Northstowe is built on a site of considerable historic interest. The site itself dates back to the time of the Romans and before. In more recent times Oakington Airfield was a premier RAF station for 35 years. Oakington airfield was the original home of the Short Stirling, the first four-engined heavy bomber to enter service, as well as other aircraft such as Blenheims, Wellingtons, Stirlings, Lancasters, and Mosquitoes. The heavy Stirlings caused havoc with the grass runways and the construction of concrete runways began in late 1941. (In the same year that King George VI visited the airfield). During the war the airfield was home to 7 Squadron whose crews received more than 500 gallantry awards. A total of 546 operations were mounted and 165 aircraft were lost – the third highest losses in Bomber Command.