Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Great Dunmow

Military site : airfield

The airfield, two miles north-west of Great Dunmow, was built in 1942-1943 by the US Army's 818th Engineer Battalion (Aviation), alongside British contractors. B-26 Marauders of the 386th Bomb Group moved in in September 1943, and in October the Group transferred from the Eighth to the Ninth Air Force.
General Dwight D Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, made an official visit to the airfield in April 1944. Three months later, the resident 386th Bomb Group began trials of the new A-26 Invader bomber from Gt Dunmow.
In October 1944, the airfield was handed over to the RAF, serving as a base for Short Stirling transporters under 38 Group. The Stirlings were replaced with Handley Page Halifaxes in 1945.
After the war, Great Dunmow was used as a vehicle store, before the airfield was abandoned in 1948. Also in 1948, the Anglo-American Goodwill Association erected a memorial on the southern edge of the site to the crews that once flew from the airfield.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

People

  • Hubert Altvater

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 386th Bomb Group
    Hubert Altvater was a Co-Pilot in the 386th Bomb Group. He was on B-26 # 42-96184 on his 64th mission on 6 August 1944 when it was hit by Flak and crashed into the sea off Trouville-sur-Mer, France. Gunner Franklin Swanson was killed and the five...

  • Robert Becker

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist gunner | 386th Bomb Group
    Robert Becker served as a waist gunner with the 555th Bomb Squadron of the 386th Bomb Group. On 13 December 1943, he was flying in B-26 41-31625 'Hell's Fury' when it was shot down near Schiphol, Holland. He is buried in a shared grave in Arlington...

  • Robert Birmingham

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail gunner | 386th Bomb Group
    Assigned to the 553BS, 386tBG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to bomb a bridge near Ecouché 28-Jul-44. Collided with Fw190 fighter. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 7016. Awards: AM, PH.

  • Frederick Briggs

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 386th Bomb Group
    Assigned to the 553BS, 386BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to bomb a bridge near Ecouché 28-Jul-44. Collided with Fw190 fighter. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 7016. Awards: AM (4OLC), PH.

  • Claude Cannaday

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 386th Bomb Group
    Assigned to the 553BS, 386BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to bomb a bridge near Ecouché 28-Jul-44. Collided with Fw190 fighter. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 7016. Awards: PH.

  • Harold Corbin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator; Bombardier | 386th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 27-Sep-43 in B-26C 41-34987 'Danny Boy II', 386BG/552BS while serving as Navigator/Bombardier. The aircraft took a direct hit from AA fire in the left engine enroute to bomb the German airfield at Conches, France. The aircraft...

  • William Cox

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 386th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 27-Sep-43 in B-26C 41-34987 'Danny Boy II', 386BG/552BS while serving as Pilot. The aircraft took a direct hit by AA fire in the left engine while enroute to bomb the German airfield at Conshes, France. The aircraft crashed...

  • Selwyn Danowitz

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio operator | 386th Bomb Group
    Assigned to the 553BS, 386BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to bomb a bridge near Ecouché 28-Jul-44. Collided with Fw190 fighter. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 7016. Awards: PH.

  • Peter Denisevich

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier / Navigator | 386th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 552BS, 386BG, 9AF USAAF. Member of training crew #21. Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • George Dunn

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 386th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 27-Sep-43 in B-26C 41-34987 'Danny Boy II', 386BG/552BS while serving as Radio Operator. The aircraft tooK a direct hit by AA fire in the left engine enroute to bomb the German airfield at Conches, France.The aircraft crashed...

Show more

Aircraft

  • 41-24484 'The Bad Egg'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-C] Bangor 31/8/42; Bassingbourn 1/10/42; on return from Cognac 43+m 31/12/43, diverted through weather to Gt Dunmow, Andrews Field, then Hunsdon Afd, with Hilary Evers, Co-pilot: Paul McDuffee, Navigator: Frank Keneley,...

  • 41-31576 Dinah Might

    B-26 Marauder

  • 41-31625 Hell's Fury

    B-26 Marauder
    Shot down 13 December 1943 near Schiphol, Holland. For an account of this mission see: http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier/055.htm

  • 41-31634 'Hell's Hurricane'

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 555BS, 381BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) St Omer, France 8-Sep-43 last seen with engine feathered dropping out of formation escorted by several Spitfires. ...

  • 41-31805 'Wood's Rocket Raiders'

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to the 553rd Bombardment Squadron of the 386th Bomb Group, 9th AF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to bomb a bridge near Ecouché 28-Jul-44. Collided with Fw190 fighter. 6 x KIA. MACR 7016.

  • 41-34947 'Idiots Delight' 'Lady Luck'

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 451BS, 322BG named "Idiot's delight". Transferred at 554BS, 386BG, 9AF renamed "Lady Luck". Lost 10-Feb-44 when flak shell hit fuel tank of starboard wing, wing detached at nacelle and A/C tumbled on fire. France. 1 x POW, 5 x KIA. MACR...

  • 41-34987 Danny Boy II

    B-26 Marauder
    B-26C-15-MA 41-34987 "Danny Boy II" was assigned to the 386BG/552BS at Great Dunmow, UK. On 27-Sep-43 the Group was despatched to bomb the German airfield at Conches, France. Un-route to the target the aircraft took a direct hit from AA fire in the...

  • 42-96184

    B-26 Marauder
    42-96184 was on its second mission of the day on 6 August 1944. The target were fuel dumps near the Forêt d'Andainne, East of Domfront, Calvados, France. Hit by 88mm Flak shell above Le Havre, causing fire in the right engine. Three parachutes were...

  • 43-34422

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 554BS, 386BG, 9AF USAAF. Transferred to 451BS, 322BG, 9AF USAAF. Destroyed in fatal mid air collision. 2Lt James A Shettles Killed in Action (KIA). 18-Mar-45.

  • 41-31606 Rat Poison

    B-26 Marauder

Show more

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2016 17:06:48 SavvyGA Changes to description
Sources

Added Eisenhower and A-26 testing.

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2016 17:05:20 SavvyGA Changes to description
Sources

Added Eisenhower and A-26 testing.

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2016 16:58:24 SavvyGA Changes to description
Sources

Clarified RAF use as being under 38 Group (ie not Bomber Command).

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).

Share