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Military site : airfield

The main runway at Cheddington fell short of the required 2,000 yards for a class A airfield and it was originally used as a satellite for groups at Bovingdon nearby. Between October 1942 and the end of war in Europe it was used as a Combat Crew Replacement Centre for B-24 crews and then, in the last year of the war, as a base for trainee fighter pilots flying P-47 Thunderbolts and soon to join either the Eighth or Ninth Air Force. The base was also home to specialist squadrons who worked to break down the enemy by means other than bombs.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

A former military airfield opened in 1942. The base was initially designated as a training airfield for Royal Air Force bomber units (26 Operational Training Unit). However the hilly topography bordering the airfield did not make the base ideal for that role. In late 1942 and early 1943 the Americans took over and improved the facilities at the base within the constrictions of the local topography. The airfield was then used by specialist 8th United States Army Airforce units, such as the Night Leaflet Squadron and 36th "Bomb" Squadron , who were actually a Radio Countermeasures Squadron . By 1944 the airfield was equipped with concrete landing surfaces and looped hard standings, and four type T2 aircraft hangars. After the Allied victory in Europe the Americans left and the role of the base changed in 1946 to being the home of the Medical Training Establishment of the RAF. The base was also renamed RAF Marsworth. This closed in 1948, und the base was subsequently used as a military depot.




  • Frank Beatty

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-24 Pilot / Fighter pilot | 467th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 859BS, 492BG, 8AF USAAF 5 x missions plus an abort. Transferred to 788BS, 467BG, 8AF USAAF 35 combat missions plus a couple of fuel hauls for Patton. Transferred to 436FS, 479FG, 8AF USAAF. Completed Tour of Duty (ETD). ...

  • Albyn Bixel

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Truckmaster | 801st Bomb Group

  • James Joplin

    Military | gunner
    Jim retired as a paper maker from Longview Fibre Company in 1976. He was a member of the Elks, Eagles, and was a Master Mason.

  • Kenneth Kelm

    Military | Sergeant | Airplane and Engine Mechanic; Airplane Maintenance Technician
    Airplane and engine mechanic. Major overhaul of airplane and engine in main depot. Worked in engine overhaul, completely disassembling and reassembling engines. Changed inboard wing panels and reassembly of fuselages, mostly of B-17s. Airplane...

  • Roy Merritt

    Military | Technical Sergeant | MOS 757 - Radio Operator / Mechanic / Gunner, AAF | 384th Bomb Group
    Transferred from the 547th Bombardment Squadron to the 36th Bombardment Squadron, Cheddington on 20 August 1944 per 547th Squadron Morning Report.

  • Frank Robinson

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Commanding Officer 44th Bomb Group 1-April-1942 to 4-January-1943.

  • Miller Walker

    Served with 9th Compliment, 406th Bomb Squadron, Cheddington in 1944/5. Worked on an aircraft nicknamed "Pistol Packin' Mama"

  • Herman Wolters

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 384th Bomb Group
    Died as a result of electrical shock while on detached service at Namur, Belgium


  • 42-3259 Snafu, Alabama Whirlwind

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 13/4/43; Cheyenne 16/4/43; Dow Fd 30/4/43; Assigned 332BS/94BG [XM-D] SNAFU Earls Colne 10/5/43; Rougham 13/6/43; transferred 546BS/384BG [BK-N] Grafton Underwood 16/7/43; 545BS [JD-T]; 2 SAD Lt Staughton 31/12/43; Shipdam Afd 1/3/44;...

  • 42-37869

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 25/9/43; Gr Island 7/10/43; Assigned 20FG, 8th Weather Flight Cheddington 25/10/43; on flight from St Eval to base 25/12/43, crashed on hillside three miles SE of Bridestowe, near Oakhampton, Devon, UK, with Ernie Patterson, Co-pilot:...

  • 42-94812 'Little Warrior'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 850BS, 490BG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Fallersleben; flak hit holed fuel tanks/lines causing conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Crew Lt's J.H. Hansen, S.A...

  • 43-37516 'Tondelayo'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 25/4/44; Hunter 4/5/44; Dow Fd 25/5/44; Assigned 422BS/305BG [JJ-T] Chelveston 4/6/44; transferred 858BS Cheddington 26/6/44; on NLS mission over Holland 4/3/45 with Lt Col Earl Aber (Sqd CO), cp Maurice Harper both died when...

  • MM344

    Minor damage, crashed, take off accident, RAF stn Cheddington / USAAF Station 113, 22nd March 1944, George C. Hand (pilot) USAAF. Struck Off Charge 25th July 1946.

  • MM385

    Minor damage, take off accident, RAF Cheddington / USAAF Station 113, 24th March 1944, Thomas E Hughes (pilot) USAAF. Struck Off Charge 23rd July 1947.

  • 44-10600 'Piccadilly Commando'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 788BS, 467BG, 8AF USAAF. Flew on 15-May-45 mission to Royan, dropping napalm for the 1st time on ground targets.


Date Contributor Update
03 September 2019 13:38:07 Emily Changes to english heritage description

Historic England National Monument Record SP 91 NW 44

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

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