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Martlesham Heath

Military site : airfield

Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield, it was selected to become an Eighth Air Force fighter base in 1942. Developed in 1943 with two experimental, soil stabilising, oil and tar mixture runways, it had 70 aircraft dispersals, 20 steel mesh mat plus 50 PSP squares. There were one A, one G, one GS and three blister hangars. The 356th Fighter Group, equipped first with
P-47s and then with P-51s, occupied the station from October 1943 to November 1945, after which it was returned to the RAF. During 1946 to 1960, the station was used again by fighter squadrons, and then by a variety of special units, until the airfield closed in 1961. The site was sold in 1963 and has since become mainly an industrial and housing extension to Ipswich, including Suffolk Police headquarters and Adastral Park (previously the Post Office Research Station). The Control Tower is preserved as a Museum by the Martlesham Heath Aviation Society.

Detailed history

The restored Control Tower is now the home of the Martlesham Heath Aviation Society Control Tower Museum.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

People

  • Charles Adams

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 360FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF, 59 missions, flew P-47D 'Frances' Favorite', Named for mother Frances Adams. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory.

  • John Alexander

    Military | Pilot Officer | Pilot
    Joined RAFVR, service pilot training in US, shipped overseas to ETO, operational training at OTU, assigned to 71S, Bf109 damaged shared 15-5-41, Hurricane Mk I damaged friendly fire !! [John Flynn] 15-5-41.

  • Robert Alexander

    Military | Flight Officer | Fighter Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 495FTG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 361FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 3rd Gunnery & Tow Target Flight. Transferred to 368FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD).

  • Louis Alphonse

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 359FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. 40 missions and credited 1 aerial victory. Failed to Return (FTR) fighter bomber mission to Rheims, on landfall on French coast at Le Treport, last seen lagging behind formation and lost contact when they changed...

  • Charles Ambrose

    Military | Pilot Officer | Pilot
    Joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1939. He completed his training and arrived at 12 Group Pool on 23rd February 1940. ...

  • Edwin Anderson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 360FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Chatanooga mission to Wilhemshaven, forced by weather to fly alog below the overcast, A/C hit by flak in oil system. A/C P-47 42-76396 abandoned near Wilhemshaven. Lt Anderson Prisoner of War ...

  • Thomas Andrews

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Squadron Commander | 496th Fighter Training Group
    Joined RAFVR, service pilot training in US Dallas Aviation School RAF refresher course, shipped overseas to ETO, operational training at OTU, assigned to 71S, led Blue Flight 1st mission over Dieppe 18-8-42, transferred to 334FS 4FG 8AF USAAF 16-9-42 —...

  • Richard Andrino

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 360FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) area support mission to Bonn in P-51D 44-15307. Chasing a Fw190 at low level in the vicinity of Bonn, Germany when the E/A pulled up and over a small copse of trees, following closely, A/C hit...

  • Julius Asbridge

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    On 29-Nov-43 2LT Julius B. Asbridge was piloting P-47D 42-8502, 356FG/360FS on a mission to support bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany. His flight approached a six-aircraft formation of bombers from the rear and closed to about 500 yards. The flight...

  • Clifford Ashby

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 361FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Completed (End) Tour of Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

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Aircraft

  • 42-22542

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 360FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bomber escort Reims - Lost in mid air collision with P-47 42-8662 over Soissons, France 30-Dec-43 F/O Everett L Brock KIA MACR 1971.

  • 42-26271

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 360FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) area support mission Shot down strafing marshalling yard 12-Aug-44 pilot 2Lt Herbert P Causer RTD. 12-Aug-44 MACR 7613.

  • 42-26459 'Butch II' 'Eager Eddie' 'Portland Rose'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 352FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Lt Col William B Bailey. Re-assigned to Lt Edward C Andrews. Transferred to 361FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 509FS, 405FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) local test flight crashed...

  • 42-26649 'Elizabeth' 'Miss Carriage'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 350FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 361st FS, 356th FG, 8AF USAAF. ...

  • 42-74658 'Little Fifi'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 359FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) flak emplacement strafing mission crash landed Groesbeek, Belgium pilot Lt Howell Broxton Evaded (EVD) 17-Sep-44. MACR 8799.

  • 42-75505

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Lost on 19 May 1944 on an escort mission of B-24s to Brunswick, Germany. Pilot : 1st Lt James K. Johnson (POW)

  • 42-76066

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 359FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 387FS, 365FG,9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) armed recce to East Koln, Germany. Hit by flak on bombing run pilot 2nd Lt Vernon Martin baled out MIA 15-Oct-45 MACR 12438.

  • 42-76396

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 360FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Chatanooga mission to Wilhemshaven, forced by weather to fly alog below the overcast, A/C hit by flak in oil system. A/C abandoned near Wilhemshaven. Pilot Lt Edwin E Anderson POW. MACR 5105.

  • 42-8491 'Donna Dae III' 'Princess Jocelyn' 'Tiger Lil'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 486FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 359FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down by friendly fire whilst mistakenly attacking a US motor convoy Avranches. Pilot Lt Louis G Alphonse Killed in Action (KIA). 14-Aug-44. MACR 7373.

  • 42-8502

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-5-RE 42-8502 was assigned to the 356FG/360FS at Martlesham Heath, UK. On 29-Nov-43 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Julius B. Asbridge, was respatched with other P-47 from 356FG to escort bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany. According to a statement...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 January 2016 15:08:10 Al_Skiff Changes to media associations
Sources

AAM DB Entry.

Date Contributor Update
01 April 2015 21:08:00 usxpat Changes to history and media associations
Sources

http://eastangliamemorials.blogspot.co.uk/

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 Eighth Then And Now (London, 1978)

Roger Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Manual (2nd edn, London, 2001)

Michael Bowyer, Action Stations 1: Wartime Military Airfields of East Anglia 1939-1945 (Cambridge, 1979)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Martlesham_Heath

http://www.mhas.org.uk/museum/index.html

http://www.mhas.org.uk/MHAS/index.html

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