Compton Bassett

RAF Compton Bassett


No. 3 Radio School

Royal Air Force Compton Bassett


RAF Compton Bassett opened its gates in 1940 and was for a time a recruit training station. In 1947, Telegraphist boy entrants were introduced to RAF Compton Bassett, where they did their eighteen month training in telegraphy

In 1950 a new trade structure was introduced for airmen and airwomen in ground trades. As a result Trade group eleven came into being and was named as the "Ground Signalling Trade". In 1952 the Boy Entrants were transferred to RAF Cosford.

The following trades were taught at Compton Bassett. Wireless/Teleprinter operators, Teleprinter and cypher Mechanics,Tape Relay ops, Direction Finding ops, Teleg 2's, Teleg 1's, telephonists, and Ground Wireless mechanics. Ground Radar Technician training was introduced at a later stage

RAF Compton Bassett was built in 1940 and training started on 21st December 1944. Its main function during the whole of its existence was to train men and women in communication skills.

Initially it trained :

  • RAF Regiment Officers and O. R's in signaling
  • RAF and WAAF Wireless Operator Slip Readers
  • RAF and WAAF Ground Wireless Operators
  • RAF Telegraphist Wireless Operators
  • In March 1945 a total of 77 trainees successfully passed out from the Station

By June 1945 there were 93 RAF and 13 WAAF Officers, 1256 RAF and 429 WAAF Other Ranks under training. This presumably was the peak wartime establishment as the war in Europe had ended and the Station began to run down. A large number of redundant aircrew were posted to the camp awaiting demobilisation and by all accounts were not well treated by the station. In 1946 it amalgamated with No. 5 Radio School from Oxford, but it continued to train Wireless, Teleprinter and Telephone Operators up to its closure in August 1964.

In September 1964 the Eastern side buildings were put up for auction and the formal closure took place 18th September 1964.