The RAF Memorial Museum’s fascinating past
Situated on the edge of the wild expansive Bodmin Moor, it’s hard to imagine that the site of the memorial museum was once alive with the roar of aircraft taking off and landing and the drone of military vehicles. Opened in October 1942, a convoy of American airmen were the first to arrive, to refuel before heading onto France.
Despite being nearly a thousand feet sea level the airfield’s strategic position was an important base for aircraft on search and rescue missions for ditched aircrews in the waters of the English channel and the bay of Biscay. The planes patrolling the Atlantic prevented u-boats from surfacing and helped keep our waters clear of shipping.
Davidstow Moor saw its share of disasters too. It’s estimated that there were about 40 air crashes – planes limping home and forced to land, others over shooting the runway – and over 100 aircrew lost their lives. There are many stories connected with the airfield – acts of great bravery, and work of great importance.
That was a lifetime ago. Davidstow Moor is at peace again: skylarks sing high in the sky and sheep graze on the farmland nearby. Its a solitary place but the scars are still there. The RAF Davidstow Moor Memorial Museum stands testimony to all those who served there from 1942 – 1945.