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Bury St Edmunds

Military site : airfield

The airfield was purpose-built for American bomb groups and as such had a 2,000 yard main runway that lain in concrete with a tarred and wood-chipped surface. The scale of bases such as this meant that very often the technical, administrative and accommodation blocks were in amongst the buildings of a nearby village, in this case Rougham. The 322nd Bomb Group flew their ill-fated May missions from here and a fatal B-26 Marauder crash on 29 May 1943 compounded the Group's low morale. June of that year saw the 322nd gratefully moved to a different base and the 94th Bomb Group took their place. This Group would go on to fly 300 missions from Bury before the end of the war in Europe.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

A military airfield which was opened in 1942. The site is now known as "Rougham Field" but was formerly known as "Bury St Edmunds Airfield", "Rougham Airfield" and also as "USAAF Station 468". The airfield was designed to be used by United States Army Air Force Bomber Groups, and so was constructed with three long runways with tarmac and wood chip surfaces and a technical site situated close to the A45 on the south east side of the complex; this area is now Rougham Industrial Estate. Two aircraft hangars (type T2) were erected as opposite sides of the site, one of which is still extant . Temporary dispersed accommodation (mainly Nissen huts) for up to 3000 personnel was constructed mainly to the south of the road in the direction of Rougham village and Blackthorpe. The base was used at first briefly by 47 Bomber Group, replaced in December 1942 by 332 Bomber Group. They did not begin to actively fly their Marauder aircraft until 1943. The 332nd sustained heavy casualties on their second mission: this was a target in Holland from which none of those that set out returned. In June 1943 they were replaced by 94 Bomber Group, who flew 300 missions from the base. In December of 1945 the Americans left, and the airfield was placed under Royal Air Force then War Office control. In 1948 the military disposed of the airfield; since then it has had irregular use by civil light aircraft, including air displays in the summer months. By 1978 some of the runways had been removed but some of the technical site buildings were incorporated into the industrial estate. From 1993 onwards the control tower (now as museum)and some other buildings were restored by The Rougham Tower Association.

Service

Units

  • 92nd Combat Bomb Wing (II)
  • 4th Combat Bomb Wing
  • 453rd Sub-Depot
  • Signal Depot S-800
  • 322nd Bomb Group

    322nd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 322nd Bombardment Squadron (Medium) was activated on 19-Jun-1942 at MacDill Field, Florida with B-26B Marauder aircraft. In late September 1942 the unit moved to Drane Field, Florida. The Ground echelon sailed for the UK aboard the Queen Elizabeth...

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942; Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 18th Weather Squadron

    18th Weather Squadron

    Squadron
    Browse 18th Weather Squadron photographs and other documents in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library digital archive here: www.2ndair.org.uk/digitalarchive/Dashboard/Index/60

  • 331st Bomb Squadron
  • 332nd Bomb Squadron
  • 333rd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Julian Abel

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 26 November 1943 in B-17 #423185 'Queen Bee. ' Prisoner of War (POW) in Stalag 17B. POW

  • Dean Addington

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator | 94th Bomb Group
    Dean Addington was a part of the 94th Bomb Group and the 331st Squadron who flew 29 missions on 'Ol' Skinny'; flying out of Bury St. Edmunds, England.

  • Elmer Alderman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Attacked by fighters on a mission to Augsburg/Ulm, GR on 16 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-31546 'Old Sarge' fell out of formation and crashed NNW of Fussen/Allgau, GR after nine of the crew baled out. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Ottis Alford

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Born in 1922 in Pickton, Hopkins County, Texas. Enlisted at Tyler, Smith County, Texas on 16 Oct 1942. 2 weeks til he had to report for duty. 2 years of HS, Ht:66, Wt: 121. Married before he left for the military to Miss Grace Edwards on 26 Oct 1942....

