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RAF CRANAGE

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An aircraft storage facility constructed by the start of World War II and used as a Relief Landing Ground by the Royal Air Force by August 1940. By November of that year it was used by the Number 2 School of Air Navigation which was based here until February 1944. Number 96 Squadron, formed at Cranage in 1940, was also based here until October 1941. The airfield was also used for the storage and testing of aircraft. Seven Avro Manchester bombers were stored at the base prior to the refitting of new engines from May 1941 and the test flying of Wellington bombers prior to operational duties. During the latter part of the war Cranage was used by the United States Army Air Force for preparation of the D-Day Landings. In 1945 it was used by the Number 12 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit and Number 190 Gilding School. Following the end of the war the base was used by the RAF as a storage unit until 1954 and then by the United States Army Air Force until June 1957 when base was closed.
The airfield originally had grass runways which were upgraded with Army Track Wire Mesh and then replaced with American Pierced Steel Planking by April 1943. Wartime construction methods typically involved the use of "temporary" building materials for many types of airfield buildings. Surviving structures associated with the defence of the airfield include pillboxes and battle headquarters buildings.

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