The former RAF Carnaby has been commemorated to ensure the significance of former airfields, and the people who served there, are never forgotten.
An unveiling of a memorial by the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust at Carnaby remembers one of three special airfields created during World War Two as an emergency landing ground for aircraft.
The runway was five times the size of a regular runway. Kenneth Bannerman, head of the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be paying tribute to this historic site and hope this memorial will help ensure present and future generations will never forget the sacrifice of war.”
After first opening in March 1944, Carnaby enabled more than 1,500 aircraft to land safely.
Since then the airfield has served as a relief landing ground in the late 1940s and a Thor intermediate range ballistic missile base.
They were joined by Bloodhound surface-to-air missiles of No247 Squadron, but the decreasing global threat led to the disbanding of these units by the end of 1963.
Two local authorities purchased the site in 1972 to make it an industrial estate. Motorsport lasted a number of years too but the former activity gradually predominated to the extent that company premises cover most of the runway today; a dispersal loop on the south-west side has since disappeared and is now Lancaster Road. Mr Bannerman said: “Airfields in general are a much neglected part of British history and our charity exists to help preserve, and raise the profile of, these hugely atmospheric and important places.”