The Battered Aircraft Hulks of Moreton-in-Marsh Fire Service College

moreton-in-marsh-abandoned-aircraft (All images by True British Metal, cc-nc-sa-4.0)

RAF Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire was one of hundreds of airfields hastily constructed throughout the British Isles during World War Two. Opened in 1940, the former Bomber Command station to the north of the Cotswolds operated the Vickers Wellington during the conflict, but finally closed in 1948 and was taken over by the Home Office in 1955.

The facility serves a rather different role today. As home to the Institution of Fire Service Engineers and the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh is responsible for the operational and leadership training of all senior fire officers from brigades across the UK. It still has some aircraft, too, albeit non-airworthy ones.

Among the rusting wrecks lying around the former perimeter taxiway are a stripped-out Fleet Air Arm Hawker Hunter, serial number WT804, a Westland Wessex Helicopter, the gutted fuselage of a Jet Provost and a rather shabby Vickers Viscount. None of the aircraft appear to be burnt, suggesting they’re used for crash rescue training rather than fire fighting practice.









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