Boscombe Down was the Royal Air Force’s main experimental test station during World War II. In 1939, the peacetime station at Martleston Heath was moved to Boscombe Down, a World War I airfield with some permanent buildings, and everything was moved within a short time period. Shops and hangars were set up, but strangely, for nearly all of the war, the facility operated using only a grass runway area with a maximum length of 1800 yards, just over a statute mile, in any direction. I find that amazing, as they operated Halifaxes, Lancasters, Stirlings, and even Meteors and Vampires from the field regularly. Facilities included a control tower, a few hardstands, gunfire stop butts, a wind tunnel, accommodations and engineering shops, and finally at the end of the war, a paved runway. Nearby were firing and bombing ranges. The role of the facility was to test aircraft, engines, and weapons systems. Later, the beginnings of the Test Pilots’ School were established. By 1944, the station had become a permanent RAF installation. This facility did not have the same function as performed by the USAAF at Wright Field or the Navy at Patuxent River. It was truly a unique installation.