Andrews Field

Airfield

Object Number - UPL 28161 - Farmers collect hay in a wagon at Andrews field whilst personnel of the 322nd Bomb Group work on a B-26 Marauder (serial number 41-31814) nicknamed...

The base was known as Great Saling when construction – by US Army engineers – began in 1942 but was renamed Andrews Field in honour of the memory of Gen. Frank M. Andrews, who was killed when the B-24 he was travelling in crash-landed in Iceland on 3 May 1943.

The 322nd Bomb Group, which arrived in June 1943, flew B-26 Marauders and, as was customary for medium bombers, the unit soon joined the Ninth Air Force but remained at Andrews Field. Once the Group moved to France, the base was returned to the RAF on 1 October 1944.

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

English Heritage's Record Description

A military airfield, opened in 1942 and closed in 1945. The airfield was constructed by American army engineers, and had concrete, tarmac and wood chipping landing surfaces with an area of 2100 by 50 yards. There were 50 loop shaped hard standings. Accommodation was temporary (Nissen Huts), and there were two T2 type hangars. Wartime construction methods typically involved the use of "temporary" building materials for many types of airfield buildings. The base was initially called Great Saling by the Air Ministry, but in it was renamed Andrews Field by the Americans in honour of Lieutenant General Frank Andrews, the United States Theatre Commander who had been killed in an aircraft accident over Iceland. In 1943 the airfield was used by the 96th Bomb Group flying B-17 aircraft, they were joined by 322nd Bomb Group fying Marauders. In October 1944, the base was handed over to the Royal Air Force 122 Wing, comprising 13 and 122 Squadron, along with 133 Wing comprising 129 Squadron, 306, 315 and 316 Polish Squadrons equipped with Mustangs. Later in the war the first allied jet unit, 606 Squadron, flying Gloster Meteors was based at Andrews Field. For a short time during 1945 Number 65 Squadron put on victory displays at the airfield. They were replaced by 504 squadron, the second allied jet Squadron, who used the base for training purposes. After the base closed in 1945, the land was divided between 4 farms for agricultural use. However, in 1972 part of the site was reopened as a grass landing strip by aviation enthusiasts. In 1976 this was officially registered for civil aviation use (mainly display aircraft). Although most of the original airfield buildings and structures have been destroyed or removed in 1995 a few of the site's Nissen Huts, firing buts, and the type 2 hangars were said to be still extant; it is not known if this is still the case in 2003.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 322nd Bomb Group 450th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32874879
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 322nd Bomb Group 450th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16029314 / O-664487
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 322nd Bomb Group 451st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18045325 / O-664504
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 322nd Bomb Group 450th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 34208695
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 322nd Bomb Group 451st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-673217
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier

Aircraft

A B-26 Marauder (ER-C, serial number 41-17921) nicknamed "Mary V" of the 450th Bomb Squadron, 322nd Bomb Group flies low, trailing smoke, March 1943. Handwritten caption on reverse: '117921, ER:C.' Printed caption on reverse: "Appearances are deceiving. No, this Marauder is not on fire - the white smoke is actually coming from the locomotive on the tracks below. The picture was taken by an aerial photographer in another B-26 while the planes were flying over the English countryside, returning from a raid
  • Aircraft Type: B-26 Marauder
  • Nicknames: Mary V
  • Unit: 322nd Bomb Group 450th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-26 Marauder
  • Nicknames: Tondelayo Mister Period Twice
  • Unit: 322nd Bomb Group 451st Bomb Squadron
A B-26 Marauder (serial number 41-18022) nicknamed "El Diablo" of the 450th Bomb Squadron, 322nd Bomb Group in flight, January 1945. Handwritten caption on reverse: '1/45 R, 336. 322BG, 450BS, 41-18022.'
  • Aircraft Type: B-26 Marauder
  • Nicknames: El Diablo
  • Unit: 322nd Bomb Group 450th Bomb Squadron
A B-26 Marauder (ER-W, serial number 41-18038) nicknamed "Hell Wagon" of the 450th Bomb Squadron, 322nd Bomb Group. Handwritten caption on reverse: '322BG, 450BS.'
  • Aircraft Type: B-26 Marauder
  • Nicknames: Hell Wagon
  • Unit: 322nd Bomb Group 450th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-26 Marauder
  • Unit: 322nd Bomb Group 450th Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date3 Sep 2019 12:33:52
ContributorEmily
Sources

Historic England National Monument Record TL 62 NE 30

Date10 Mar 2017 09:18:26
ContributorSavvyGA
Sources

Added US Army engineers

Date10 Mar 2017 09:15:49
ContributorSavvyGA
Sources

Grammar changed

Date27 Sep 2014 18:02:16
ContributorAAM
Sources

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

Andrews Field: Gallery (40 items)