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 South West Airfields Heritage Trust

   “Preserving Aviation History for Future Generations”

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See our Unique Original Photographic Archive Documenting the major role this historic airfield played during the night of June 5th and the D-Day operation on June 6th 1944 and the Bravery of the men who flew from here.

All housed within part of the original 439th Troop Carrier Group HQ Officers’ Complex and original Nissen Hut

From Honiton

Proceed to junction of A30/A35 follow signs to Dunkeswell and then follow signs to Smeatharpe , Past Airfield then go through village. Past village hall, after about 200yds turn right down Slough Lane (there will be boards at the end of the road when we are open - 11am - 4pm Thurs to Fri and bank holidays). We are about 500 yards down on the right hand side, past a couple of bungalows.

From Taunton

Proceed out of Taunton on the Honiton Road go up Blagdon Hill past Culmhead business park take right fork follow signs Smeatharpe Just past Devon Boundary Sign, road bends to right take immediate left turn down Slough Lane (there will be boards at the end of the road when we are open - 11am - 4pm Thurs to Fri and bank holidays). We are about 500 yards down on the right hand side, past a couple of bungalows.

Upottery was the last of three wartime airfields to be built on the Blackdown Hills. On 25th & 26th April 1944, the USAAF 439th Troop Carrier Group arrived by air and road from Balderton airfield, Nottinghamshire bringing four Troop Carrier Squadrons each, with around twenty Douglas C-47 transport planes in preparation for the invasion of Normandy on D Day

Shortly afterwards over 1300 American paratroops from the 1st & 2nd Battalions of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, moved down from Aldbourne, Wiltshire together with over 1000 American glider troops of the 325th and 401st Glider Infantry Regiments, 82nd Airborne Division .

The exhibition in our Heritage Centre features a unique collection of photographs, of Aircraft and Personnel preparing for the invasion. Many are on loan from the family of the late Col Charles H Young, who was the war- time USAAF Commander of the 439th TCG.

The Photographs show the training the pilots undertook , the briefings, and also show the troops literally minutes before they flew to Normandy !

They provide a rare insight into what took place prior to D Day and the missions that took place after the invasion.

We think you will not fail to be moved and impressed by the courage and bravery of those who spearheaded the Normandy invasion and who gave us the freedom we enjoy today.

In addition to our photographic collection Come and See :-

Plus see our Pictures of the Real Band of Brothers. Upottery was the departure field for the well known men of ‘Easy Company’, 2nd battalion the 506th PIR, who were famously featured in Stephen Spielberg's TV series.

Opening times

The Heritage centre is open from:

Good Friday to the last Sunday of October  (unless otherwise stated)

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays 11am - 4pm   

Admission Charges

Entrance to our Heritage centres is by donation.

While Entry to the Exhibition is free We do rely totally on the generosity of Visitors and Sponsors to maintain this heritage centre.

Please Note We are a registered Not for Profit charitable educational Trust. All our staff are volunteers who are totally unpaid and we are not funded by any commercial organisation other than our corporate sponsors who help us with our Advertising and marketing.

All our running Costs are met by public donations

Each Centre costs approximately £40.00 a day to operate

So please do help us to keep going by giving us a donation so that we can continue to maintain and develop this centre for future generations

Disability Access

The Heritage Centre access is all on ground level, with the exception of one room

Free Parking

Children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all times.

GROUPS are very welcome and guided tours are available by prior arrangement. Please see Airfield Tours  Please call us on 07778 85 77 22

Local Pub

For a good lunch or dinner the Sidmouth Arms in Upottery opens daily throughout the year in line with the Heritage centre’s Opening Hours and sells a selection of "home" cooked hot and cold food, fresh ground coffee and cakes to round off your visit to the centre.

Click on Picture below                                                                           Back to Top

Local BnB        Local Hotel           Holiday Cottage

   What our visitors say?

     M. Shrimpton: "Excellent very well laid out , very impressive!"

     Sharon: "very interesting and humbling"

     Debbie and Rod: "Excellent , well presented"

     Peter: "Very interesting , great place to visit"

The Sidmouth Arms, Upottery EX14 9PN

 01404 861252


 Heritage Centre Information


HOW TO FIND US                                                                                         SAT NAV POSTCODE  EX14 9RD


Upottery Heritage Centre, Slough Lane, Smeatharpe Devon, EX14 9RD

  Southwest Airfields Heritage Trust  © 2017