Unit History: RAF Andover
Andover Airfield is a former Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force station now used by Army Air Corps units based at Middle Wallop. The ICAO code for the airfield is EGWA and the IATA code is ADV. Its location is latitude 51° 12’ 31” N, longitude 1° 31’ 31” W, with a runway length of 3390 feet (1033 m), and an elevation of 285 feet (87 m). From 2009, it is planned to become the British Army’s HQ Land Forces.
The airfield has a notable place in history, being the site of both the first attempt to develop a viable long-range electronic navigation system, during the First World War, and also of the first British military helicopter unit and first European helicopter flying training school, during the Second World War. Corporal Josephine Robins, one of only six members of the WAAF to win the Military Medal during the Second World War, won her award for courage rescuing people during an air-raid on the airfield in the Battle of Britain. RAF Andover was also used before and after the Second World War for a variety of other aeronautical research and flight testing. The RAF Staff College, Andover was founded here in 1922, the first college to train officers in the administrative, staff and policy aspects of running an air force. The Royal Air Force Association was also founded at RAF Andover
RAF Andover saw action during the Second World War. During the Battle of Britain, a Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) telephone operator at RAF Andover was awarded the Military Medal for her courage during two air raids, one of only six such awards to members of the WAAF in the entire Second World War. Before and during the Battle of Normandy, RAF Andover was used by the United States Army Air Forces Ninth Air Force as a tactical fighter airfield. It was also known as USAAF Station 406, Pundit Code AV. The code AV was broadcast in morse code by a mobile red light beacon at night, during the latter prt of the Second World War. The Pundit Code was also painted on the airfield hangar nearest to the control tower, and remained visible until the hangers were demolished in 2001.
The site’s future is the subject of local Andover protests against the plans of Tesco stores to build a "megashed" on the airfield