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103 Squadron RAF

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[Home] [Airfields of 103 Sqn] [RFCS Beaulieu]

RFCS Beaulieu – Hampshire.

The airfield was situated at the village of East Boldre near Lymington in Hamsphire.

An airfield was established in East Boldre on the site in 1910 and used by a flying school for 2 years and was referred to as the New Forest Aviation Flying School, Beaulieu. It was a popular facility and attraction at the time but for some reason closed in 1912 as the novelty wore off and other sites became more readily available.

For the next 2 years up until the start of WW1 the land reverted grazing.

In 1914 one of the sheds on the airfield was taken over by the Royal Flying Corps and by 1915 the demand for pilots for the RFC during WW1 became so great that a training school called RFC Beaulieu was established on the land.

Here pilots, observers and  ground crew were trained for the Western Front. In 1918 the airfield was enlarged again with accommodation buildings, aircraft hangars, officers’ camp and separate camp for the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force were built

103 Squadron Maxwell-Scott

Several training units were based at the airfield and also 103 Squadron under the command of Captain Maxwell-Scott MC ( Pictured above ) was established at the airfield the 1st September 1917. After a few days they moved to a new airfield at Old Sarum.

The airfield was closed in 1919.

For a far more comprehensive history of the airfield see the excellent East Boldre Community website airfield page here.

East Boldre Village Hall

East Boldre Village Hall

During WW1 this building was the Officers’ Mess and later YMCA on the old airfield. At the end of the war when the other buildings demolished, this building was left to the villagers to thank them for their co-operation and help when the site was occupied by the RFC and RAF.


The Beaulieu Letters – Click here for more details

During WW2 a new airfield was established the other side of the Lymington Road B3054. This was also referred to as RAF Beaulieu. This was opened in 1942 and mainly used by the American 365th Fighter Group with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts and the 323rd Bombardment Group with Martin B-26 Marauders. Both units moved to France in the summer of 1944.

In December 1944 the Airborne Experimental Establishment moved the the airfield and undertook trials and experiments in glider towing and parachute drops. The old airfield at the other side of the road was used as a drop zone.

In 1950 this unit moved out and the site placed under Care and Maintenance. In 1953 the airfield was handed over to The Americans who upgraded the facilities but never used them for flying.

The airfield was used for a short while by the RAF Regiment and then handed back to the Air Ministry on the 8th September 1955. In November 1959 the site was deemed surplus to requirements and the land passed to the Forestry Commission and reverted to heathland.

Item written by David Fell with Maxwell-Scott photo from my own archive and the others courtesy of Google Maps.


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576 Squadron - RAF

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Vire  - 6/7th June 1944

Latest additions to this site

1st June 2024 - RAF Bombsights

1st June 2024 - Armstrong NH Profile

1st June 2024 - Marsden JTA Profile

1st June 2024 - Flak Scrapbook

1st May 2024 - Fairey Battle Photo Gallery

1st May 2024 - Barratt Profile

1st May 2024 - Remy and Crew Profile

1st May 2024 - Breen Profile

* 1st April 2024 - 80 Wing

1st April 2024 - Shields Profile

1st April 2024 - Anderson Profile

1st April 2024 - Cavanagh Profile

* 1st March 2024 - Advanced Air Striking Force

1st March 2024 - Riches Profile

* 1st February 2024 - Kilvington Profile

1st February 2024 - Garton Profile

1st February 2024 - Holland Profile

* 1st January 2024 - Pamplin Profile

1st January 2024 - Milan - 24/25 October 1942

* 1st December 2023 - Photos of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st December 2023 - Bremen – 2/3rd July 1942

1st December 2023 - Skinner Profile

* 1st November 2023 - Memoirs of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st November 2023 - Mine laying Biarritz / Biscay coast - 21 November 1942

1st November 2023 - Billie - Lancaster - W4364 - 103 Squadron

1st November 2023 - Curtin Twins Profile

*1st October 2023 - Dusseldorf - 1 August 1942

1st October 2023 - RAF Usworth Photo Album - 103 Squadron Era 1937/38

1st October 2023 - Mills Profile

*1st September 2023 - Tilley Profile

1st September 2023 - Ostend docks and barges - 22 December 1940

* 1st August 2023 - Defensive Armament - 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron

1st August 2023 - Chesterton Profile

1st August 2023 - Targets in Holland - 21/22 July 1940

1st August 2023 - Numerous additions and updates throughout the site

*1st July 2023 - Armed Reconnaissance/Leaflet Raid – Koblenz area – 20/21 March 1940

1st July 2023 - Air Dropped Weapons Article

1st July 2023 - Knott Profile

Also of local RAF Bomber Command interest are the

166 Squadron website

and the

550 Squadron and North Killingholme website.