Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Davidstow Airfield and Cornwall at War Museum

Fairey Gannet at Davidstow Museum.
The Davidstow Airfield and Cornwall at War Museum looks at RAF Davidstow Moor’s history, from its opening in October 1942 until late 1945 when the base closed down. Off the A.39 east of Camelford on the old airfield itself, the museum also covers other Cornish Royal Air Force bases, the Royal Navy around the Duchy, the Army, civilian services and the wartime home front.

Current pride of place goes to a rare ex-Royal Navy Fairey Gannet electronic countermeasures aircraft from 1956. Other exhibits include pilotless target drones, the deck gun from a U-boat, a tracked Rapier missile vehicle and the cockpit section from a 1950s Vampire jet trainer. As well as Davidstow’s history, the museum explores the Fleet Air Arm, Air Transport Auxiliary and the Royal Observer Corps; taking visitors back in time too are recreated wartime shops and the Home Guard exhibition.

The airfield still has many original buildings, including its old watch-tower, blast shelters and machine-gun ranges, while it’s not widely known that Davidstow was once home to Formula One motor-racing.

Annual special events include the War Machines weekend each July, which takes in weapons displays as well as exhibitions by the Cornwall Military Vehicle Trust. Airfield tours, group and school visits are available by appointment. For further information, check out  

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