Operations at RAF Station Kirknewton began in August 1952 with 17 officers and 155 airmen living in tents with wooden floors. During 1953 construction of support facilities was undertaken and the airmen began moving into prefab H-frame buildings heated with small oil burners. During 1953 the staffing level was brought up to about 450 personnel in the 37th Radio Squadron Mobile (RSM) and the 7535th Air Base Squadron was formed to provide base support services with additional personnel. The 37th RSM was re-designated the 6952nd RSM in May 1955 and became the 6952nd Radio Group in July 1963 and stood down in 1966. The tour of duty was three years for single and married personnel accompanied by family. It is estimated that approximately 3000 airmen or more served at RAF Station Kirknewton from 1952 through 1966. Around 1900 names are on the alumni list. This list can be viewed by clicking here or on Alumni Information in the Directory above.
Not much exists today of the old RAF Station Kirknewton site. The upper main site has been demolished and the area now is high-end expensive homes. The buildings utilized by the USAF at the lower site have been demolished except for two WW2 era airplane hangars that are still in use today. The runways still exist and are utilized by the 661st Volunteer Glider Squadron (VGS). The 661st resides in temporary administrative buildings and utilize one of the hangars to house the gliders. The other hangar is utilized by local residents for private airplanes.
A reunion of former USAF members that served at RAF Station Kirknewton was held in Edinburgh, Scotland September 18-23, 2013. The Kirknewtom 661st VGS hosted the group for a luncheon and presentation on their glider activities. Fred Crawford (1963-1965) then gave a presentation on the USAF years followed by a collection of old base photo's. These can be accessed by clicking on the two right most entries in the directory above.
A members only website exists on www.spokt.com. If you served at RAF Station Kirknewton during this time, and would like to be a member click on "View My Guestbook" below and leave a message.
Harry Hathhorn, Webmaster
RAF Station Kirknewton (Aug 1955--Nov 1957)
Det 3-2, Samsun, Turkey (Dec 1957--Dec 1958)