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Military site : airfield

Originally named Isle Abbotts, the station was built during 1942-43 as a potential RAF bomber base, but completed in 1944 as a Ninth Air Force transport base. Renamed Merryfield in September 1943, by the time it opened in February 1944 there were three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two T2 hangars. It was first occupied by the 441st Troop Carrier Group from April to September 1944. IX Troop Carrier Command continued to use the station to ferry supplies and personnel until it was handed over to the RAF in October 1944. The RAF continued to use the station as a transport base until the airfield closed in 1946, although it was retained as a reserve airfield. Re-opened from 1951 to 1961 as an RAF training and photographic reconnaissance base, as an RN training base, and also used for test flying by the Westland Aircraft Co, the process of closing the site and and selling the buildings began during the 1960s. That was halted in 1971 when the RN claimed what remained for redevelopment as a helicopter training base. Renamed HMS Heron (II) in May 1972, Merryfield remains in use as an RN Air Station (RNAS), satellite to HMS Heron (I), RNAS Yeovilton.




  • Robert Anstey

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 441st Troop Carrier Group
    Assigned to 302 TCS, 441 TCG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) re-supply mission to Bastogne in C-47 42-100870 'Emma Mae' hit by flak, just past the IP point, and set aflame, cargo was salvoed and then crew baled out before A/C crashed. Prisoner of...

  • Clifford Frederiksen

    Military | 441st Troop Carrier Group
    Took part in the Normandy Invasion in June 1944, dropping and resupplying troops for the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions on D-Day. Later took part in operation Market Garden

  • Newel Henretty

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 441st Troop Carrier Group
    - D-Day: landed 501 PIR paratrooper on drop zone D. ...



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

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)