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RAF Stations in Shropshire

Due to its location to the west Shropshire has served as county that mostly focused on RAF training. Lots of the closed stations in Shropshire were second world war training airfields and the current relationship of RAF continues to the present day with Shropshire being the home of RAF engineering, air traffic control and helicopter flying training. It was also rumoured to be the place Hitler wanted to use as his UK base if his invasion had been successful during the second world war. There are currently 2 active and 13 former RAF stations.

Active RAF Stations

The currently active RAF stations are:

  • RAF Cosford
  • RAF Shawbury

RAF Cosford

Open - 1938

RAF Cosford Mug

(Officially Licensed RAF Cosford mugs now available)

Since being opened RAF Cosford has been the home of technical training and also has the largest single building barrack block in the UK. Fulton block was named after Captain Fulton and paid for by Lady Fulton. After the second world war a large RAF hospital was built and remained open until 1977.

On the airfield side of RAF Cosford is the excellent Royal Air Force museum which is well worth a visit. Also an excellent visit is to the annual RAF Cosford air show which is held in June every year. It is now the only officially supported Royal Air Force airshow.

RAF Shawbury

Open - 1938

RAF Shawbury Mug

(Officially Licensed RAF Shawbury mugs now available)

The current RAF Shawbury airfield was opened in February 1938 on the site of an old Royal Flying Corps and early RAF station that was demolished in 1920. Initially the station prepared pilots for operational squadrons and in 1944 the Central Navigation School relocated to RAF Shawbury with the aim to improve the standard of air navigation in bombers.

The School of Air Traffic Control moved to RAF Shawbury in 1950 and was joined by No.2 Flying Training School in 1976. RAF Shawbury has continued the role of training helicopter pilots and air traffic controllers right up to the present day.

Closed RAF Stations

Former RAF Stations:
RAF Atcham
RAF Bratton
RAF Bridgnorth
RAF Condover
RAF High Ercall
RAF Montford Bridge
RAF Peplow
RAF Rednal
RAF Sleap
RAF Tern Hill
RAF Tilstock

RAF Atcham

Open - 1941
Closed - 1946

RAF Atcham Airfield

(RAF Atcham airfield taken on 9th May 1946)

A second world war training airfield that was first used by the RAF as a Spitfire training base before being handed over to the United States Air Force for pilot training. The station was abandoned on 22 October 1946 and disposed of on 20th January 1958.

RAF Bratton

Open - 1940
Closed - 1945
RAF Bratton was also a second world war airfield that was also used as a training base.

RAF Bridgnorth

Open - 1939
Closed - 1963
Another station in Shropshire that was focussed on training. Initial recruit training took place here with a few famous faces passing out. Des O’Connor and Ronnie Corbett both completed their recruit training at RAF Bridgnorth.

It was rumoured that RAF Bridgnorth had been identified by Hitler as the location of his UK base had the invasion of Britain been successful during the second world war.

RAF Condover

Open - 1942
Closed - 1945

RAF Condover

(Trainee air navigators at RAF Condover May 1945, standing next to a North American Harvard)

Like many stations in Shropshire RAF Condover was a second world war airfield that was used for training. Pilots and Navigators from the RAF, United States Australia, South Africa and Canada were trained at RAF Condover.


The station was also used to house a prisoner of war camp during the second war for pilots that had been shot down.

RAF High Ercall

Open - 1940
Closed - 1965

RAF High Ercall

Initially RAF High Ercall was a maintenance and aircraft construction station however in 1941 the base was taken over by RAF Fighter Command for night fighter units. Then in 1942 it focussed mainly on operational training.

RAF Mountford Bridge

Open - 1941
Closed - 1945
Used for training as a satellite relief landing ground for RAF Rednal.

RAF Peplow

Open - 1940
Closed - 1947
Shared with the Royal Navy Air Service RAF Peplow was a second world war flying training airfield.

RAF Rednal

Open - 1942
Closed - 1945
A second world war training base for Spitfire pilots. At its peak it had 1,600 stationed on the base.

RAF Sleap

Open - 1943
Closed - 1964

RAF Sleap

An advanced flying training station operating the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber. It is now a private airfield operated by the Shropshire Aero Club.

RAF Tern Hill

Open - 1935
Closed - 1976

RAF Ternhill

While the station closed in 1976 the RAF have kept the airfield as a relief landing ground for helicopters based at RAF Shawbury. Despite being used by the Royal Flying Corps and the early days of the RAF the station shut in 1922. The current site was requisitioned in 1935 and started life as a training and maintenance unit. After a brief spell flying Armstrong Whitworth Whitley aircraft in 1939 the station became a fighter airfield with Spitfires and Hurricanes until 1941. After that it became a station focused on training which continued after the second world war.

When the station closed it was handed over to the Army and it present day Clive Barracks.

RAF Tilstock

Open - 1942
Closed - 1946
A second world war airfield that was used to train pilots and crews of the Whitley, Sterling and Halifax heavy bombers. It is currently an unlicensed airfield.

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