Unit History: RAF Cleave/Bude Cornwall

RAF Cleave/Bude Cornwall
RAF Cleave was an airbase just north of Bude in Cornwall, United Kingdom from 1939 until 1945. Despite a few periods of intense activity it was one of Fighter Command’s lesser used airfields.
RAF Cleave was conceived as housing target and target support aircraft for firing ranges along the north Cornwall coast and land was acquired from Cleave Manor.
In May 1939 two flights of 1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit (1 AACU) with the Westland Wallace and a naval steam catapult was soon erected near the cliffs for the pilotless Queen Bee aircraft due to be stationed there. Aircraft were initially housed in temporary Bessoneaux hangers (type H of World War 1 vintage) and later replaced by more permanent structures.
In December 1943, the 4 Flights were amalgamated into 639 Squadron, which served at Cleave for the remainder of the war.
The airfield was put under maintenance in April 1945 and later became a government signals station.

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