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Rivenhall

Military site : airfield

Originally allocated to the Eighth Air Force as a heavy bomber base, Rivenhall was built during 1943-44 but transferred to the Ninth Air Force before construction was complete. It had three concrete runways, 51 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. The 363rd Fighter Group, equipped with P-51s, was the first to occupy the station from January to April 1944. The 397th Bomb Group, equipped with B-26s, then occupied the station until August 1944, after which it was handed over to the RAF's 38 Group, controlled from nearby Marks Hall.
Placed on Care and Maintenance in 1946, Rivenhall was used temporarily to house displaced Polish servicemen who did not wish to return to Poland. Marconi leased part of the airfield in 1956, taking over most of the surviving buildings during the 1960s, and the main runway was used by GEC for radar experiments. Today, the northern part of the site has been turned into a quarry, with most of the land in the northwest area being excavated. Most of the rest of the site has returned to agriculture, but several of the wartime buildings have been adapted for light industry.

Detailed history

http://marconiradarhistory.pbworks.com/w/page/30077907/Rivenhall

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

People

  • Robert Altman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-pilot | 397th Bomb Group
    Assigned 599BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing raid on the Eller railroad bridge, Germany went missing after attacks by enemy fighters, last seen with one engine on fire. Prisoner of War (POW). 23-Dec-44. MACR 11487. ...

  • Donald Berry

    Military | Major | Bombarier | 397th Bomb Group
    Donald Russell Berry of Forest City, PA served as a bombardier in the 9th Air Force of the Army during WWII. He flew 65 missions from March to December 1944 and earned 4 battle stars and 12 Oak Leaf Clusters.

  • Stephen Briggs

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 397th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 598BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Hit by flak and was returning on one engine. Crash landing due to lack of fuel 1 mile south of Friston. 17-Jun-44. Killed in Action (KIA). Awards: PH.

  • Jacob Brinn

    Military | Sergeant | Armorer/Gunner | 397th Bomb Group
    Jacob Brinn served as armorer/gunner with the 598th Bomb Squadron of the 397th Bomb Group. On 1 August 1944, his B-26 43-34126 "By Golly" was shot down and crashed near Angers, France. Jacob bailed out and survived.

  • Francis Brodley

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 397th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 597BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Departed base Perrone (A-72) on mission to Germany, climbing through 10/10 cloud layer departed formation. Crashed 3 km SW Wassigny, partial bomb load detonation destroyed A/C and crew. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR...

  • Francis Brown

    Military | First Lieutenant | 397th Bomb Group

  • William Budge

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-pilot | 397th Bomb Group
    William Budge served as a co-pilot with the 598th Bomb Squadron of the 397th Bomb Group. On 1 August 1944, his B-26 43-34126 "By Golly" was shot down and crashed near Angers, France. William was taken as a Prisoner of War. ...

  • Lloyd Burns

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bomber pilot | 397th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 598BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing mission to Eller railroad bridge. Missing after attacks by enemy fighters. 23-12-44. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 11898. ...

  • Pasquale Carino

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail gunner | 397th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 599BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. 65 x combat missions flown. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing raid on the Eller railroad bridge, Germany went missing after attacks by enemy fighters, last seen with one engine on fire. Killed in Action (KIA). 23-Dec...

  • Charles Celeste

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier | 397th Bomb Group
    Assigned 599BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing raid on the Eller railroad bridge, Germany went missing after attacks by enemy fighters, last seen with one engine on fire. Killed in Action (KIA). 23-Dec-44. MACR 11487. Awards: PH.

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Aircraft

  • 41-28743 Eastern Beast

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 785BS, 466BBG, 8AF USAAF. Hit by 20mm flak direct hit taking out the Oxygen, electrical and hydraulic systems and starting a large fire. Went into dive after leaving the target area of Brunswick 8-May-44. S/Sgt's Carlson and Cannon bailed...

  • 42-96120 'Mama Liz'

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 597BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) hit by flak, dropped 3-4 thousand feet, crew baled out 24-Jun-44 1 x EVD, 5 x POW MACR 6197. ...

  • 42-96124 'Holy Moses'

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 597BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Departed base Perrone (A-72) on mission to Germany, climbing through 10/10 cloud layer departed formation. Crashed 3 km SW Wassigny, partial bomb load detonation destroyed A/C and crew. 6 x Killed in Action (KIA)....

  • 42-96143

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 596BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) R/R Oissel. Hit by flak prior to reaching the target. It was last seen going down with two engines smoking, but apparently under control near Aboucourt, France. 8-May-44 MACR 4429. ...

  • 42-96144 'Bank Nite Betty'

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 596BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing mission to the railroad bridge at Eller, Germany on the Mosel River. Hit by direct flak hit, A/C came apart at the turret and crashed NE of St Vith. No chutes observed. 7 x KIA (KIA)....

  • 42-96182 'Miss Furie'

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned 599BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. 64 x combat missions flown. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing raid on the Eller railroad bridge, Germany went missing after attacks by enemy fighters, last seen with one engine on fire. 1 x POW, 5 x KIA. 23-Dec-44. MACR...

  • 42-96280 'Baby Butch II'

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 597BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Eller railroad bridge, shot down by fighters over target crew baled out 6 x POW. MACR 11349. ...

  • 42-96289 'Stubborn Helen'

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 599BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Pointoise R/R bridge mission. Hit by flak near Dreux, wounding the pilot, taking out starboard engine and damaging the port engine. Losing altitude, left behind by formation, co-pilot...

  • 43-34126 By Golly

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 598BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Angers railroad bridge, shot down by fighter over target, 9 crew, 2 were killed: John Q West (pilot) and Douglas H Cramer (navigator). MACR 9808

  • 43-34136 'Red Dog'

    B-26 Marauder
    Assigned to 599BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. 24 x combat mission. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing mission to Eller railroad bridge. Vertical stabilizer shot away by fighters, did a complete roll, dropped out of formation with port engine on fire, seemed under...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 July 2018 15:41:09 mhg Changes to history
Sources

http://marconiradarhistory.pbworks.com/w/page/30077907/Rivenhall

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2016 16:54:17 SavvyGA Changes to description
Sources

Added RAF 38 Group control.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:18 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 (2nd edn, London, 2001)

Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Rivenhall

http://www.b26.com/page/rivenhall_airfield.htm

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