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Military site : airfield

Built for Eighth Air Force use in 1943-44, and originally named Butley.
Surplus to 8AF requirements, Bentwaters saw wartime use by the RAF, and from 1951 to 1993 was used by US Air Forces Europe (USAFE).

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

A Second World War and Cold War Military airfield. RAF Bentwaters was established in 1944. In that year it was used by 11 Fighter Group as a forward airfield. In 1944 the airfield was equipped with three intersecting concrete runways, 50 grid type hard standings and two T-2 type hangars. Wartime construction methods typically involved the use of "temporary" building materials for many types of buildings. In the early 1950s it became an American Fighter- Bomber base and remained in American hands until the early 1990s. It was modernised in the 1970s, including the addition of protected hardened aircraft shelters, command post, aircraft decontamination centre, a fire station, pillboxes and fuel tender sheds. Although deserted, when visited by English Heritage in the year 2000 the base appeared to be little altered since the departure of the Americans. In 2003 it was announced that a "Bentwaters Cold War Museum" was planned for the site.



  • Fred Barrett

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 495th Fighter Training Group
    Theatre familiarisation with 552FTS, 495FTG, 8AF USAAF. Assigned to 61FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. End of War (EOW). ...


Date Contributor Update
03 September 2019 13:35:48 Emily Changes to english heritage description

Historic England National Monument Record TM 35 SE 22

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2016 16:22:00 SavvyGA Changes to description and history

Butley name added.

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2016 16:21:00 SavvyGA Changes to description and history

Butley name added.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:16 AAM AAM ingest

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Manual (London, 2001)

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