RAF Cardington Camp

Final Bedford map
Before the ceremony.

Hello, welcome to the RAF Cardington history website set up in 2012. The station just south of Bedford town was in operation from 1936 to 2000 and although primarily a recruitment centre was home to a large array of Units. Balloon Units were stationed here, a direct legacy from the early airship programme begun at Cardington in 1915.

Arnold 55
Group cricket

Grp Capt A R Arnold DSO, DFC - the longest serving Station Commander from Nov 1939- Mar 1945

A 1943 RAF Cardington cricket team. Sport of any kind was high on the agenda for staff in their spare time.

Arthur RAF sign
Free Czech Air Force Association Ltd
Absolute final sheds Jan 2016

The two magnificent sheds still standing proud. Home to airships from 1916-1930 and put to numerous uses by the RAF in later years.

During 1949/1951 over 120 ex RAF Czech pilots fled persecution in their home country and made their way to RAF Cardington.

Renamed MU217 RAF Cardington in 1955 - the Gas Plant supplied RAF depots throughout the world.

A Memorial Stone for RAF Cardington.

aaaaMike speech
3. The memorial
4. RAF Cardington

On the morning of Saturday 18th May 2019 a memorial stone to RAF Cardington was unveiled. Special guests assembled to witness the unveiling of the stone located at the front of the Shorts Building (known as Station HQ in the RAF years). We were specially honoured to welcome the Lousada family to the memorial. From 1956 to 1959 Group Captain Lousada was Station Commander at Cardington and on July 27th 1959 he accepted the Freedom of Bedford on behalf of the station from the Lord Mayor of Bedford. We were delighted that his youngest son Michael (shown above right) had agreed to unveil the stone.

The stone was designed and totally financed by Bellway Homes who are the major developers of the former station which is now a housing development. Responding to a request to provide a lasting memorial to the station they agreed without hesitation to support the initiative. Permission was obtained from the MOD to use the RAF emblem on the memorial and the process began.

Thank you Bellway Homes!!

More details of the memorial can be found on the Memorial Unveiling Page in the Topic Section. A huge thank you is due to Bellway Homes for supporting and financing this project right from the beginning. I think you will agree they have done a good job. Certainly without them this memorial would not have happened. Thank you from Jane Harvey.

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