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Greenham Common

Military site : airfield

Built for the RAF in 1942 as an Operational Training Unit, it was handed over to the Eighth Air Force in 1942, and was the 51st Troop Carrier Wing's HQ in 1942. Greenham Common became a Ninth Air Force base in 1943, and was then home to a series of fighter and troop carrier units, including the HQs of the 70th, 100th and 71st Fighter Wings, and the 438th, 439th, 442nd and 316th Troop Carrier Groups 1944. The base owes its fame to the United States Air Forces Europe presence in the Cold War, when cruise missiles were deployed there. It was closed in 1993, and has been administered by the Greenham Common Trust and Greenham Business Park from 1997-date.

Service

Units

People

  • George Addis

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 438th Troop Carrier Group
    Assigned to 87TCS, 438TCG, 9AF USAAF. Piloted C-47A 42-100745 from US to ETO. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Norman Aigner

    Military | Captain | Pilot
    Norman L Aigner served as a co-pilot with the Headquarters Squadron of the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing. On D-Day, 6 June 1944, he was shot down in Horsa LJ161 over Normandy, France and killed. He is buried in Normandy American Cemetery.

  • Robert Andrus

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | fighter pilot | 368th Fighter Group

  • Mercer Avent

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 438th Troop Carrier Group
    Assigned to 89TCS, 438TCG, 9AF USAAF. On mission to Denain / Pouvry, France went into an inverted dive and crashed into the ground at Jacobs Well, Guildford. It seemed the 5,000lb of cargo had shifted, disrupting the aircraft's Centre of Gravity. 25...

  • Barney Blankenship

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 438th Troop Carrier Group
    Co-Pilot of C-47 Skytrain 42-92847 'That's All Brother' of 87th Troop Carrier Squadron, 438th Troop Carrier Group, 9th AF. Lead ship of Mission Albany the air dropping of 6600 US paratroops into Normandy, France on the eve of D-Day.

  • Robert Brown

    Military | Captain | Glider Pilot | 438th Troop Carrier Group
    Assigned to 88TCS, 438TCG, 9AF USAAF. Under tow by C-47A 42-100756, broke through overcast and tow rope released prematurely, in manoeuvring cut wing tip off on adjacent A/C's tow rope. Lost control and span in 6 miles NW Bruges. Killed in Action (KIA)...

  • Alfred Buckner

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Glider pilot | 438th Troop Carrier Group
    Assigned to 90th TCS, 438th TCG, 9AF USAAF. Crashed structural failure 1/2 mile W of Newbury/Sta 486, Died non Battle (DNB), 12-Dec-44. Awards: AM (OLC), EAME (2 x bronze stars), PH.

  • Carl Cary

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 438th Troop Carrier Group
    Assigned to 89TCS, 438TCG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) glider tow mission to Eindhoven, Holland. Hit by flak in port engine and wing, left formation released glider from tow and went into dive from which it did not recover. Crashed Retie, Belgium...

  • Robert Casperson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio operator | 438th Troop Carrier Group
    Assigned to 88TCS, 438TCG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) re-supply mission to Bastogne, on run in to DZ, for reasons unknown, A/C went into a power dive and crashed. 23-Dec-44. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 11024 Awards: AM (OLC), PH.

  • Harry Chalfant

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Crew Chief | 438th Troop Carrier Group
    Crew Chief of C-47 Skytrain 42-92847 'That's All Brother' of 87th Troop Carrier Squadron, 438th Troop Carrier Group, 9th AF. Lead ship of Mission Albany the air dropping of 6600 US paratroops into Normandy, France on the eve of D-Day.

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Aircraft

  • 42-100770 'Little Jo'

    C-47 Skytrain
    Belonged to the 89th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 438th Troop Carriers Group that was at the start of the D-Day invasion, dropping the 101st Airborne at Drop Zone A near St. Mere-Eglise. Later took part in the Southern France invasion and Operation...

  • 42-24102

    C-47 Skytrain
    Assigned to 88TCS, 438TCG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Operation Varsity [Rhine crossing]. A/C was taking small arms and anti aircraft fire over DZ, paratroopers dispatched, A/C still intact. Seen to veer away from the formation and dive,...

  • 42-79442

    CG-4A Haig
    Assigned to 88TCS, 438TCG, 9AF USAAF. Under tow by C-47A 42-100756, broke through overcast and tow rope released prematurely, in manoeuvring cut wing tip off on adjacent A/C's tow rope. Lost control and span in 6 miles NW Bruges. 7 x Killed in Action ...

  • 42-92087

    C-47 Skytrain
    Assigned to 88TCS, 438TCG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) re-supply mission to Bastogne, on run in to DZ, for reasons unknown, A/C went into a power dive and crashed with the loss of the crew. 23-Dec-44. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 11024. ...

  • 43-15500

    C-47 Skytrain
    Assigned to 90TCS, 438TCG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) St Dizier Over the Channel and on approach to French coast on instruments and in icing conditions crashed 15 miles SE of Saint-Valery-en-Caux. 3-Dec-44. 4 x Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 10533...

  • 43-40145

    CG-4A Haig
    Assigned to 88TCS, 438TCG, 9AF USAAF. Whilst landing in field in LZ, took small arms fire, no one emerged from glider. 3 x Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 6269. ...

  • LJ161

    Horsa
    Airspeed Horsa glider. Assigned to 83rd Troop Carrier Squadron, 437th Troop Carrier Group, 9th Air Force. A/C lost 6-Jun-44, last seen Blosville, France under heavy machine gun fire en route to LZ. 2 x crew, 2 x passengers [82nd Airborne] [Cargo on...

  • 42-92847 'That's All Brother'

    C-47 Skytrain
    Lead aircraft of Mission Albany the US airborne drop on the eve of D-Day. Led 432 aircraft dropping 6,600 paratroopers behind enemy lines on the Cotentin Peninsula of Normandy. ...

  • LJ132

    Horsa
    Airspeed Horsa glider LJ132, assigned to 90th TCS, 438th TCG, 9AF USAAF. Crashed 1/2mile W of Newbury/Sta 486. Structural failure, port elevator tore loose from the horizontal stabilizer, pilot 2Lt A C Buckner and copilot 2Lt H R Croke Died non Battle...

  • W3718

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire W3718 Mk Vb Const #1935, Built at High Post. ...

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Revisions

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

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Manual (London, 2001)

Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

Chris Ashworth, Action Stations 9: Military Airfields of the Central South and South-East (Cambridge, 1985)

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