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Military site : airfield

Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd Bomb Group, popularly known as 'Hell’s Angels' which moved in with its B-17s in September 1942 and remained at the base until June 1945. Molesworth reverted to RAF control in 1945 and was closed in 1946. It was re-opened in 1951 for use by the US Air Force, and it remains a US base today: home to the Joint Intelligence Operations Center Europe Analytic Center. It was announced in January 2015 by the US Department of Defense that RAF Molesworth will close as a USAFE base in 2022. The USAF intelligence and support elements currently located at RAF Molesworth and RAF Alconbury will be combined in a new complex at RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire. RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, will also close as a USAFE base after 2020.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

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  • Donald Aageson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Donald C Aageson served as a pilot with the 303rd Bomb Group. He flew 29 missions. ...

  • John Abeyta

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 427BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 34 x combat missions. Ended Tour Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Joseph Adamczyk

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4239764 'Santa Anna. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Arthur Adams

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    26-Jul-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F 41-24563 [PU-H] "Garbage", 303BG/360BS with crew at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK, aboard "Garbage". ...

  • Ralph Adams

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Orginally assigned with the 92BG at Bovingdon, UK as an Aerial Gunner with the rank of Sergeant. He flew his first mission (and the only one with the 92BG) on 21-Oct-42. ...

  • Alexander Alex

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4239764 'Santa Anna. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • George Ali

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Automotive mechanic | 303rd Bomb Group
    George N Ali served as an automotive mechanic with the 1681st Ordnance Company at Molesworth, which bombed up the B-17s of the 303rd Bomb Group. ...

  • Homer Allen

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    15-Jul-42 Assigned as Navigator on B-17F 42-2967 [PU-G] "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Shak Hak" ...

  • Samuel Anderson

    Military | Captain | Lead Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Navigator of B-17F 41-24579 [PU-F] at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth UK. He was despatched on 26 Operations - 25 credited. Served as a Lead Navigator on 23 of those missions. Completed a 25-Mission tour...

  • William Anderson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    William Anderson, worked as a bank clerk in New York before the war. He lived with his parents at 49 Garden Street, Roslyn Heights, NY. As of 20 April 1943, he had navigated his plane in 17 raids. This has gained him the Air Medal and 2 Clusters at the...

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  • 41-24416

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 326BS/92BG Bangor 16/7/42; 95BG Horham /43; 359BS/303BG [BN-V] Molesworth, 17/6/43; Returned to the USA Sheppard 5/7/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 26/10/45. BLACK DIAMOND EXPRESS.

  • 41-24517 Kali

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24517 [GN-O] 'Kali' 303BG/427BS assigned with crew on 1-May-42 at Alamogordo Field, Almogordo, New Mexico. Sent with crew to Dow Field, Bangor, Maine for deployment 5-Oct-42. Arrived at Molesworth, UK 24-Oct-42 ...

  • 41-24526 Leapin' Liz

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24608 "Leapin' Liz". Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-J] Bangor 19-Sep-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42; Missing in Action St Nazaire 3-Jan-43, shot down by enemy aircraft, crashed off St Brevin, Bay of Biscay, France. 10KIA Missing Air Crew Report (MACR)...

  • 41-24539 Jersey Bounce

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-K] Kellogg Fd 15/9/42; Molesworth 16/10/42; CCRC Bovingdon 27/7/43; 384BG Grafton Underwood 22/9/43; Salvaged NBD 31/5/45. JERSEY BOUNCE.

  • 41-24541 Spook

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24541 "Spook" was assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-G] Kellogg Fd 14-Sep-42; Molesworth 16-Sep-42;The aircraft participated in 12 Operations - 4 Aborted (See Biography events) ...

  • 41-24558 Hunga Dunga

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-25-BO 41-24558 [VK:F] "Hunga Dunga" was assigned to the 358BS/303BG [VK-F] at Bangor. Maine on 14-Oct-42; arrived at Molesworth, UK on 16-Oct-42; Missing in Action Vegasack 18-Mar-43 when it was attacked by enemy aircraft near Helgoland. Germany...

  • 41-24559 Ooold Soljer

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24559 'Ooold Soljer' was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-C] Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42. ...

  • 41-24561 The Duchess

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-T] Bangor 10/9/42; Molesworth 16/10/42; 59m transferred 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 7/7/44; Returned to the USA Altus 18/8/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Altus 14/8/45. Over Vegasack 18/3...

  • 41-24562 Sky Wolf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-A] Bangor 14/10/42; Molesworth 16/10/42; 60m Missing in Action Oschersleben 11/1/44 with Aubrey Emerson, Co-pilot: McDonald Riddick, Navigator: Lew Halliburton, Bombardier: Don Delaura, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Grover...

  • 41-24563

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-H] Bangor 14/10/42; Molesworth 16/10/42; on training flight with Arthur Adams, Co-pilot: Gene Witterstetter, Navigator: Glen Herrington, Bombardier: Mike Libonatti, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Lew Hart, Radio Operator:...

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Date Contributor Update
08 November 2016 12:13:42 Lucy May Changes to aircraft associations

Connected aircraft records that have 'Molesworth' in their biography fields.

Date Contributor Update
09 January 2015 11:36:33 IWMPM Changes to description

USAFE-AFAfrica Press Release, 08 January 2015. See

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 Eighth Then And Now (London, 1978)