air Base Group part of 3rd AF USAFE was
activated at RAF Fairford to provide a base from which
the 11th Strategic Group could keep KC-135s.
 
1Apr1979 The 2160th Comms Sqn formed at RAF Fairford.
 
1Jun1979 RAF Fairford was designated a primary USAFE
installation.
 
13Sep1979 The first two KC-135s for the 11th Strategic Group
arrive at Fairford.
 
14Sep1979 Three more KC-135s arrive for the 11th SG.
 
20Sep1979 The station is transferred to the 3rd Air Force.
10thJune1980 The first modern B-52 deployment, 3 B-52Ds from 7th Bomb Wing,
arrived.
 
25thMar1981 An F-111E from RAF Upper Heyford crashed on take off.
 
11thJune1981 The crashed F-111 departed for repair in the US in a C-5
of the 436th MAW.
 
 1981 The 11th SG were up to full strength with 15 assigned
KC-135s.
 
16thAug1981 An RAF Fairford open day was held.
 
20thOct1981 There was a B-52D deployment from the 7th BW.
 
13thNov1981 The B-52Ds departed.
 
25thJuly1982 An RAF Fairford open day was held.
 
Sep1982 Five B-52s arrived for a Busy Brewer exercise.
 
20thMay1983 The NASA Space Shuttle and 747 stopped at RAF Fairford on their way to
Paris.
 
17thJuly1983 An RAF Fairford open day was held.
 
22ndJuly1984 An RAF Fairford open day was held.
 
13thSep1984 Exercise Busy Brewer took place until Oct 19th.
 
 Oct1984 The NATO standby hospital at RAF Little Rissington was
placed under the command of RAF Fairford.
13thJuly1985 The first IAT air show at RAF Fairford was held.
 
24thMay1985 Seven B-52Gs of the 2nd BW deployed to RAF Fairford.
 
6thSep1985 Seven B-52Gs of the 42nd BW arrived for Exercise Autumn
Forge.
 
11thApril1986 The first of nine KC-10s and additional KC-135s arrive
for Op El Dorado Canyon.
 
14thApril1986 A total of 28 KC-10s and KC-135s left Fairford and
Mildenhall for Op El Dorado Canyon.
 
21stApril1986 Tankers from Fairford supported Exercise Eider Forest 86.
 
3rdAug1986 An RAF Fairford open day was held.
 
7thSep1986 Three B-52Gs from 42nd BW present departing on Oct 5th.
 
8thDec1986 An Oregon ANG F-4C arrived at RAF Fairford as their
battle damage trainer.
 
1stMay1987 Three B-52Gs from the 42nd BW deployed until June 8th.
 
9thJune1987 The first Saudi Arabian Air Force E-3 to pass through
RAF Fairford arrived.
 
15thJuly1987 A $11.5m building project for Fairford was suspended
until the Pentagon could justify it as a necessary base.
 
16thJuly1987 The International Air Tattoo was held at RAF Fairford.
 
 June1988 RAF Fairford supported aircraft operations from RAF
Mildenhall while their runway was re-surfaced until
December.
 
22ndJuly1989 The International Air Tattoo was held at RAF Fairford.
 
15thOct1989 Severe funding problems meant that the USAF began to
list UK bases for possible closure.
 
12thNov1989 The British prime minister rejected a request to base
nuclear armed bombers in the UK.
25thJun1990 The last 11th Strategic Group tanker mission was flown.
 
27thJun1990 The last tanker left Fairford.
 
7thAug1990 The 11th Strat. Group was de-activated.
 
1stJan1991 Flying operations officially ceased at RAF Fairford.
 
31stJan1991 The British government approved the basing of B-52s at
RAF Fairford in support of Operation Desert Storm, the
allied response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
 
5thFeb1991 The first five 379th and 416th BW B-52Gs to be deployed
to the 806th(P) Bomb Wing arrived for Operation Desert Storm.
 
6thFeb1991 Three more B-52s arrive.
 
9thFeb1991 The first Operation Desert Storm mission was flown involving
4 B-52s and an air
spare.
 
13thFeb1991 B-52 crews were given permission to jettison their
weapons in the Bristol Channel, causing concern amongst
local fishermen.
 
13thFeb1991 It was announced that B-52s from RAF Fairford would be
airborne refuelled by KC-135s deployed to France.
 
18thFeb1991 A B-52 “probably” from RAF Fairford diverted into Palermo,
Sicily.
 
7thMar1991 806th(P) Bomb Wing commanders revealed they flew 60 missions
during Operation Desert Storm from RAF Fairford.
 
8thMar1991 Ten KC-135s passed through on their way back to the United States
from deployments in the Gulf.
 
9thMar1991 The last of the deployed B-52s departed.
 
20thJul1991 The International Air Tattoo was held at RAF Fairford.
 
29thAug1991 Four 42nd BW B-52s arrived for exercises and departed on Sep
13th and 14th.
 
6thMar1992 Five 42nd BW B-52s arrived for Exercise Teamwork 92-1
and departed on the 18th and 19th.
 
