Dunkeswell Airfield marked its 80th anniversary on the weekend of August 5 and 6.

A two-day programme of events had been planned, but Saturday’s activities were cancelled following a Met Office weather warning of strong winds.

However, celebration events went ahead on Sunday as the airfield ‘paid homage to eight decades of aviation excellence’, as its website phrased it.

Midweek Herald: A Spitfire at Dunkeswell Airfield's anniversary celebrations

Among the attractions were Spitfire flights, helicopter flights, wingwalking, a large static aircraft display and a display of vintage military vehicles.

Midweek Herald: Dunkeswell Airfield anniversary event

Dunkeswell Aerodrome was built in 1943 and was originally planned as a Fighter Command airfield, then a Coastal Command airfield, but was transferred for use by American units and became their Station 173.

​On completion it was initially occupied by the USAAF 479th Anti Submarine Squadron and then by the US Navy, who undertook U-boat hunting in the Bay of Biscay. 

It ceased to operate as a military airfield in 1949.

Full details of its history can be found at the Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre, on the same site. It has around 400 photographs depicting life on the base during WWII, along with other wartime artefacts.