Although RAF Bridgnorth was situated at Stanmore, around a mile east of Bridgnorth, it was named RAF Bridgnorth to avoid confusion with the existing RAF Stanmore Park near London. More than a million men and women received their basic training at RAF Bridgnorth between 1939 and 1963, many of whom arrived and left via nearby Bridgnorth station.
RAF Bridgnorth was always intended to be a training station and had no runways, although two T2 hangers were built to house aircraft used for instructional purposes. The station was ready for occupation on 6 November 1939 and was designated No 4 Recruit Centre, becoming a principal training centre for both aircrew and ground trades. It was fully operational by the time of the Dunkirk evacuation in May 1940, after which it temporarily housed a number of returning members of the British Expeditionary Force. Training was fully resumed after they left at end of June 1940.
On 4 June 1941 No 4 Recruit Centre left and the station was designated a WAAF training centre. It continued in this role until a change of policy at the end of September 1942 saw a return to use as a male training centre, this time as No 1 Elementary Air Navigation School. In addition to navigator training, battle training in ground combat and flying control training were also undertaken. The Empire Air Navigation School moved to Stanmore in June 1943.
After the War, the station reverted to training group personnel in October 1945, becoming No 7 School of Recruit Training. Both RAF and WAAF training was undertaken from that time. In October 1947 the station was adopted by the Borough of Bridgnorth, later becoming the first RAF base to be awarded the “Freedom of the Borough”.
The need for training reduced with the end of National Service in 1960, and the RAF Ensign was lowered for the last time on 7 February 1963. The area is now a Country Park.
- Brooks (2008) pp. 6, 42-48