Unit History: RAF Bovingdon
RAF Bovingdon was a Royal Air Force station, located at Bovingdon, two miles south east of Berkhamsted and 7 miles west of Watford in Hertfordshire, UK.
During World War II, the airfield was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Eighth Air Force. It was assigned USAAF designation Station 112, station code "BV", later changed to "BZ".
Bovingdon was built in 1941/42 as a standard RAF bomber airfield. The main NE/SW runway was 1,634 yards (1,494 m) long and the two secondary runways were 1,433 yd (1,310 m) long each. Over 30 dispersal hardstandings were built.
On 15 June 1942, No. 7 Group, RAF Bomber Command took up residence at Bovingdon. Operational missions were flown in June and July by the RAF until the field was turned over to the USAAF in August.
In 1968, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced that Bovingdon would be closed for budgetary reasons, and in 1972 the airfield was shut down. All MOD property, except a small housing facility was disposed of by 1976.
An area of the former technical site was transferred to HM Prison Service for use as a prison, called ’The Mount’ which opened in 1987.
The airfield site still houses a VOR navigational beacon, code BNN. The airspace above the airfield and nearby Chesham is known as the Bovingdon stack and is a holding area for aircraft approaching Heathrow Airport, 20 miles (32 km) to the south. At busy times on a clear day a dozen planes may be seen circling overhead.
The remainder of the airfield site is used for a regular Saturday market and there is also a permanent circuit for banger racing. The main runway and taxiways, which are still intact though in a poor state of repair, are also sometimes used for other events such as the occasional car rally. Also alongside a runway is a Delta Paint-balling Facility.