Boxted

Airfield
Aerial photograph of Boxted airfield, looking south west, the ammunition dump and bomb dump are at the bottom of the image, 18 April 1949. Photograph taken by No. 58 Squadron, sortie number RAF/58/215. English Heritage (RAF Photography).

Object Number - RAF_58_215_V_5086 - Aerial photograph of Boxted airfield, looking south west, the ammunition dump and bomb dump are at the bottom of the image, 18 April 1949. Photograph...

Boxted was built for heavy bombers and became operational from May 1943. In the few months B-26 Marauders of the 386th Bomb Group were stationed there, there were two night attacks by the Luftwaffe. On 17 August 1943, one man was killed when bombs fell amongst the Nissen huts.
The next unit to fly from Boxted was the 354th Fighter Group, a Ninth Air Force group temporarily under control of VIIIth Fighter Command. They flew escorts for long-range bombing missions, including the first P-51 Mustang mission in the ETO. In preparation for the invasion of Normandy, the 354th moved to Lashenden in Kent, and the 56th Fighter Group took their place. This unit was one of the most famous in the Eighth Air Force, on account of its high numbers of 'ace' pilots. For a large part of 1944 the base also hosted an air-sea rescue unit at its northern edge, a nearby farmhouse being used as the its administrative building.
Roger Freeman, author of 'The Mighty Eighth' series of books about the USAAF, lived nearby and frequented the base during the war. His father, a farmer, had permission to cut grass at the airfield to make hay.

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English Heritage's Record Description

The site of a former military airfield opened in 1943 and closed in 1947. The airfield was mainly used by units of the United States Army 8th Air Force, principally 386th Bomber Group, and 56th Fighter Group, and also by 354th Fighter Group of the 9th Air Force and 65th Air Sea Rescue. Dispersed barrack sites were located to the south of the flying field. After American forces left the base in September 1945 the Royal Air Force flew Mosquitos and then Meteor (early jet) aircraft from the base. The establishment of the base was run down and Boxted closed as an active military airfield in 1947. The airfield was used for crop spraying into the 1960s but the site returned to agricultural use and is now covered by orchards

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 354th Fighter Group 355th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-744674
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 63rd Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32167407
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 63rd Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18219223
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 62nd Fighter Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-26 Marauder
  • Nicknames: Margie
  • Unit: 386th Bomb Group 552nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Two Roll Charlie / Jean of Crescent City
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 56th Fighter Group 335th Fighter Squadron 62nd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 495th Fighter Training Group 56th Fighter Group 552nd Fighter Training Squadron 62nd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Bat Out Of Hell
  • Unit: 495th Fighter Training Group 56th Fighter Group 552nd Fighter Training Squadron 63rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Snow White
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 61st Fighter Squadron

Revisions

Date3 Sep 2019 12:37:31
ContributorEmily
Sources

Historic England National Monument Record TM 03 SW 62

Date14 Dec 2016 12:00:06
ContributorSavvyGA
Sources

Addendum: Roger Freeman's wartime links with the airfield.

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)

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