Bovingdon is located about 40 km northwest of the center of London. The airfield was built during the Second World War in the 1940s and was used by the United States Army Air Forces. After the war a civilian use began. In the early 1950s, the US Air Force came to the airfield and used it until the early 1960s. Finally, Royal Air Force liaison aircraft were stationed in Bovingdon until the airfield was closed in 1972. Today the former airfield is a multi-purpose site and houses a market and a prison. In the western part of the area is the Bovingdon VOR radio beacon.
In the 1940s
Aerial image from 05 January 1945 - Viewing direction is northwest. The image was classified as "Restricted". (Source: US DoD)
Enlargement: Planes in the southern part (Source: US DoD)
Enlargement: Runway to the northwest. - An aircraft stands at the beginning. (Source: US DoD)
Enlargement: Hangars and buildings in the southeast - Left of the image center is the control tower. (Source: US DoD)
ILS approach runway 22 (April 1945) - The document is classified as "Confidential". (Source: US DoD)
ILS approach runway 22 (June 1945) - Classification "Restricted". (Source: US DoD)
Aerodrome map (July 1945) - In the upper right corner the railway line at Bourne End is visible. Here a severe railway crash occurred on 30 September 1945, which was observed from a plane taking off from Bovingdon. See links below. (Source: US DoD)
In the 1950s
Arrival routes (May 1951) - Shown are the routes from the airways (Amber 1, Amber 2, Blue 1, Green 1, Red 1, Red 2) to the field. (Source: US DoD / USAF)
Departure routes in the area of London (May 1951) - On the maps in the upper right-hand corner, the responsible air traffic control areas with their communication channels are listed. In emergencies or if the VHF radio fails, the shortwave frequency 3270 kHz is still available. (Source: US DoD / USAF)
Map of the holding patterns (May 1951) (Source: US DoD / USAF)
NDB approach runway 22 (September 1953) - Airfields in the vicinity: Booker, Cheddington, Denham, Elstree, Halton, Hatfield, Hendon, Leavsden, Luton, Radlett, Wing. (Source: US DoD / USAF)
Airfield map (September 1953) - There are two runways - 04/22: length 1494 m, width 46 m (4902 feet x 150 feet), 09/27: length 1321 m, width 46 m (4335 feet x 150 feet). The field is jointly operated military and civil. A Standard Beam Approach (SBA) is available as approach aid. (Source: US DoD / USAF)
In the 1960s
NDB approach runway 22 (October 1960) (Source: US DoD)
Bovingdon military airfield on an enroute chart from November 1963 - ASR/PAR: The field is equipped with Aerodrome Surveillance Radar (ASR) and Precision Approach Radar (PAR). (Source: US DoD)
Index to the objects shown on the maps
- Booker, Bovingdon
- Halton, Hatfield, Hendon
- Leavesden, London Heathrow, Luton
- Ashford Marker
- Beacon Hill Marker
- Bovingdon NDB "MZZ", "BX"
- Brookmans Park Broadcasting Station
- Burnham NDB "MWM"
- Chatham Range "MVM"
- Chertsey Marker
- Compton Marker
- Crowborough NDB "MYC"
- Dunsfold Range "MYD"
- Epsom Range "MYE"
- Haslemere Marker
- Seaford Marker
- Seven Oaks Marker
- Watford Range "MYW"
- Woburn Sands Marker
- Woodley NDB "MWZ"
Air traffic control / Communications:
- Bovingdon Approach Control, Bovingdon Tower
- London Airways
Source for all maps, if not marked otherwise: US Department of Defense (US DoD)