The air base traces its beginnings to 1940s, when many of the Allied prisoners-of-war, housed in the nearby Changi Prison, were forced to build the facility under the direction of the Japanese occupiers after the fall of Singapore in 1942. Two unpaved landing strips were built between 1943 to 1944, intersecting in a cross layout and in approximately north-south and east-west directions. The airfield facility became a Royal Air Force station and was renamed RAF Changi in 1946 after the Japanese surrender. Imprisoned Japanese were then made to improve the runways, reinforcing the north-south runway for military aircraft and adding perforated steel plates to the east-west runway.
In addition, RAF Chia Keng - a GCHQ radio receiving station, was a satellite station of RAF Changi (being the Headquarters Air component part of British Far East Command) until the British Forces withdrawal from Singapore. Also, the nearby Changi Hospital (now defunct) functioned as the primary British military hospital providing medical care for all British servicemen (including RAF) stationed in the Eastern part of Singapore, while Alexandra Hospital was put in charge for those stationed in the Western part of Singapore.
Added on 03/02/2010
The Royal Air Force took over the Changi Airfield in 1946 and stayed there until 1971 when it was handed over to the Singapore Air Force in 1971. From 1927 it was administred by the Army. The posting, which included HQ FEAF was one of the most popular in the world although just after the Japanes surrendered conditions were tough. Over the years a huge range of aircraft were based there or staged through. At the height of the Malayan Emergency there were five thousand + people there including families. It had every possible facility in the latter years for people to enjoy in addition to the wonderful city of Singapore.
Detachments of RAF personnel from Changi went to Labuan, Gan and Carnicobar. It had its own Grammar School and Hospital and casevacs were received from mainland Malaya, Korea and indonesia.
Memories of RAF Changi
(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)
raf changi singapore in 1970
Written by peter smith
happy times being a member of the "changi pigs" sitting in the malcolm club having one or two tigers!!
RAF Changi in 1953
Written by Elizabeth (Betty) Smith (nee Jolly)
Can anyone remember one Christmas Day at Changi when the SP's were clearing out the WRAF block after we were invaded (yearly ritual) and some of the lads moved the police jeep round the corner between the WRAF BLock and Malcolm Club - Great to see the SP's faces.
Please tell me I did not dream it!!!
RAF Changi Main Guardroom RAF :Police in 1962
Written by Brian Robinson
Does anyone remember Mitch Mitchell or Brian Anderson or even W.O. Piggy Jones. I was in the MGR office 1961-1963
SSOC RAF Changi in 1954
Written by Kenneth Laken
The Past photo is of me (on the left) and my friend Jim Ramsay, at my going home party in the NAAFI
RAF Changi, in 2010
Written by Anna Lamb
Good memories smashing camp,superb weather. Wish I can remenber names of all the nice people I met while stationed in Changi, I am still in touch with some.
Revisited the camp a few years ago, but should have had a map as quite a bit had changed, even Changi village had been moved and rebuilt.
Oh! happy memories