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Staplehurst

Military site : airfield

Built during 1943 as an Advanced Landing Ground (ALG), Staplehurst was used briefly by RAF fighter squadrons during August to October 1943 and then allocated to the Ninth Air Force. Developed and improved during the winter of 1943-44, the station eventually had two Sommerfeld Track runways with BRC intersections, 70 Sommerfeld Track and BRC hardstandings, one Butler combat hangar and four blister hangars. It was occupied by the 363rd Fighter Group, equipped with P-51s, from April to July 1944, but was then unused until the airfield closed in September 1944. Dismantled during the winter of 1944-45, the site was released by the Air Ministry in January 1945 and quickly returned to agriculture.

Service

Units

People

  • Feodor Clemovitz

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 363rd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 380FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort mission to Dessau shot down Gardelegen, Germany Prisoner of War (POW). 28-May-44 MACR 5136. Awards: POW,WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Marshall Cloke

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot 1055 single engine/Squadron Commander | 354th Fighter Group
    Col USAF retired CO 380th FS 363rd FG CO 355th FS 354th FG 2 air kills

  • Felix Kozaczka

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine | 354th Fighter Group
    Wingman 382nd FS 363rd FG P-51B 1 kill first combat tour Flight leader 356th FS 354th FG P-47D/P-51D 2 kills 2nd combat tour

  • Anthony Ladas

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 363rd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 382FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) penetration escort Frankfurt head-on mid air collision with P-47 42-26016. A/C destroyed pilot 2Lt Anthony E Ladas Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 5138. Awards: AM(3OLC), PH.

  • Carleton Palmer

    Military | First Lieutenant | P 51- Mustang Fighter Pilot | 363rd Fighter Group
    Carleton was an intelligent, hard working, and serious fighter pilot. He completed 103 missions before going down over Belgium in May of 1945.

  • Leonard Polley

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 363rd Fighter Group
    1940 graduate of Bloomington High School where he was active in football and wrestling. Attending Indiana University when he entered the US Army Air Corp as a mechanic in January 1941. ...

  • Charles Reddig

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 363rd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 380FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) dive bombing mission to Coutances, France. A/C P-51B 43-6512 hit by flak dive bombing gun positions NE Coutances. Lt Reddig abandoned A/C in area and evaded capture EVD. 4-Jul-44. MACR 6678.

  • Charles Smith

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine | 363rd Fighter Group
    Element leader 381st FS 363rd FG. ...

  • James Watson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 363rd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 382FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort mission to Berlin, group climbed through severe weather on instruments A/C lost during the climb. Crashed into English Channel. Pilot 2nd Lt James E Watson KIA. 4-Mar-44. MACR 2851.

  • Curry Wilson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 363rd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 382FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort Frankfurt 28-May-44 mission shot down pilot 2Lt Curry P Wilson Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5134. Awards: AM, PH, POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

Aircraft

  • 42-103004 'Little Joe'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 380FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort mission to Dessau shot down Gardelegen, Germany pilot 2Lt Feodor Clemovitz Prisoner of War (POW). 28-May-44 MACR 5136.

  • 42-106485 "Maggie's Drawers"

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 380FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Mechanical failure on mission to Berlin from home base Staplehurst, AAF-413, crash location near Lingen, 29-Apr-44. Pilot Albert G Johnson, POW. MACR 4435.

  • 42-106486 'Virginia'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 382FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) penetration escort Frankfurt head-on mid air collision with P-47 42-26016. A/C destroyed pilot 2Lt Anthony E Ladas Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 5138.

  • 43-6512

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 380FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) dive bombing mission to Coutances, France. A/C hit by flak dive bombing gun positions NE Coutances. Pilot Lt Charles R Reddig abandoned A/C in area and...

  • 43-6924

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 381FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. ...

  • 43-6953

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 381FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) patrol St Lo 11 July 1944. Hit by flak and crash landed near front lines .Lt Edward M. Myers seen to crawl away from burning aircraft. As it was close to Allied lines he was believed to have...

  • 43-6975

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 382FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort mission to Berlin, group climbed through severe weather on instruments A/C lost during the climb. Crashed into English Channel. Pilot 2nd Lt James...

  • 44-13575 'Penny'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Lt Harry E Dugan. Transferred to 382FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Lt Col Ben S Irvin.

  • 42-106834

    P-51 Mustang
    381st FS 363rd FG 1Lt Chuck Smith-pilot Lost due to engine failure May 24, 1944. MACR #15234

  • 44-13816

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 382FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Transferred to 162TRS, 10PRG, 9AF USAAF.

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Revisions

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 Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

Chris Ashworth, Action Stations 5: Military Airfields of the South-West (London, 1982)

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

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