The Perfect Aerodrome: A History of RAF Chivenor by David Watkins

As flying ends at Chivenor with the departure of 22 squadron, a fascinating new book looks at the history of the base through war and peace.

The Perfect Aerodrome: A History of RAF Chivenor by David Watkins covers the long and interesting life of the base.

It began as a grass aerodrome in 1932 and saw active service during the war years, with perilous anti-submarine operations during World War Two.

The book contains almost 300 photographs, many published for the first time, covering the entire 63 years history as an RAF base, ending in 1995.

The author himself served at Chivenor in the 1960s and his book was compiled through official archives, historians and former RAF personnel.

After the war, Chivenor went through a mundane post-war role of anti-aircraft duties and ferrying.

In 1951 it took on the role of training pilots in the new jet planes and this continued in 1980 with a £17 million investment in the base.

In the foreword to the book, Group Captain Phil Champniss AFC OBE, writes: "RAF Chivenor was the happiest of stations and I know of no-one who didn't thoroughly enjoy their time there. I consider myself fortunate to have served there. I commend this book to anyone who wants to know the complete history of a quite unique RAF station."

Published by Fonthill, The Perfect Aerodrome: A History of RAF Chivenor is available in bookshops and online.