Royal Air Force Croughton or more simply RAF Croughton is a Royal Air Force station which is currently a United States Air Force communications station in Northamptonshire, England. It is southeast of the village of Croughton. The station is home to the 422nd Air Base Group and operates one of Europe’s largest military switchboards and processes approximately a third of all U.S. military communications in Europe.
RAF Station Croughton was built in 1938, this station was first known as Brackley Landing Ground until 1940 when it became RAF Brackley. In July 1941 the name changed again and the station became RAF Croughton.
It consisted of 694 acres (2.81 km2) consolidated from three farms. Three grass runways with concrete taxiways dominated the high ground with the tower and other infrastructure buildings along the north side of the station and the slope leading up to the runways. In June 1940 the station became a satellite for RAF Upper Heyford for No 16 Operational Training Unit (No 16 OTU) to provide the unit with extra airfield space for night-flying training.
As World War II was getting more and more intense, the British government decided to split the British military bases in two categories – primary and secondary. The secondary ones were designated to receive the damaged aircrafts and repair them. RAG Croughton was one of them. They were considered to be emergency bases. Although the move was not quite the smartest, it did confuse the powerful Luftwaffe squad. The German pilots could barely make their decision about what targets are important. At the same time, these emergency bases were not that heavily guarded, so they represented some easy targets.
After World War II ended, the base was inactivated. It was turned into a storage site between 1947 and 1950. By the end of 1950, the base was given to the American forces. The first unit hosted on site was the 1969-th Communications Squadron, representing the start for a continuous update that turned the base into what it is today.