In 1941, the land for RAF Brunton was requisitioned and in 1942, the site was opened as a satellite airfield for the nearby parent airfield RAF Milfield.
RAF Brunton comprised of three runways which overlapped in a triangle design. The longest of the three runaways ran north-south and was 1600 yards. A year later, it was further extended to 2,000 yards. The second and third runways were both 1,100 yards and like the main runway they too were further extended to 1,400 and 2,000 yards respectively.
As this was a satellite airfield to RAF Milfield, there were no permanent hangers installed. Four blister hangers were placed around the airfield to maintain the aircraft.
Blister hangers were designed by Norman & Dawbarn and William C. Inman and were officially called Dorman Long Hangars. The hangers measured 72 feet in length, 45 feet wide and had a height of just over 20 feet. Unfortunately, none of these hangers exist today.
RAF Brunton was used to train pilots in strafing, formation flying and ground attack. Pilots were taught how effectively attack ground attack targets with a mixture of rockets, bombs and cannons. This was part of a 9–10 week pilot course with the first 4–5 weeks spent at RAF Milfield.
The first pilots to be trained at RAF Brunton were from the 59 Operation Training Unit which operated the Hurricane. Miles Magisters and Fairey Battle aircraft were used in the aggressor role.
On October 13th 1941, Sgt. Tidy was forced to crash land in a nearby field due to engine problems with his Hurricane MK.1 aircraft (Serial P3524). As he exited the aircraft, top secret documents were scattered by the wind. A local school headmaster organised a search party with school children and the documents were safely retrieved.
A bombing decoy site was created nearby, it was designed to prevent enemy bombers from attacking RAF Brunton as it contained dummy aircraft at a simulated airfield. The exact location of this decoy is currently unknown.
As the war ended, and the need for ground attack pilots declined, the base closed on 14th February 1946.
The following units operated here at some point in its use:
- No. 56 Operational Training Unit RAF
- No. 59 OTU
- No. 2772 Squadron RAF Regiment
- No. 2879 Squadron RAF Regiment
- Fighter Leaders School RAF