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Great Ashfield

Military site : airfield

The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the airfield until 1945. In total the 385th flew 296 missions from Great Ashfield, losing 129 B-17s. From October 1945 Maintenance Command took control of the airfield, before the site was abandoned in 1959-1960.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

People

  • Francis Abdella

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 551BS, 385BG, 8AF USAAF. 24 x missions. On 10 Nov '44 while circling over base to form up for a mission, the plane 'War Horse' developed an oil leak. The engine caught fire and then the plane caught fire. All the crew bailed out but the...

  • Charles Abney

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Top Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Charles Abney was Top Turret Gunner on B-17G #43-38273 involved in a mid-air collision over Ostend, Belgium with B-17 #42-38035 (also 550th BS) on 1 March 1945 (mission to Ulm, Germany.) Crashed near Ostend, Belgium. KIA

  • John Adams

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Baled out of B17 # 42-30264 'Dorsal Queen' Midair collision with 'Raunchy Wolf'on return from mission near Paris. Plane crashed at Tillingham Hall Farm, Essex. 26 Sept 1943. Adams was the only crewman able to bail out.

  • John Albers

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 6 October 1944 in B-17 #4297275 'Rodger, the Dodger. ' died 10/7/44 Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 9522 ...

  • Frederick Albert

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). Shot down 5 December 1943 in B-17 #423397 'Fighting Cock. ' Plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Heading back to France with #3 engine on fire. With crew in dinghies, German shore patrol fired at dingies and 7 crew members died....

  • Arthur Alexander

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Crashed near Detmold on 11/2/44 in B-17 #4337888

  • Maurice Alexander

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 11 December 1943 in B-17 #423488. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Willis Alexander

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    B-17G #42-39908 was attacked by fighters, fell off into a dive, burst into flames, exploded in mid-air and crashed ENE of Boxtel on a mission to Brunswick, GR on 23 Mar 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • George Allen

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    INT Damaged by flak and crashed in Switzerland on 7/13/44 in B-17 #42107031

  • Anthony Ardzinski

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Anthony Ardzinski was a Tail Gunner in the 385th Bomb Group/ 550th Bomb Squadron.

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Aircraft

  • 41-9017 Heidi Ho

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Boeing B-17E ...

  • 41-9103 Dixie Demo

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 414BS/97BG Polebrook 11/4/42; with Lt. Clarence L. Thacker on first 8AF mission 17/8/42; transferred 92BG Bovingdon 24/8/42; 91BG Bassingbourn 3/3/43; 385BG Gt Ashfield 8/43 as target tow & hack; Returned to the USA 23/6/44; Reconstruction...

  • 42-102431 Slick Chick

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 4/3/44; Kearney 6/4/44; Dow Fd 21/4/44; Assigned 447BG Rattlesden 22/4/44; transferred 550BS/385BG [SG-Y] Gt Ashfield 23/4/44; battle damaged Mannheim 21/1/45 with Alfred Jacobsen; crash landed Pottswick Hall, Bradwell, Ex, UK,...

  • 42-102465 Wee Willie Wilber

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 5/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Dow Fd 14/4/44; Assigned 551BS/385BG HR-J] Gt Ashfield 20/4/44; Missing in Action Berlin 6/10/44 with Bill Jens, Athrian Vaughn, Bob Huff, Stewart Love, Chester Means, Joe Kunkle, Aloysius Kozanecki, Fred...

  • 42-102481 Kentucky Winner

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/3/44; Kearney 4/5/44; Grenier 19/4/44; Assigned 550BS/385BG [SG-P] Gt Ashfield 20/4/44; Missing in Action Berlin 18/3/45 with Bill Cocker, Bill Chaney, Harry Morthoroat, Bob Crider, Ellis Murray, Vince Figini, Joe Ryan, Harry...

  • 42-102486

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/3/44; Kearney 27/3/44; Grenier 20/4/44; Assigned 548BS/385BG [GX-O] Gt Ashfield 22/4/44; force landed continent 2/1/45; Salvaged 18/1/45.

  • 42-102551

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 12/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Grenier 14/4/44; Assigned 550BS/385BG [SG-F] Gt Ashfield 20/4/44; battle damaged Merseburg 25/11/44 with Mellors; crash landed Renoixe, Fr?; Salvaged 23/1/45. SKY GODDESS.

  • 42-102606 Curley's Kids

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/3/44; Kearney 2/4/44; Dow Fd 14/2/44; Assigned 550BS/385BG [SG-K] Gt Ashfield 20/4/44; Missing in Action Munich 12/7/44 with Bob McDonald, Co-pilot: Steve Ryan, Navigator: Bill Henry, Bombardier: Francis Chrisman, Flight engineer...

  • 42-102614 Ole-O-Oboe

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/3/44; with Hal Walker force landed Gore Fd, Mt 23/3/44; Oklahoma City 7/6/44; Cheyenne 27/7/44; Kearney 10/8/44; Manchester, NH 19/8/44; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-H] Gt Ashfield; 119m Returned to the USA Bradley 26/6/45; 4168 Base...

  • 42-102636

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/3/44; Kearney 2/4/44; Dow Fd 14/4/44; Assigned 550BS/385BG [SG-J] Gt Ashfield 22/4/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 30/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 4/7/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
16 October 2017 10:05:03 Lucy May Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Connected aircraft records that have 'Gt Ashfield' in their biography fields.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:16 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Eighth Then And Now (London, 1978)

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