Located 2 miles NE of Bildeston in Suffolk RAF Wattisham was officially opened in March 1939 as a Bomber Command airfield, the station received Nos. 107 and 110 Squadrons from Harwell and Waddington respectively.
During the 1940-41 period, at least 30 asphalt pan hardstandings were put down on the west and north sides of the airfield. On June 4, 1942, Wattisham was listed for upgrading to Class A standard as a USAAF bomber base and work started on laying runways and in October it was also identified as the site of an air depot. However, a crisis in the airfield building programme saw work temporarily halted on the runways. In the event, this work was not restarted as the airfield was now not required for a bomber station, ultimately housing a USAAF fighter group, the 479th, equipped first with P-38s and then P-5ls, while the depot was utilised for fighter servicing, modification and repair.
Wattisham was handed back to the RAF on December 15, 1945. The station was in care and maintenance for a time until it was taken over by Fighter Command in October 1946, which based Meteor squadrons there for a few months. In April 1947, the station was again closed for flying while hard runways were completed and other building work undertaken. Fighter squadrons did not return until October 1950, Meteors giving way to Hunters in 1954 followed by Javelins, Lightnings and finally Phantoms. The RAF vacated the station in 1992 and after much additional building work the Army made Wattisham its major helicopter base with as many as seven squadrons in residence at any one time.
Wattisham is modelled here as it may have looked during the halcyon days of 1965 when 56 Sqn. and 111 Sqn. were in residence equipped with the English Electric Lightning F1A. AI Lightnings by David Hanvey are included.
Wattisham was also a V bomber dispersal field and Vulcans are on QRA at the runway end with Valiant tankers on one of the loop hardstandings.
The airfield is laid out based on research as it may have been in 1965 ( no Hardened Aircraft Shelters as they weren't built until 1982) and the technical site and married quarters are typical of the period but not "prototypical" of Wattisham.
The scenery consists of:
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