World War II bomber command training base

World War II bomber command training base

20th February 2018

During the Second World War Silverstone was a bomber command training base and was home to 17 Operational Training Unit (OTU). Aircrews at Silverstone learnt to fly Wellington bombers, which were built at the pre-War motor racing circuit, Brooklands.

Silverstone became an RAF base in 1941 after the Air Ministry requisitioned 600 acres of farmland the circuit now sits on. The area was seen as being perfect for an airfield due to its flat and breezy nature.

Originally six aircraft hangars were built at the base, the remaining one will be the home of The Silverstone Experience. Other buildings erected include Nissen huts which were used as stores, an air traffic control tower and staff accommodation huts. The air traffic control tower is still in use today as an office and shower block for the British Racing Drivers’ Club campsite.

Even though the main purpose of the base was to train bomber pilots many other flights landed here during the War for a variety a reasons. ‘One of those was Flight Lieutenant Morecroft, who on his return from night flying training was redirected to Silverstone, due to poor weather conditions. This action can be seen in his flight log book below.

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