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Polebrook

Military site : airfield

Polebrook was laid down for RAF Bomber Command use in 1940-1941. Built by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, it had short runways which were lengthened for USAAF heavy bomber use. The RAF used the base for operational trials - including of B-17 Flying Fortresses. In 1942, the airfield was handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Accommodation for over 2,000 personnel was provided on sites built in woodland to the north of the station. The 97th Bomb Group used Polebrook first, before the 351st Bomb Group moved to the airfield in the spring of 1943. They remained at the base until the end of the war. RAF Maintenance Command took over in 1945, and in 1947 Polebrook briefly became a satellite for RAF Upwood. It was declared inactive a year later. In 1959, however, Polebrook became home to a Thor ballistic missile squadron, which remained until 1963.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

People

  • George Adams

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot, Fighter Pilot | 351st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 510BS, 351BG, 8AF USAAF. Detached service (DS) with 1st Scouting Force. Ended Tour Duty (ETD).

  • William Adams

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 97th Bomb Group
    Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 41-24443 while serving as Radio Operator. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Cleo Aldridge

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 351st Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Hit by flak and crashed near Neuffen on 7/13/44 in B-17 #4231748 POW

  • Stanley Aldridge

    Military | Sergeant | Engineer | 97th Bomb Group
    Killed on training flight to Burtonwood when a/c B-17E-BO 41-9098 flew into Cadair Bronwen in the Berwyn Mountain range in North Wales

  • Clifford Allen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Shot down by fighters near the IP and crashed N of Abbeville, FR on a mission to Frankfurt am Main, GR on 2 Mar 1944 in B-17G #42-31776 'Maggie's Drawers'. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • James Allman

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 351st Bomb Group
    James entered the Army Air Corps in July 1942 and served in a glider unit. James received his basic training at Santa Ana, California, and then attended Radio Operators School at Scott Field, Illinois, and Gunnery School at Yuma, Arizona. After serving...

  • Charles Anderson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 351st Bomb Group
    Shot down 28 May 1944 in B-17 42-97472. Evaded.

  • Francis Anderson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer / Top Turret Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Francis Anderson was born in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. He was a 1941 graduate of Live Oak Street High School, New Smyrna Beach. He enlisted in the Air Corps in October 1942 and took basic training at St Petersburg, Florida. He followed courses at the...

  • Alex Andreoni

    Military | Corporal | Ordnance | 351st Bomb Group
    Witnessed the crash of the Heinkel (HE 111H) of the touring circus on 10 November 1943 at Polebrook. 'The opportunity of serving with the 351st BG 511th BS was a momentous period in my early manhood. It exposed me to humanism, a new lifestyle,...

  • Henry Annucci

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Shot down by fighters near the IP and crashed N of Abbeville, FR on a mission to Frankfurt am Main, GR on 2 Mar 1944 in B-17G #42-31776 'Maggie's Drawers'. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

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Aircraft

  • 40-2043 First B-17 Loss (RAF)

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered RAF [AN518] as part of Lend-Lease Act; 90 Squadron (WP-B) Polebrook, UK Aug-41; transferred 220 Squadron, Portreath, MIA Bygland, Norway, 8-Sep-41. First B-17 loss (RAF). Salvaged. This was an RAF loss not a USAAF loss.

  • 40-2044 First B-17 to bomb Germany (RAF)

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered RAF [AN519] as part of Lend-Lease Act; 90 Squadron (WP-H) Polebrook, UK 3-Jun-41; transferred AAEE Boscombe Down 20-Aug-41; first B-17 to bomb Germany (with RAF) 20-Dec-41; transferred to 206 Squadron, Benbecula 16-Jul-42; 59 Squadron [ -V]...

  • 40-2051 B-17C

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered RAF [AN520] as part of Lend-Lease; 90 Squadron [WP-?] Polebrook, UK 4-Apr-41; transferred 206 Squadron [VX-X] Benbecula, Outer Hebrides, Scotland 1-Nov-41; 220 Squadron [ZZ-D] Nutts Corner 1-Apr-42; RAF Coastal Command Development Unit ...

  • 40-2052

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered RAF [AN521] as part of Lend-Lease; 90 Squadron [WP-K] Polebrook 15-Apr-41 with Major Walsh, the first aircraft to the fly Atlantic to RAF, Watton; transferred 220 Squadron, ZZ-? Portreath 28-Oct-41; 107 MU Kasfareet; Fuka 5-Dec-41; engine...

  • 40-2053 B-17C

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered RAF [AN522] as part of Lend-Lease; 90 Squadron [WP-J] Polebrook 3-May41; t/o West Raynham, Nfk, flew in to heavy cloud and crashed 10m north of Catterick Bridge, Yorks. UK 22-Jun-41; with F/O John Hawley, Lt Bradley*, J. Humpherson, Sq Ldr...

  • 40-2055 B-17C

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered RAF [AN523] as part of Lend-Lease; 90 Squadron [WP-D] Polebrook 21-Apr-41; damaged in RAFR Brest mission 16-Aug-41 with Sturmey, Franks, Mulligan, Goldsmith Wounded in Action (4 Returned to Duty); H. Needle, S. Abrose, M.Leahy (3 Killed in...

  • 40-2056 B-17C

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered RAF [AN524] as part of Lend-Lease; 90 Squadron [WP-?] Polebrook 3-May-41; crashed 21-Aug-41 became instructional airframe.

  • 40-2057 B-17C

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered RAF [AN525] as part of Lend-Lease; 90 Squadron [WP-D] Polebrook 21-Apr-41; Missing in Action on mission to bomb the Admiral Scheer on Oslo harbour 8-Sep-41 with D. Romans, F.Hart, P. Corbett, J. Brown, W. Honey, H. Merrill (RCAF), R. Beattie ...

  • 40-2060 B-17C

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered RAF [AN526] as part of Lend-Lease; 90 Squadron (WP-G) Polebrook 5-Jun-41; led first RAF B-17 mission, to Wilhelmshaven; became instructional airframe 4429M St Athan, Wales 24-Oct-42.

  • 40-2061 B-17C

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered RAF [AN527] as part of Lend-Lease; 90 Squadron (WP-A) Polebrook 5-Jun-41; transferred 220 Squadron (ZZ-A) Nutts Corner 12-Feb-42; Struck Off Charge 15-Sep-43; Written off 1-Sep-44.

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 October 2016 13:18:43 Lucy May Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2015 22:20:39 abinsfield Changes to usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date and closure date
Sources

Personal research

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 (London, 2001)

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

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