The station Headquarters opened on June 1, 1937 and the aerodrome on July 1, 1937. Different squadrons arrived using the airfield as an Operational Training Unit, training men in many different types of planes.
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Cranfield was out of the main area of the Battle of Britian, but this did not stop the enemy dropping two bombs on the airfield in 1940, which caused little damage. A suitable satellite airfield at Twinwood farm was also constructed, to the North- East of Cranfeld. Blenheim's were brought into use in April, 1942.


It took 6 months to train agents as wireless operators sending morse, but the secret intelligence service thereby suffered delays to their programmes and one suggestion offered by the technical department was to investigate the use of a line of sight radio telephone system. Fitted with the first set, Cranfield based Fairey Battle, L4975, completed the initial tests in May, 1941., with the apparatus -the first S phone-then transferred to a larger aircraft having, an increased seating capacity.

The S phone was used by secret agents to contact the pilot of aircraft delivering ammunition, guns and other equipment. The wireless operator agent would give directions to the pilot as to where to land or drop his parachutes in enemy occupied countryside. In the secret war Cranfield was therefore important as being used by aircraft engaged on the initial tests with the S phone, a radio telephone used by agents to communicate in line of sight with liaison aircraft. At Cranfield, during the closing weeks of the war, some 1500 male service personnel and 799 female members were all accommodated