Air Force Bases

Royal Air Force Station Woodbridge

Location: Located 5 miles east of town of Woodbridge, 85 miles northeast of London, 12 miles east-northeast of Ipswich, and 2 miles east-northeast of Melton, England.

Origin of current name: Named after a town in England.

Date current name was assigned to base: December 18, 1955

Previous Names: RAF Stn Woodbridge (also known as RAF Stn Sutton Heath), 15 Nov 1943; Woodbridge RAF, 5 Jun 1952.

Date Established: June 5, 1952

Date Occupied: April 16, 1952

Construction Began: April 16, 1952

Base Units: 3928th AB Sq, 16 Apr 1952; 3938th AB Sq, 1 Apr 1954; 3928th AB Gp, 1 Nov 1954; 7546th Spt Sq, 26 Jan 1956; 81st Cmbt Spt Gp, 8 Jul 1960-.

Changes in Capability: RAF opened original station as a RAF emergency landing field 15 Nov 1943 and closed it on 14 Mar 1948; first USAF units arrived 1 Apr 1952; base provided support as. satellite of Bentwaters RAF and operated as a SAC fighter-bomber (later, fighter) base; received logistical and administrative support from RAF Sturgate 30 Sep 1952; base evacuated on 1 Oct 1954 and throughout much of 1955 for major construction work, including repair and reinforcement of runway, preparation of hardstands, erection of hangars, etc; Woodbridge became solely a USAFE installation, logistically supported by RAF Bent-waters on 5 Jun 1952; operated as "twin base" with Bentwaters from 8 Jul 1958 and as a single unit with Bentwaters under the 81st Tac Ftr Wg after 1 Feb 1959; nonoperational 3 Nov-4 Dec 1958 during major runway repairs; 67th Air Rscu and Recovery Sq moved to Woodbridge from Moron AB, Spain, on 15 Jan 1970; as part of the expansion of the 81st Tac Ftr Wg to six A-10 squadrons, USAFE activated the 509th Tac Ftr Sq at Woodbridge in 1979 and moved the 91st Tac Ftr Sq there on 1 Feb 1980.

Changes in Status: Activated as secondary installation supported by RAF Wethersfield, 5 Jun 1952; placed on standby status, 1 Oct 1954; became active twin-base with RAF Bentwaters, 1 Oct 1958.

Base was Decommissioned on August 14, 1993

History:

Royal Air Force Station Woodbridge, more commonly referred to as RAF Woodbridge, is a former Royal Air Force (RAF) military airbase situated to the east of Woodbridge in the county of Suffolk, Britain. It is famous for its wide runway which, along with the two at the former RAF bases at Manston in Kent and Carnaby in Yorkshire - were originally constructed to assist damaged aircraft to land on their return from raids over Germany.

Woodbridge was used by the RAF during World War II, and by the United States Air Force during the Cold War, being the primary home for the 79th Fighter Squadron and squadrons of the 81st Fighter Wing under various designations from 1951 to 1993. For many years, the 81st Fighter Wing also operated from nearby RAF Bentwaters, with Bentwaters and Woodbridge being known as the "Twin Bases".

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