raf upwood | the usaf have left the building

Officers' mess ballroom. View east. © Simon Cornwell 2002

A final shot of the dining room/ballroom in the Officers’ Mess. And then we took leave of RAF Upwood for this day.

I will return, but will be seeking official permission to do so. There are aspects about this site that I hadn’t realized and there are serious ramifications about being seen walking around it.

OK, serious stuff over with, here's what we missed, or should be there:

Station Headquarters
Operations Block
Station Armoury
The three other hangers
MT Vehicle Sheds
Social Club
Crazy Golf Course (remember to take a putter and a golf ball)
Type 'Q' Barracks
Main bomb store (on the otherside of the runway)
Water tower/Boiler House #1
Water tower/Boiler House #2
Parachute Stores
Drying Towers
Photographic Block (although I've already done the one at Wyton)
Battle Headquarters
Squash Courts

© Simon Cornwell 2002

"Just wanted to tell you that I surfed to your pic gallery of RAF Upwood. It broke my heart to see the state the place is in. I was stationed there 91 - 93 with the USAF as an instructor. I was actually the last USAF person there and handed the keys over to the buildings which were beautiful when we left them."

"Thanks for the memories though - it was without a doubt the best assignment I've ever had in the Air Force and am sorry to see the buildings I remember so well being in such bad shape. The Officer's Mess was our dormitory for students. We actually conducted classes in a large, renovated building in front of the parade ground - don't think I saw any pics of that on your site or at least I didn't recognize them."

"Anyway, I remembered the "lush green carpet" well from the Officer's Mess and the room where the fireplace was where we took class pictures. I have a few in my possession now. I even remember the day we had that installed which was roughly 1991 (I think)."

John Hancock, MSgt, USAF
Shaw Air Force Base, SC USA

"I went to school at Upwood from 1992 to 1993, when I was 10-11 years old. My father was in the USAF and our family was stationed at RAF Alconbury. A few of the buildings at Upwood were used as an elementary school campus. Some of my fondest childhood memories were from my time spent at Upwood."

"Many of the buildings you visited were not part of the elementary school, except for the Dining Room. That was our cafeteria. The parade ground was our recess/playground area. We also used the gym, and at least once used parts of the runway to run laps and do sprints."

"If you ever do visit Upwood again, I would really appreciate being able to see some of the buildings on the north side of the base. The two H-shaped buildings (D1-F1 on your map) were where my classes were. I believe the two Type 'Q' barracks on the opposite side of the parade ground (F4-F6) were classrooms for younger kids, and the H-shaped building in between them housed the school's administration offices. Those are the only buildings I remember being part of the school."

"I had no idea that the base closed soon after we left. It is heartbreaking to see the buildings rotting away in such disrepair, but I really do appreciate being able to see the place again." - Kim

"... Love all the pictures but the ones that really struck me were the ones from RAF Upwood. My dad was stationed at RAF Alconbury and we spent 8 years living at RAF Upwood. Long enough that they hadn't converted some of the buildings around the parade ground into the schools for the DOD school system and I spent a few years at the Upwood Elementary School just off base. While I might not be able to tell you what some of the buildings were used for prior to what I knew them as, but I can tell you what they were from when I was there. I took one of the photos you have, flipped it and labeled it as its uses during the 80's and early 90's."

"1 - School Admin building and 3rd grade classes. I remeber my class being on the 2nd floor in the back on the north wing (if I'm remembering the directions correctly) and the office should be directly to the right when you go through the front doors."

"2 - 2nd and maybe a 3rd grade class or two were here. I still remember my teachers name, Mrs. Calzini if I remember correctly. We had the class in the front of the building in the south wing, 2nd floor. I remember this building a lot because a bat kept making its home in the fire alarm and would set the stupid thing off at least 3 or four times a month."

"3 - Kindergarden and 1st grades were here. Was at Upwood Elementary for those grades so I only remember going in that building once or twice for siblings."

"4 - This was used, and I think another visitor commented, for the Leadership school for the NCOs. My dad was actually assigned to live there for a bit while he was in training, even though we lived in the base housing at Upwood."

"5 - School Lunchroom. I remember this walk everyday. Not sure I labeled it very well. I remember being told that it had been the airmen dining hall during WW2. There was a huge mural on the north wall, it's hard to remember exactly what it was but I keep seeing a picture of the English countryside. Looking at the picture here I still see the diagonal walkway to the entrance where we would line up for lunch. That line would go from that door, all the way down the hall, hug the wall to the left, around the the north wall then back down the west wall into the serving area doors."

"6 - I think the upper floor here was 5th grade and the lower floors were general purpose. I had an English history class here when I was in 3rd or 4th grade."

"7 - same as 6 here, except that it was 4th grade classes and general purpose on the first floor."

"I know you probably get a lot of people when it comes to the military bases giving you the names of the buildings they see you looking around. I am very curious for the building 1 -3 if they are not used anymore what they look like inside anymore. I thank you for listening to my ramblings. Made me really miss the time I had over there in the UK. Now I'm going to head back to your pictures and remember some other times." - Joseph O'Donnell