Bodney

Airfield
Aerial photograph of Bodney airfield, looking south east, the barrack sites are in the top centre of the image, 8 June 1945. Photograph taken by No. 542 Squadron, sortie number RAF/106G/UK/369. English Heritage (RAF Photography).

Object Number - RAF_106G_UK_369_RP_3060 - Aerial photograph of Bodney airfield, looking south east, the barrack sites are in the top centre of the image, 8 June 1945. Photograph taken by No....

Before the Americans arrived Bodney was a grass-surfaced airfield. So when the 352nd Fighter Group arrived with heavy P-47 Thunderbolts, work was carried out to strengthen its roads and runways with steel matting, concrete and tarmac. Nissen huts also had to be quickly built to accommodate up to 1,500 American personnel. The 352nd flew P-47s Thunderbolts until March 1944 when they converted to P-51 Mustangs. There was one fatality at the airfield on D-Day. Taking off in poor visibility, one P-51 Mustang took the wrong heading and crashed into the control tower, killing the pilot. Between December 1944 and April 1945 only a skeleton staff remained at Bodney while most of the Group moved to Belgium to assist in the Battle of the Bulge.

Connections

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

Detailed History

Royal Air Force Use:

Bodney was established in 1940 as a satellite field for RAF Watton. The airfield was grass-surfaced and located on slightly rolling land with a hard surface perimeter track.

Initially it was used by aircraft of No. 21 Squadron RAF and No. 82 Squadron RAF (No. 2 Group) Bomber Command. They carried operations over France and later the Netherlands and even Norway.

Their Bristol Blenheim IVs were joined on occasions by, in May 1941, 90 Squadron evaluating its new Boeing Fortress Mk 1s some Handley Page Hampdens for mining operations. 90 Squadron suffered heavy casualties and the use of the Fortress I was discontinued.

Towards October 1942, the Blenheims were changed to Lockheed Venturas but the squadron moved on to RAF Methwold before the Venturas were operational.

United States Army Air Forces Use:

In the summer of 1943 Bodney was turned over to the USAAF and was assigned designation Station 141. The field was then prepared for the use of the Eighth Air Force. Improvements to the field included the addition of steel mat and pierced-steel planking hardstands for use by the American fighters and extra taxiways and roads laid down in macadam and concrete.

Current use: Memorial to the 352d Fighter Group at Bodney Airfield.

With the end of military control, Bodney airfield was closed and was returned to agriculture in November 1945. Almost the entire facility was completely reverted to farmland, although a few derelict buildings remain as well as its control tower.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 352nd Fighter Group 328th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-660088
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 352nd Fighter Group 496th Fighter Training Group 487th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-732110
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 352nd Fighter Group 487th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-612731
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 352nd Fighter Group 328th Fighter Squadron 487th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18117130 / O-?
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 352nd Fighter Group 328th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: T-060973 / O-2045126
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 352nd Fighter Group 487th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Nicknames: The Flying Scot II Vicious Virgie JG
  • Unit: 352nd Fighter Group 486th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Nicknames: Opal Lee
  • Unit: 352nd Fighter Group 487th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Nicknames: The Maine-iacs
  • Unit: 352nd Fighter Group 328th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Nicknames: Flossie II Lady Connie
  • Unit: 352nd Fighter Group 328th Fighter Squadron

Revisions

Date23 Nov 2022 15:50:19
Sources

Personal Collection of George Arnold

        Date29 Jun 2018 02:35:09
        Contributorajgoebel
        Sources

        Punctuation Change - edit

        Date29 Jun 2018 02:31:53
        Contributorajgoebel
        Sources

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Bodney

        Date15 Mar 2015 15:34:18
        Contributorusxpat
        Sources

        Atkins private collection

        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)

        Bodney: Gallery (92 items)