Tower Museum Bassingbourn - All Rights Reserved
Registered Company 1243089 (a Not for Profit Organisation)
Opened in 1938, RAF Bassingbourn was constructed as part of the RAF's expansion scheme to meet the threat of the growing German Air Force. The RAF flew Vickers Wellington's and Bristol Blenheim's from Bassingbourn, which were part of 11 Operational Training Unit (11 OTU). This Unit took part in the early maximum effort 1,000 bomber raids on occupied Europe.
In October 1942, 11 OTU departed from Bassingbourn; that same month would see the arrival of what was to become one of the most famous Bomb Groups of World War II; the 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) of the United States Army Air Force.
At the war's end in May 1945 the American Airmen of the USAAF returned home to the States and the base was once again back in the hands of the RAF. During the coming years many different Squadrons and Units would be stationed at RAF Bassingbourn.
The base was one of many stations used to transport aid to the German citizens during the Berlin Airlift between June 1948 and May 1949.
Hostilities in Korea saw the return of the American's in the shape of the United States Air Force; various bomb groups were stationed at Bassingbourn during this time including the 301st, the 2nd and the 97th Bomb Groups, as well as the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. The stars and stripes flag of the USA was lowered for the final time at Bassingbourn in September 1951.
Bassingbourn then became home to the RAF's 231 Operational Conversion Unit; equipped firstly with Mosquitoes and Meteors, then Canberra's. 231 OCU was engaged in training aircrew in low level nuclear bombing techniques and other operational training duties.
In 1969 the RAF left Bassingbourn for the last time, and later that year the British Army brought a new lease of life to the base; Bassingbourn became home to the Depot of the Queens Division, a role which the base maintained until January 1993 when it became the Army Training Regiment Bassingbourn.
The Museum boasts a large selection of memoriabilia covering all stages of the bases history with both the RAF, the USAAF and the Army.