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Lashenden

Military site : airfield

Close to but completely separate from RAF Headcorn, Lashenden was built for the RAF during 1942-43 as an Advanced Landing Ground (ALG), initially as a light bomber base and then as a training base for mobile fighter squadrons. Enlarged and improved for the Ninth Air Force during 1943-44, the station eventually had two BRC runways, 80 Sommerfeld Track hardstandings, and a Butler combat hangar plus supplementary blister hangars. Taken over by the 100th Fighter Wing in April 1944, the station was occupied by the 354th Fighter Group, equipped with P-51s, for only two months from April to June 1944. The airfield was then unused from July 1944 and closed in September 1944. Dismantling of the runways and buildings began in October 1944, and the site officially returned to agriculture from January 1945. However, during the 1960s part of the site was used again for private flying, and has since been developed into the multi-role Lashenden (Headcorn) Aerodrome. This is confusingly sometimes called simply Headcorn Aerodrome, although completely separate from the wartime ALG at Headcorn. The current Aerodrome has been home since 1970 to the Lashenden Air Warfare Museum.

Service

Units

People

  • Robert Ackerly

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot | 4th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. ...

  • Gus Allen

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot-1055 Single Engine | 354th Fighter Group
    2.5 air kills 4 ground kills

  • William Anderson

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot 1055 single engine | 354th Fighter Group
    7 kills plus 2 V-1s

  • Raymond Bain

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 354th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 555FTS, 496FTG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 355FS, 354FG, 9AF USAAF. 80 missions. Failed to Return fighter sweep to Schifferstadt hit by return fire and shot down in P-51D 44-63193 21-Feb-45. Baled out POW. MACR 12599.

  • Don Beerbower

    Military | Major | Fighter pilot | 354th Fighter Group
    CO 353rd FS 354th FG 9th AF ...

  • Don Beerbower

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot 1055 single engine/Squadron Commander | 354th Fighter Group
    Top ace of the 9th AF with 15.5 air and 3 ground kills when KIA Aug. 9, 1944. First US serviceman to be awarded the Silver Star in liberated France. P-51B s/n 43-12375 FT+E "Bonnie B II" crew chief TSgt Leon Panter.

  • Carl Bickel

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot 1055 single engine | 354th Fighter Group
    5 kill ace Hub stands for Head Up (his ass) Bickel.

  • Vernon Boehle

    Military | Major | Fighter pilot | 362nd Fighter Group
    A 71[Eagle] Sqn RAF Spitfire pilot, transferring to the 334th FS, 4th FG, 8th AF USAAF. ...

  • Richard Boes

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 354th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 555FTS, 496FTG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 356FS, 354FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) armed recon to Bockingen, Germany in P-51D 44-13561 'Short Fuze Sally' lagging behind was bounced by Me109's and shot down. Killed in Action (KIA)....

  • Leslie Burgess

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 354th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. 18 x combat missions. 86 x combat hours. Credited 1 x ground kill. Transferred to 354FG, 9AF USAAF. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

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Aircraft

  • 42-106712

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 353FS, 354FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort Madgeburg turned back due to mech failure 1st Lt Donald McDowell Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 5133.

  • 42-106935

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 370FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 356FS, 354FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Periers, France. Strafing horse drawn convoy, hit telegraph and attempted to belly land. Pilot Lt William J Walbrecker Killed in Action (KIA), 26-Jun-44...

  • 42-75392 'Spunky'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Lt Robert J Messenger. Transferred to 377FS, 362FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) from strafing mission, hit trees strafing armed vehicles on edge of woods. With a dead engine pilot Lt Robert...

  • 42-76437 'Street Cleaner'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 378FS, 362FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) dive bombing mission to Sedan, France. After 3rd bombing pass on transport column in Bastogne, pilot 2Lt William B Foster reported prop had failed, bellied in and walked away. POW. 23-Dec-44....

  • 43-12175

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 353FS, 354FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) crashed Röhrsen, Germany 8-Apr-44. Pilot Lt Dennis Johns Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 3560.

  • 43-12264 'Sweet Suzanne'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 355FS, 354FG, 9AF. Lost on bomber support penetration mission to Berlin 3-Mar-44. Engine failed, tried to return to base and crash landed near Blokzijl. Pilot Lt Horace B White initially evaded capture...

  • 43-12375 'Bonnie B'

    P-51 Mustang
    P-51B Mustang FT*E 43-12375 "Bonnie B", 353rd FS, 354th FG, 9th AF. While on a fighter sweep in the Reims, France area he took the squadron down to strafe a German airfield. On their second pass his plane took hits in the wing and fuselage, then went...

  • 43-6320 'My Toni'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 355FS, 354FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort to Brunswick bounced by enemy fighters crashed Hanover Pilot 2lt Rob R B McIntosh KIA (KIA) MACR 3252.

  • 43-6441

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 355FS, 354FG 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort mission. A/C abandoned out of fuel. Pilot Lt Joseph Lilly POW. MACR 4426.

  • 43-6730

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 355FS, 354FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Lost on transit to Debden in cloud over the coast North of Ipswich 12-Oct-44. Pilot 2nd Lt Fred G Buckner KIA. MACR 10228.

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:17 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

Chris Ashworth, Action Stations 5: Military Airfields of the South-West (London, 1982)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lashenden_(Headcorn)_Airfield

http://www.maconcerts.co.uk/venue-pdfs/History%20of%20Lashenden.pdf

http://www.lashendenairwarfaremuseum.co.uk/

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