Opened in 1939 as part of the RAF's expansion programme, RAF Benson was home to No 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit throughout the Second World War. Post War, in 1946, the Station became the home of Royal flying as the Queen's Flight was located here until 1995 when they moved to RAF Northolt.
Today RAF Benson is home to Puma helicopers of 33 and 230 Squadrons, Merlin HC3 and HC3a helicopters of 28 (AC) and 78 Squadrons, and the Tutor T1 Aircraft of Oxford University Air Squadron. RAF Reserve unit, 606 (Chiltern) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force are also located here in the form of the Helicopter Support Squadron. There are also numerous other lodger units based at Benson including Thames Valley Police helicopters of the Chiltern Air Support Unit.
RAF Benson has access to all major motorways, and is situated between two large towns. Oxford, to the North, is home to many museums, art galleries, and University colleges. Reading, to the South, has two major shopping malls; one of which is The Oracle. The River Thames runs through Benson and the Chilterns are an area of natural outstanding beauty.
RAF Benson has a Spar shop and Post Office, the Naffy Caffy conveniently located with the HIVE, the Old Station Nursery, the Learning Centre, the Station Hairdresser, a Thrift Shop and various sports and social activities for service personnel and dependants alike. RAF Benson also has a motor home, a river cruiser and a minibus available for use by service personnel and their families for a small fee.
The information on this site has been compiled from various sources accessible on the internet: acknowledgements are due to MOD Website, RAF Website, HIVE website, & Wikipedia.
The site is intended to be an impartial and useful source of information about the Forces Base and surrounding area for members of HM Armed Forces, their families and civilians working on the Base. There should be nothing of a sensitive nature as everything here is readily available on the internet. If you spot anything that is out of date or just plain wrong, please contact us.
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