Unit History: RAF Changi

RAF Changi
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.

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