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Military site : airfield

Built during 1942-43, Nuthampstead was the nearest Eighth Air Force heavy bomber base to London. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. It was first occupied from September 1943 to April 1944 by the 55th Fighter Group, equipped with P-38s, which was the first group to use these aircraft for long-range escort missions. The 398th Bomb Group, equipped with B-17s took over the station in April 1944 and remained until June 1945. Transferred to the RAF in July 1945, Nuthampstead was used as a Maintenance Unit ordnance store until 1954 and eventually closed in 1959. In the 1960s, it was one of the sites considered for London's third airport, but was ultimately rejected in favour of Stansted. Since mostly demolished and returned to agriculture, plus forestry and light industry, Nuthampstead retains a small, private, grass airstrip. A new Nuthampstead Airfield Museum is currently being created (see ), dedicated to the 55th Fighter Group and 398th Bomb Group.

More information on the history of Nuthampstead can be found here:

More information on the 398th can also be found at the website of the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association, including many interviews with 398th veterans:

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known



  • 814th Enginer Aviation Battalion

    814th Enginer Aviation Battalion

    Arrived in Liverpool on 15 July 1942 and travelled to Royston, Hertfordshire. The men spent their first night bivouacking in the village of Nuthampstead. Over the next few months, they built the new airfield outside the village.

  • 398th Bomb Group

    398th Bomb Group

    The 398th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire on strategic bombing raids over Germany. The Group switched focus in the days before D-Day, when they targeted enemy positions on the Cherbourg peninsula. When the Allied...

  • 478th Sub-Depot
  • 55th Fighter Group

    55th Fighter Group

    The 55th Fighter Group were the first P-38 Lightning Group to go fully operational from England. The pilots flew long-range escort missions for bombers flying over occupied Europe and racked up 'kills' of their own by destroying enemy aircraft in...

  • 18th Weather Squadron

    18th Weather Squadron

    Browse 18th Weather Squadron photographs and other documents in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library digital archive here:

  • 325th Station Complement Squadron
  • 600th Bomb Squadron
  • 601st Bomb Squadron
  • 602nd Bomb Squadron
  • 603rd Bomb Squadron


  • Floyd Aaron

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer - Top Turret Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    Missing in Action (MIA) 13 April 1945 Neugmunster, Germany. Bombs from one of our planes in the formation exploded in mid-air after release and damaged this aircraft.

  • George Abbott

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Togglier/ Bombardier | 398th Bomb Group
    He had been a waist gunner in training to take over the Bombardier role and was in the nose. A German 88 anti aircraft shell had exploded in his lap, killing him instantly. The plane with its nose blown off and up into the windshield made it back to...

  • Chambers Adams

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 398th Bomb Group
    Flew 32 missions in 77 days Distinguished Flying Cross (July 1944)

  • Albert Albino

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 55th Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 29-Nov-43 while pilot of P-38H 42-67051 when his aircraft was shot down at Hoogeveen, Holland. The aircraft with 2LT Albert A. Albino crashed into the railroad marshalling yards at Hoogeveen, Holland. He was originally listed...

  • Manuel Aldecoa

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 55th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 343FS, 55FG, 8AF USAAF. Killed in Action (KIA) on 25-Nov-43 when his aircraft, P-38H 42-6706 sustained a mid-air collision with a Fw-190 over Cuinchy, France while on a mission to provide top cover for P-47s that were attacking the German...

  • Louis Alessio

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Navigator | 398th Bomb Group

  • Isaac Alhadeff

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 398th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down by flak and crashed in Baltic on 8/6/44 in B-17 # 42102467 POW

  • Henning Amundsen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    air medal

  • Charles Anderson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 398th Bomb Group
    Distinguished Flying Cross

  • Alan Arlin

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 398th Bomb Group
    air medal

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  • 42-102467 Agony Wagon III

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 5/3/44; Gr Island 27/3/44; Grenier 7/4/44; Assigned 600BS/398BG [N8-J] Nuthampstead 27/4/44; on training mission 4/5/44 with Lt E. Ford in mid-air collision with 42-107191, damaged left wing but returned safely; Missing in Action...

  • 42-102506 'Contrary Mary'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/3/44; MacDill 28/3/44; Grenier 20/4/44; Assigned 602BS/398BG [K8-L] Nuthampstead 8/4/44; force landed continent 15/10/44 with Van Opdorp but ret. 20/11/44; Missing in Action Plauen, Ger 23/2/45 with Womeldurf, one crewman badly inj...

  • 42-102510

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 10/3/44; Gr Island 29/3/44; Dow Fd 6/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 27/5/45; RetUS, 3704 BU Keesler 4/7/46; 554 BU Memphis 7/7/46; Recl Comp Keesler 28/1/47.

  • 42-102516 Bronx Bomber I

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 10/3/44; Kearney 6/4/44; Dow Fd 14/4/44; ...

  • 42-102536 Here's Hopin'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 12/3/44; Gr Island 31/3/44; Grenier 6/4/44; Assigned 600BS/398BG [N8-C] Nuthampstead 26/4/44; crashed on take off for Merzehausen, Ger 24/12/44 with Don Grinter; (2 Killed in Action) when ship crashed at Lt Chishill, near Saffron...

  • 42-102596 Doodit

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/3/44; Kearney 1/4/44; Grenier 14/4/44; Assigned 601BS/398BG [3O-N] Nuthampstead 28/4/44; after mission 23/2/45 with Green was AOC 23/2/45; re-ass from 2 SAD Abbotts Ripton 4/4/45; RAF Valley 1/6/45; Returned to the USA Bradley 4/6...

  • 42-102597 Stinker

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Grenier 14/4/44; slated 303BG, Assigned 602BS/398BG [K8-V] Nuthampstead 3/5/44; (41m) Missing in Action Brux 12/9/44 with Jim Fields, Navigator: Goodrich White, Bombardier: Billy Gonser, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-107034 Rampant Pansy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 3/2/44; Dow Fd 18/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 1/5/44; no ops, transferred 749BS/457BG [K] Glatton 3/5/44; battle damaged Stuttgart 9/12/44 with ?; crash landed continent, Salvaged 2 SAD. RAMPANT PANSY.

  • 42-107054

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 8/2/44; Rapid City 2/3/44; Grenier 14/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 24/4/44; no ops, transferred 549BS/385BG [XA- ] Gt Ashfield; Returned to the USA Bradley 26/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 29/6/45; Reconstruction...

  • 42-107138 Witka Tanka Ton

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 3/3/44; Rapid City 12/3/44; Dow Fd 14/4/44; Assigned 603BS/398BG [N7-T] Nuthampstead 22/4/44, flown over from USA by group CO Col Hunter; (51m) Missing in Action Merseburg 21/11/44 with Paul Rich, Co-pilot: Don McKorkindale, Navigator:...

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