19thJun1992 The first four B-52Hs to visit RAF Fairford arrived from the 416th BW and
departed 29th June.
 
15thJan1993 The 7020th was renamed the 720th ABG.
 
27thMay1993 USAF E-3 swap outs passed through RAF Fairford.
 
3rdJun1993 Exercise Coronet Comet began, three B-52Hs 416th BW and four KC-135Es Arizona ANG
deployed.
 
16thJun1993 The first B-1Bs arrived at RAF Fairford, two from 28th BW and
one the 319th BW.
 
21stJun1993 Exercise Coronet Comet ends.
 
24thJul1993 Two Mig-29s collided in mid-air during the IAT air show.
 
3rdAug1993 Three US Army Chinooks arrived before departing on the 6th.
 
7thAug1993 Eight C-141s arrived after having para-dropped on
Salisbury Plain as part of Exercise Roaring Lion.
 
2ndSep1993 Exercise Coronet Invader and Solid Stance began, four
B-52Hs 416th BW arrived and departed on the 20th.
 
22ndOct1993 The first MC-130H to visit RAF Fairford arrived.
 
30thApr1994 Eight F-16s and four KC-135s from the Illinois ANG
arrived for Exercise Coronet Nova.
 
1stJun1994 Four 7th BW B-1Bs arrived and all departed 22nd June.
 
30thJul1994 The International Air Tattoo was held at RAF Fairford.
 
1stAug1994 The
7020th de-activated
 
1stAug1994 The
424th Air Base Squadron was activated
 
17thFeb1995 Four 2nd BW B-52s arrived.
 
Feb1995 Two 353rd Wing EC-130Hs and a Pen ANG EC-130E arrived
and
departed 10th March.
 
15hMar1995 Three U-2s and 170 airmen arrived from RAF Alconbury.
 
24thMay1995 Five KC-135s and EC-135K stopped over.
 
26hMay1995 Two more KC-135s stopped over.
 
13thFeb1996 An RAF mini evaluation involving four VC-10s and two
Tri-stars from RAF Brize Norton took place.
 
6thJun1995 Four B-52Hs arrived with eight F-111Fs of the 27th Fighter Wing.
 
23rdJul1995 The International Air Tattoo was held at RAF Fairford.
 
29thAug1995 A
U-2 crashed on take off, accident investigators arrived
from the US
in a C-135E.
 
27thDec1996 Two RC-135s diverted to Fairford due to fog at their
planned destination of RAF
Mildenhall.
 
28thDec1995 The U-2 deployment prepared to start moving to France.
 
4thJan1996 The last two U-2s left for France.
 
15thFeb1996 At a base in the US an SR-71 simulated deployment to RAF Fairford as part of
Red Flag.
 
20thJul1996 The Royal International Air Tattoo was held at RAF
Fairford.
 
19thJul1997 The Royal International Air Tattoo was held at RAF
Fairford.
 
25thJul1998 The Royal International Air Tattoo was held at RAF
Fairford.
 
11hOct1998 Six B-52Hs 2nd BW arrived with 4 C-17 transport aircraft
in preparation for operations of Kosovo.
 
5thNov1998 The B-52s departed without flying any offensive
missions.
 
21stFeb1999 Seven B-52Hs from the 2nd Bomb Wing arrived for
Operation Allied Force/Noble Anvil as part of
the 2nd Air Expeditionary Group.  Additional
aircraft including B-1Bs and KC-135s arrived over the next month.
 
10thMar1999 A B-2 made a stopover while on a round trip from
Whiteman AFB.
 
1stApr1999 The first five B-1Bs from the 28th Bomb Wing arrived as
part of Operation Allied Force.
 
12thApr1999 The first five KC-135s from the 366th Air Refuelling Wing arrived.
 
18thApr1999 Air Force Chief of Staff General Michael Ryan visited
RAF Fairford.
 
16thJun1999 The deployed aircraft at RAF Fairford receive their
orders and begun to return home.
 
25thJun1999 The last of the deployed aircraft left, the KC-135s.
 
24thJul1999 The Royal International Air Tattoo was held at RAF
Fairford.
 
13thSep1999 Two B-52s arrived at RAF Fairford for Exercise Northern
Light.
 
24thSep1999 MC-130s and MH-53s from RAF Mildenhall deployed to RAF
Fairford for a training exercise, Exercise Eclipse
Bravo.
2ndMay2000 McAlpine were awarded the contract for the
re-construction of RAF Fairford’s runway and airfield
surfaces.
 
30thMay2000 The airfield was closed and construction work began.
 
15thJun2001 The first phase of construction work was complete and
the runway re-opened.
 
12thJul2001 A B-1B, KC-135 and C-21 visited for a runway opening
ceremony.
 
5hSep2001 A NATO exercise saw C-5s, C-141s, C-17s, MC-130s and
EC-130s visit RAF Fairford over a two week period.
 
 Dec2001 The second construction phase was complete and provided
RAF Fairford with
an interim bomber operating capability should it be
required for Operating Enduring Freedom.
 
