The Bentwaters Aviation Society (BAS) was formed in 2002 by a group of enthusiasts wishing to keep alive the memory and record the history and heritage of both the Royal Air Force and United States Air Force activity at RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge. Members of the Society also administer and operate the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, which opened to the public on Sunday 27th May 2007.

If you can help with information or donations for the Museum, we would like to hear from you. Please use the contact page to send us a message. Membership of the Society is open to anyone, and by joining the Society you will be actively supporting the Museum.

We have monthly meetings with guest speakers, slide shows, quiz evenings, model club, and visits to sites of aviation interest.


The museum is based in the former USAF hardened command post on the former Bentwaters airfield, we believe that currently this is the only such building open regularly to the public in the UK and Europe. The main “war operations room” and “Battle cabin” have been restored to original condition, the BT telephone exchange room, and decontamination showers and airlock are also as original. Other rooms within the building have been turned into exhibition rooms, covering the history of RAF Bentwaters from W.W.II until the base closed in 1993. Included in this are histories of the units that operated form the airfield, particularly the 81st FW.

Another room is dedicated to the history of the other airfield which was part of the “twin base” complex RAF Woodbridge, again covering the period from WWII until the present day. We have other exhibition rooms featuring information on the “Special Operations/Rescue Squadrons” that were based at RAF Woodbridge, as well as the “Aggressor” Squadron based at Bentwaters. A miscellaneous exhibition room has Cold War exhibitions and a Cold War timeline, as well as displays about the 81st Fighter Wing at Shepherds Grove, the USAF Cobra Mist installation on Orfordness, and the 2164th Communications Squadron.


Society Aims
The primary aim of the Society is to preserve the history of the ‘Twin bases’ of RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge, including over 40 years of occupancy at the bases by the USAF 81st Fighter Wing. The Society records the complete history of all activities at both airfields, and this is on display in the Bentwaters Cold War Museum.

The Society has a monthly meeting on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 19.30 in the meeting room of the Bentwaters Cold War Museum. The meetings are varied in subject matters with guest speakers, quiz nights and slide/film shows. Meetings are open to Society members only.

Trips and excursions to locations of interest to members will be arranged during the year. We are always open to suggestions, so if you have any ideas for a visit, then please let us know via the contact page or at one of our meetings.

Society Structure
The Society is a registered UK charity and is managed by a board of eight Trustees. Further information on the Society can be found on the Charity commission’s website here


As a registered charity, the Bentwaters Aviation Society undertakes numerous fund raising events throughout the year, but also greatly appreciate donations from the general public that allow us to maintain, run, and improve the Bentwaters Cold War Museum.

Should you wish to help us by making a donation, you can do so using the button below. All donations are extremely gratefully appreciated.