Davidstow RAF memorial museum
The Davidstow Moor R.A.F. Memorial Museum began in 2003 when Mr David Keast had a Memorial stone dedicated to all those who served on this coastal Command Airfield. The Memorial Museum followed in 2006 housed in a restored wartime building, (the former sergeant’s shower block) now extended to two buildings. The Museum gives a rich pictoral history of its wartime years, 1942 - 1945 in photographs, letters and artifacts. With many authentic local memorabilia.
Entry is FREE, the museium is run by volunteers, donations are welcome to maintain the upkeep of the museum.
Situated on the edge of the wild expanse of Bodmin Moor, it’s hard to imagine that the site of the memorial museum was once alive with the roar of aircraft taking off and landing and the drone of military vehicles. The base was opened in October 1942 and a convoy of American airmen were the first to arrive, using the base to refuel and stay overnight before heading off to France. Visiting the museum you can also see the old control tower, derelict now, where the pilots made their first radio contact on their way over the sea from operations on the Continent.
Despite being nearly a thousand feet above sea level, the airfield’s strategic position was important as a base from which to send aircraft on search and rescue missions for ditched aircrews in the waters of the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay. The fact that the planes patrolled the Atlantic prevented new boats from surfacing and helped keep our waters clear for shipping.
Davidstow Moor saw its share of disasters too. It’s estimated that there were about forty aircraft crashes – planes limping home and forced to land, others overshooting the runway – and over a hundred aircrew lost their lives. There are many stories connected with the airfield – acts of great bravery, and work of great importance.
That was a lifetime ago. Davidstow Moor is at peace again: skylarks sing high in the sky and sheep graze on farmland nearby. It’s a solitary place, but the scars are still there – the Memorial Museum stands testimony to those terrible years and commemorates all those who served there from 1942 - 1945.
Wheelchair and dog friendly
Open daily from 10:30am to 4pm from Easter to end of October.
Telephone: 01840 213266 or 0779 655 6939