 Mar2002 A B-52 visited RAF Fairford to test out the new taxiway
surfaces but suffered an undercarriage problem on
departure and stayed for an extra week.
 
 Mar2002 Aircraft, ground crew and operators from the 352nd Special Operations Group
deployed to RAF Fairford from RAF Mildenhall for a
training exercise.
 
 May2002 US Army MH-6 helicopters deployed to RAF Fairford for a
training exercise in the local area.
 
21stMay2002 The third construction phase was complete and RAF Fairford’s airfield was declared operational again at a
second
opening ceremony.
 
20thJul2002 The Royal International Air Tattoo air show returned to
RAF Fairford after a two year absence.  During the
flying display an Italian G-222 crashed on the new runway.
 
 Aug2002 Aircraft, ground crew and operators from the 352nd SOG
deployed to RAF Fairford from RAF Mildenhall for another
training exercise.
 
Sep2002 Two B-1Bs stayed at RAF Fairford while visiting a
defence exhibition in South Africa.
 
Oct2002 The Italian G-222 which crashed at RIAT finally left for
home
after repair work.
 
 Oct2002 KC-135 tanker aircraft from RAF Mildenhall deployed over a weekend to
test the base’s new fuel hydrant systems.
 
 Oct2002 Aircraft, ground crew and operators from the 352nd SOG
deployed to RAF Fairford from RAF Mildenhall for a
training exercise.
 
 Nov2002 B-1Bs from Dyess AFB, Texas stayed at RAF Fairford while
visiting their sister squadron 9 Squadron, RAF at RAF
Marham and took
part in NATO exercises at the same time.
 
Jan2003 As part of their worldwide operations three U-2s passed
through RAF Fairford.
 
 Jan2003 Preparations for the future operations saw regular
visits by C-21, C-12 and KC-135 aircraft.
 
 Mar2003 As part of their worldwide operations four more U-2s
passed through RAF Fairford.
 Mar2003 The 457th Air Expeditionary Group was formed at RAF
Fairford to support deployed B-52s as part of Operation
Iraqi Freedom.
 
3rdMar2003 The first of fourteen B-52s arrived from Minot AFB, North Dakota.
 
4thMar2003 The last of the fourteen deployed B-52s arrived and
begun preparing for combat operations over Iraq.
 
4thMar2003 The US Ambassador visited deployed personnel at RAF
Fairford.
 
14thMar2003 Eight B-52s left RAF Fairford for the first wave of
strikes on Iraq.
 
18hMar2003 An HH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was deployed to RAF
Fairford to enhance perimeter security.
 
21stMar2003 A Greenpeace hot air balloon flew dangerously close to
the airfield while dropping leaflets on the base.
 
 
10thApr2003 The 457th AEG flew their 100th combat mission in the
23rd BS’s flag ship aircraft.
 
11thApr2003 An Air Force Reserve crew from Barksdale AFB performed the first B-52 mission
to use the newly
certified Litening-II laser targeting pod.
 
16thApr2003 English politician Ian Duncan Smith visited RAF
Fairford.
 
18thApr2003 General Tommy Franks, head of US Centcom visited RAF
Fairford.
 
24thApr2003 The B-52 bombers departed RAF Fairford.
 
 May2003 U-2s that were deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom
returned home through RAF Fairford.
 
19thJul2003 The Royal International Air Tattoo was held at RAF
Fairford.
 
 Nov2003 KC-135s from RAF Mildenhall performed a mini deployment
in preparation for their deployment in early 2004.
 
14thJan2004 RAF Fairford became home to the 420th Air Base Group,
the stand up ceremony was held with two A-10s, a KC-135,
MH-53 and C-21 present.
 
 Feb2004 KC-135 tanker aircraft from RAF Mildenhall deployed to
RAF Fairford for 5 months while their home runway was
re-surfaced.  Maintenance work on MC-130 aircraft
that was normally done at RAF Mildenhall was also moved
to RAF Fairford.
 
17thJul2004 The Royal International Air Tattoo was held at RAF
Fairford.
 
10thDec2004 The base’s new B-2 capable large aircraft hangar was
officially opened.
 
16thJul2005 The Royal International Air Tattoo was held at RAF
Fairford.
 
Sep2005 VC-10, Tri-Star and C-17 aircraft from nearby RAF Brize
Norton arrive for a deployment while their home runway
was re-surfaced.  Additional visiting aircraft
throughout the deployment included 747s, An-124s and
Chinook helicopters.
 
Sep2005 B-52s deployed to support Exercise Bright Star 2005
along with supporting KC-135s.  B-1Bs deployed at
the same time to take part in training missions.
 
Feb2006 The RAF deployment, Operation Bolthole, finished
slightly later than expected when the aircraft return to
their home station RAF Brize Norton.
 
23rdMar2006 A pair of B-2 aircraft visited RAF Fairford to test the
three new large aircraft hangars on base while two B-1s
visited for training flights within the UK.