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A Brief History of New Sarum

Prior to 1952 the the Southern Rhodesia Air Force had operated out of Cranborne on the eastern side of Salisbury.


In 1952 the Air Force moved to Kentucky Airport on the southern side of Salisbury. This later became known a New Sarum Air Force Station and the airport was shared with the commercial operators. New Sarum was situated on the southern side of the airfield and the civil operations on the northern side.

The building and facilities at New Sarum were purpose built and made operations much easier.

In the early days New Sarum was home to two Vampire FB9 Squadrons (No 1 and No 2 Squadrons), a transport Squadron flying Avro Ansons, Rapides, Dakota and Pembrokes (No 3 Squadron), and a flying training squadron (No 4 Squadron)

Air Force Units located at New Sarum.

In the early 1950s:-
No 1 Squadron - Vampires
No 2 Squadron - Vampires
No 3 Squadron - Transport
No 4 Squadron - Training

With the completion of the tarmac runway at Thornhill in 1957 No. 1 and No. 2 Squadrons were moved to Thornhill leaving No 3 and No.5 Squadrons at New Sarum.

During 1959 No. 5 Squadron and No. 6 Squadron were equipped with Canberra aircraft. The two squadron were combined into No 5 Squadron when the Canberras were moved to New Sarum.
No 6 Squadron was disbanded in 1959. In August 1967 it was reformed as a training squadron based at Thornhill.

When No. 7 Squadron was formed in 1962 it too was located at New Sarum.

With the arrival of the Bell 205 helicopters in September 1978, No 8 Squadron was formed and resided at New Sarum

Post 1962 Roles:
No 3 Squadron - Transport
No 5 Squadron - Canberras
No 7 Squadron - Allouette III
No 8 Squadron - Bell 205s

Other Events at new Sarum

1971 26th March 1971, whilst practice bombs were being filled at the bomb dump, a fire broke out injuring five members of the Air Force. Sergeant Harry Young later died from his injuries.

1973 In June the Air Force Security Training Section was moved to the old Registry in Station Headquarters. This was the third move in 12 months.

Station Commanders, New Sarum

Col Ted Jacklin       Jul 1954
Gp Capt Dickie Bradshaw       1966
Gp Capt Harry Coleman       1968
Gp Capt Ted Cunnison
Gp Capt A. W. Mutch       1970 - 1971
Gp Capt C. Dams       1971 - 1973
Gp Capt O.D. Penton       1974 - 1975
Gp Capt N Walsh       1975 - 1976
Gp Capt L. Pink       1977 - 1979
Gp Capt Mick Grier       1980 - 1981
Gp Capt G Wright      

OC Flying Wing, New Sarum

Wg Cdr Harry Coleman       to Feb 1966
Wg Cdr Ozzie Penton       Mar 1966 to Sep 1968
Wg Cdr John Rogers       to Nov 1969
Wg Cdr Norman Walsh       Dec 1969 to1970
Wg Cdr John Mussell       1970 to Jun 1972
Wg Cdr Bill Jelley       Jul 1972 to May 1975
Sqn Ldr Randy du Rand       May 1975 to
Wg Cdr Wally Hinricks       Jul 1975
Wg Cdr Murray Hofmeyer
Wg Cdr Peter Knobel
Wg Cdr Gordon Wright       Apr 1980
Wg Cdr Ozzie Penton       to Sep 1984

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