Concept

RM Chivenor

Summary
Royal Marines Barracks Chivenor is a British military base used primarily by 3 Commando Brigade. It is situated on the northern shore of the River Taw estuary, adjacent to the South West Coast Path, on the north coast of Devon, England. The nearest towns are Barnstaple and Braunton. Originally a civil airfield opened in the 1930s, the site was taken over by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and was operational between May 1940 and 1995 when it was transferred to the Royal Marines. The name Chivenor is first attested in 1285, as Chivenore. This is thought to originate in Old English as a personal name, Cifa, in its genitive form Cifan, combined with the Old English word ōra ('flat-topped ridge'). Thus the name once meant 'Cifa's flat-topped ridge'. The ridge in question runs from west to east along the north bank of the River Taw, from Heanton Punchardon to Tutshill Wood on the northern fringe of Barnstaple. Like Heanton Punchardon, RM Chivenor lies at the west end of the ridge. RAF Chivenor In the 1930s, a civil airfield was opened on or near the site of Chivenor farm. In February 1940 the Air Ministry took the site over, constructing an aerodrome in May 1940 for use as a RAF Coastal Command Station. Known as RAF Chivenor, the station opened on 25 October 1940 within No. 17 Group, Coastal Command. Initially, two units were based there initially: No. 3 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF and No. 252 Squadron RAF, both operating Bristol Beaufighters, Bristol Blenheims and Bristol Beauforts. After the Second World War, the station was largely used for training, particularly weapons training. During the 1950s and 1960s, No. 229 Operational Conversion Unit RAF (229 OCU) used Hawker Hunter aircraft for training. In 1974 229 OCU left for RAF Brawdy (where it was renamed as the Tactical Weapons Unit), with Chivenor placed into "care and maintenance" status for rebuilding, though No. 624 Volunteer Gliding Squadron (624 VGS) continued to fly from there. The RAF returned in 1981, with 2 Tactical Weapons Unit (2 TWU) and their BAE Hawks, moving in from RAF Lossiemouth.
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