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Steeple Morden

Military site : airfield

Originally used from 1940 as a small, grass airfield, satellite for nearby RAF Bassingbourn, Steeple Morden was allocated to the Eighth Air Force in August 1942 as a potential bomber base. It was used briefly by the 3rd Photographic Group during the Autumn of 1942, and was then developed with three runways, 55 concrete hardstandings, one T2 hangar and seven blister hangars. Re-allocated to the Ninth Air Force in April 1943 as a fighter base, it was returned to the Eighth Air Force and occupied by the 355th Fighter Group from July 1943 to July 1945. Returned to the RAF in 1945, the station closed in 1946 and was abandoned. Most of the site was sold back to its original owners plus Cambridgeshire County Council during 1960-61. It has largely returned to agriculture after demolition of the runways, Control Tower and the majority of other wartime buildings. A 355th Fighter Group Memorial wall stands near the wartime station entrance off the Litlington Road.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

People

  • Arthur Alexander

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 358FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) from free lance mission, A/C developed coolant system failure, A/C abandoned and crashed near Elsten on 15-Dec-44 in P-51D 44-15014 Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 11310.

  • Lawrence Allard

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. On a fighter support mission to Munster on 11-Mar-44, P-51B 43-6849 lost oil pressure due to heavy flak and crashed at Essen- Altenessen after the pilot bailed out. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 3054.

  • David Allen

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 354th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 2nd Scouting Force. Transferred to 358FS, 355FG 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 354FG. Ended Tour Duty (ETD).

  • Roscoe Allen

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 358FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory. Post War: Joined Caterpillar Tractor Co. where he worked as a research engineer until his retirement.

  • David Arno

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 358FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 358FG, 8AF USAAF. A Career Air Force Officer and a decorated WWII fighter pilot who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Remained in the USAF until retiring in 1970 at the rank of Lt Colonel.

  • Guy Arnold

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 343FS, 55FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Completed (End) Tour of Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • James Austin

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 496FTG, 8AF USAAF. Completed (End) Tour of Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Charles Badavas

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 357FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. ETD.

  • Harry Baird

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 20th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 357FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 77FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF.

  • Ray Baker

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 358FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Credited with 2 kills, 1 damaged. ETD. ...

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Aircraft

  • 41-24434 'The Mudhen'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Middleton AD 9/7/42; Bolling 28/7/42; Westover 3/10/42; Assigned 15PRS/3PRG Membury, Wilt. 7/9/42; Steeple Morden, UK 27/12/42; transferred 12AF La Senia, Alg. 6/12/42; Algiers 25/12/42; Le Kroub, Alg. 5/6/43; La Marsa, Tun. 28/6/43; Returned...

  • 41-24438 None known

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered MAD 9/7/42; with Franklin Gillespie, at Duncan Fd, TX 25/7/42; with E.L. Chrisman force landed Lowry, CO 39/7/42; Bangor 3/8/42; Colorado Springs 29/8/42; Assigned 15PRS/3PRG Membury, UK. 7/9/42; Steeple Morden, UK. 27/10/42; transferred 12AF...

  • 42-103334 'Martins Gloria'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) strafing mission Lechfield A/D. Hit by flak crashed SW Lechfield. Pilot Lt Peter M Sawchuck KIA (KIA). 24-Jul-44 MACR 7730.

  • 42-103742 'Man O' War'

    P-51 Mustang

  • 42-103795 'JANE','Papoose' 'Dutchess of Manhattan'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort to Neuberg A/D on 2nd strafing pass hit by flak crashed into wood near Boenfeld pilot 1st Lt Robert M White Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 12398.

  • 42-106452 'Buzz Boy / Miss Heck'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 358FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) strafing mission to Metz. 28-Aug-44. Pilot Lt William W Tolby Evaded (EVD). MACR 8398.

  • 42-106708

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Rodeo mission to Montdidier. Engine showing low oil pressure, pilot turned for home, escorting fighters lost contact in vicinity of Abbeville, belly landed in vicinity of Verchocq. Lt Robert A...

  • 42-106858 'Damn Yank II'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 358FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Lt Lawrence J Dissette. Failed to Return (FTR) Ramrod Southern France last seen spiralling away from formation through bad weather. Pilot Lt Ralph L Coleman Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 5964

  • 42-106860 'Princess'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 358FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) strafing mission to Château-Theirry. Hit by flak whilst strafing a train, glycol streaming from the A/C belly landed near St Etienne 18-Aug-44, pilot Lt Cleveland J Brien Evaded (EVD). MACR 8129.

  • 42-106870

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) ramrod Beziers, France crashed near Chateauroux pilot Lt Victor E Denti Killed in Action (KIA) 5-Jul-44 MACR 6791.

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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 Eighth Then And Now (London, 1978)

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

Roger Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Manual (London, 2001)

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

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

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Cambridgeshire/SteepleMorden355thFighterGr...

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