Photography - 2013
The Royal Flying Corps requisitioned 160 acres (0.65 km2) of farmland near the village of Upwood in 1917. In September of that year the station opened as Bury (Ramsey). This initial name referred to its location near the village of Bury and the larger market town of Ramsey. Initially there were no permanent flying units assigned to the station. Instead, No. 75 Squadron flying BE.2 aircraft out of nearby Elmswell, Suffolk used the station as a night-landing ground and satellite field.
The first flying unit to use the new runways at Upwood was No 139 Squadron flying De Havilland Mosquitoes. They arrived in late January 1944 and flew their first mission against on 2 February, a single plane mission to drop target indicators over Berlin. On 5 March 1944 Upwood became home to No 156 Squadron and its Avro Lancasters. They flew their first mission from Upwood on 15 March 1944, attacking Stuttgart with 22 aircraft.
At its wartime peak, the station had a working population of over 2,500 people. A total of 210 aircrew from the two squadrons were killed as a result of operations
With the end of RAF use of the station in 1981, the United States Air Force was given control of Upwood by the Ministry of Defence.
Upwood soon became a satellite station of RAF Alconbury, providing housing and support services for personnel stationed there. In May 1986, all contracting support services moved from RAF Alconbury to the Headquarters building at RAF Upwood. Operating Location 'C', Detachment 4, 7000 Contracting Squadron (OL-C Det 4, 7000 CONS) was an Operating Location out of Detachment 4, 7000 Contracting Squadron at RAF Lakenheath and provided all contracting support services for RAF Alconbury and RAF Upwood. Also in 1986, a multimillion-dollar medical facility was opened to provide out-patient services to American military members and dependents in the area.
The base today:
Much of the RAF Upwood is unused, closed by the Ministry of Defence in 1994. Most of the station was vacated and the land and buildings sold off to civil ownership.