  • Edward Allard

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 31 December 1943 in B-17 #426037. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Robert Allison

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Flew 26 missions on 'Mission Bell', was wounded on 26th mission. Purple Heart, 4 Air Medals

  • Harley Almon

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 790. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Kenneth Amberg

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Crashed for unknown reasons on mission to Brunswick on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17F #42-3530. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • George Anderson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 790. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Joseph Anderson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Upon landing on return from a combat mission that was recalled on 9 Feb 1944, the right landing gear failed on B17F #42-3109. RTD. Attacked by fighters on a mission to Augsburg/Ulm, GR on 16 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-31546 'Old Sarge' fell out of formation...

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Aircraft

  • 41-9013

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 341BS/97BG 3/42; courier trip to N.Africa 18/12/42; transferred 327BS/92BG (UX-V) Bovingdon 27/8/43; 482BG Alconbury 27/8/43; 95BG Horham as tow target & hack; 94BG Rougham 10/11/43; Returned to the USA 4136 BU Tinker 22/5/44; Recl Comp 9/2/45.

  • 41-9017 Heidi Ho

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Boeing B-17E ...

  • 42-102380 Renovation

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned: 12 April 1944 - 8th AF / 3rd AD / 4th CBW / 94th BG / 331st BS - (RAF Bury St Edmunds) ...

  • 42-102405

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Cheyenne 4/3/44; Kearney 22/3/44; Grenier 7/4/44; Assigned 332BS/94BG [XM-O] Rougham 8/4/44; detailed on training mission 23/4/44 with Norman Skinner, Co-pilot: Ken Storey, instr. p-Jack Webb, pass-Pte Don Morgart, Flight engineer/top turret gunner:...

  • 42-102456 Shady Lady

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 4/3/44; Gr Island 22/3/44; Dow Fd 7/4/44; Assigned 333BS/94BG Rougham 8/4/44; 331BS [QE-T]; Salvaged 11/10/44. SHADY LADY.

  • 42-102457 Filthy Hag, Gloria

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 5/3/44; Kearney 22/3/44; Dow Field 4 March 1944; Assigned 410BS/94BG [GL-R] Rougham 6 April 1944. Nicknamed "FILTHY HAG". Was hit by Flak at an altitude of 23,000 feet on the 22 April 1944 mission to Hamm, Germany. It caught fire, 2...

  • 42-102520

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 10/3/44; Gr Island 31/3/44; Grenier 7/4/44; Assigned 333BS/94BG [TS- ] Rougham 8/4/44; 332BS [XM- ] ; Missing in Action Berlin 29/4/44 with Joe McClurkin, Navigator: Chas Dulin, Bombardier: Clarry Meekin, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-102523 Mission Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 11/3/44; Kearney 27/3/44; Dow Fd 7/4/44; Assigned 333BS/94BG [TS-H] Rougham 8/4/44; 331BS [QE-H]; transferred 34BG Mendlesham 5/45; Returned to the USA Bradley 21/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 23/6/45; Reconstruction...

  • 42-102530

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 11/3/44; Gr Island 29/3/44; Dow Fd 7/4/44; Assigned 410BS/94BG [GL-N] Rougham 8/4/44; battle damaged Karlsruhe 10/1/45 with ?; force landed continent, Salvaged 21/1/45.

  • 42-102569 Miss Lace

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/3/44; Kearney 31/3/44; Dow Fd 4/4/44; Assigned 94BG Rougham 8/4/44; transferred 427BS/303BG [GN-X] Molesworth 22/4/44; battle damaged Kyllburg, Ger 8/1/45 with Georger Richter (Porter?), crash landed base, Salvaged 2 SAD 9/1/45....

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2019 12:39:21 Emily Changes to english heritage description
Sources

Historic England, National Monument Record TL 86 SE 187

Date Contributor Update
30 March 2016 16:34:46 Lucy May Changes to person associations
Sources

Connected people records that mention 'Rougham'.

Date Contributor Update
30 March 2016 16:31:55 Lucy May Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Added associations to aircraft that were based at Rougham/Bury St Edmunds.

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

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Eighth Then And Now (London, 1978)

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