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Merston

Military site : airfield

Built during 1939-41 as a grass airfield satellite to RAF Tangmere, Merston initially had no fixed runways, 17 hardstandings, 12 double pens and six blister hangars. Occupied by RAF fighter squadrons from May 1941 to August 1942, it had been allocated to the Eighth Air Force in June 1942 as a satellite to RAF Westhampnett. It eventually became home to the 307th Fighter Squadron of the 31st Fighter Group, equipped with Spitfire Vs, during August to October 1942. The station then closed for redevelopment with two Sommerfeld Track runways and other improvements. Re-opened in May 1943 as an RAF fighter station, it was re-allocated to the Eighth Air Force in July 1943, and transferred to the Ninth Air Force in October 1943, but was never again used by American squadrons. The airfield closed in August 1944 when the process began of returning the site to agriculture. It was used by briefly by Air Disarmament Units of SHAEF during March to May 1945, and then by the Royal Navy for storage of war surplus equipment until finally closed in November 1945.

Service

Units

  • 31st Fighter Group

    31st Fighter Group

    Group
    The 31st Fighter Group only flew missions from England between June and September 1942 but during this period they supported the Dieppe raid, the assault on occupied Europe, predominantly by the Canadian army. The attack was forced into early retreat...

Aircraft

  • BL964

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire BL964 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • DL828

    Master
    Miles Master DL828, assigned to 307FS, 31FG, 8th AF USAAF.

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 Eighth Then And Now (London, 1978)

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://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?9949...

http://www.abct.org.uk/airfields/merston

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