Army Air Corps Middle Wallop
Army Air Corps Middle Wallop is a British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 base near the Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

 village of Middle Wallop
Middle Wallop
Middle Wallop is the local name given to an area between the two Parishes of Over Wallop and Nether Wallop in Hampshire, England. As it does not have its own parish technically it does not exist, however road signs and maps make reference to the location and have done so since the 18th century,...

. The base hosts 2 Regiment Army Air Corps and the School of Army Aviation. The role of 2 Regiment is training and so AAC Middle Wallop is the base where most Army Air Corps pilots begin their careers. The base was previously under Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 control and it was then known as RAF Middle Wallop.

Early use

The base was opened as RAF Middle Wallop, a training school for new pilots in 1940. It was originally intended for bomber use, however with the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the World War II air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940...

 being fought, No. 609 Squadron RAF
No. 609 Squadron RAF
No. 609 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, originally formed as a bomber squadron and in World War II active as fighter squadron, nowadays provides personnel to augment and support the operations of the Royal Air Force. The squadron is no longer a flying Squadron, but instead has the role...

, flying the Supermarine Spitfire
Supermarine Spitfire
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued to be used as a front line fighter and in secondary roles into the 1950s...

, was moved to Middle Wallop. It kept some of its originally intended use when No. 604 Squadron
No. 604 Squadron RAF
No. 604 Squadron RAF was a squadron of the Royal Air Force notable for its pioneering role the development of radar-controlled night-fighter operations. The squadron was established in March 1930 at RAF Hendon as a day-bombing squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. In July 1934, the squadron...

 were based at Middle Wallop on the 13 August. They flew the Blenheim
Bristol Blenheim
The Bristol Blenheim was a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company that was used extensively in the early days of the Second World War. It was adapted as an interim long-range and night fighter, pending the availability of the Beaufighter...

, a light bomber.


Middle Wallop was also used by the United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

 Ninth Air Force
Ninth Air Force
The Ninth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force's Air Combat Command . It is headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina....

 as IX Fighter Command Headquarters beginning in November 1943. Along with its headquarters mission, the airfield also hosted the 67th Reconnaissance Group being moved from RAF Membury
RAF Membury
RAF Station Membury is a former World War II airfield built in the civil parish of Lambourn in Berkshire, England. The airfield is located approximately mi north-northwest of Hungerford, at the Membury services stop of the M4 motorway; about miles west-southwest of London...

 in December 1943 to be in close proximity to IX FC Headquarters. The 67th Group flew the photographic versions of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning (F-5) and North American P-51 Mustang (F-6)
P-51 Mustang
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and in several other conflicts...

 to fly artillery-adjustment, weather-reconnaissance, bomb-damage assessment, photographic-reconnaissance, and visual-reconnaissance missions to obtain photographs that aided the invasion of the Continent
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...


After D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

, both the 67th RG moved to its Advanced Landing Ground
Advanced Landing Ground
Advanced Landing Ground was the term given to the temporary advance airfields constructed by the Allies during World War II in support of the invasion of Europe...

 at Le Molay-Littry
Le Molay-Littry
Le Molay-Littry is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.-History:On January 23, 1969, Le Molay amalgamated with the old commune of Littry to form into Le Molay-Littry, and uses the old Littry INSEE code 14330.Le Molay-Littry is a small Normandy...

 (ALG A-9) and IX FC Headquarters moved to Les Obeaux, France in late June 1944 ending the USAAF presence at Middle Wallop. During the American use, the airfield was designated as USAAF Station 449, ID Code: MW.


Middle Wallop returned to Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 use from July 1944 for No. 418 Squadron RCAF
No. 418 Squadron RCAF
No. 418 "City of Edmonton" Squadron RCAF was a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force, formed during World War II....

 and its de Havilland Mosquito
De Havilland Mosquito
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...


In January 1945, in an exchange with the RAF, Middle Wallop was transferred to Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 use and became 'RNAS Middle Wallop'. HMS Flycatcher
HMS Flycatcher
HMS Flycatcher was a stone frigate name for the Royal Navy's headquarters for its Mobile Naval Air Bases which supported their Fleet Air Arm units.Flycatcher was based first at RNAS Ludham, Norfolk then moved to RAF Middle Wallop....

 the HQ for the Mobile Naval Air Base organization
Mobile Naval Air Bases
Mobile Operational Naval Air Bases were a series of mobile units first formed in 1944 to provide logistical support to the Fleet Air Arm aircraft of the Royal Navy's British Pacific Fleet towards the end of World War II....

 then moved in from RNAS Ludham, which reverted to RAF use. Five units were assembled at Middle Wallop, four transferring to Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore as planned; the last, MONAB X ("HMS Nabhurst"), remained in the UK following the end of the war in the Pacific.

In 1946 the Royal Air Force occupied Middle Wallop again. No. 164 Squadron RAF
No. 164 Squadron RAF
No. 164 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was a fighter squadron during the Second World War composed of Argentine volunteers.-Background:No. 164 Squadron RAF was originally founded on 1 June 1918, but never received aircraft and was disbanded on 4 July 1918...

 with its Spitfires came and were renumbered to No. 63 Squadron RAF
No. 63 Squadron RAF
-In World War I:No. 63 Squadron was formed on 31 August 1916 at Stirling, Scotland as a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. The squadron was intended to operate as a day-bomber unit over the Western Front in France, and was therefore equipped with de Havilland DH4 aircraft; however at the last...

The following year No. 227 Operational Conversion Unit, an Army Air Observation Post
Air Observation Post
An Air Observation Post is a British military aircraft used for active or passive observation of artillery actions.-History:Air Observation Post is the term used by the Royal Air Force and other services of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth air forces for an aeroplane or helicopter used in the...

 training unit, was moved to the airfield. This was renamed as the Air Observation Post School in 1950 and the Light Aircraft School in 1952.

From mid 1953 to 1957, Middle Wallop was the home for No. 288 Squadron RAF
No. 288 Squadron RAF
No. 288 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron formed as an anti-aircraft co-operation unit in World War II.-Formation in World War II:The squadron formed at RAF Digby on 17 November 1941 and was equipped with Lysanders, Blenheims and Hurricanes to provide practice for the anti-aircraft...

 with its Boulton Paul Balliol
Boulton Paul Balliol
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. London: Aerospace Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X....


Army Air Corps use

In 1954 a Development Flight (CFS) with helicopters was formed there, this led to the Joint Experimental Helicopter Unit in 1955. On 1 September 1957, when British Army aviation became independent of the RAF, Middle Wallop transferred to the new Army Air Corps. It became the school of Army Aviation, to which it has remained to the present date.

Operational units

Army Aviation Centre
  • 2 (Training) Regiment AAC
    • 676 Squadron AAC
    • 668 Squadron AAC
  • 7 (Training) Regiment AAC
    • 670 Squadron AAC
    • 671 Squadron AAC
    • 673 Squadron AAC

External links

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