Bury St Edmunds

Airfield
Aerial photography Bury St Edmunds (Rougham) airfield, looking north, the technical site and T2 hangar are to the right, 7 June 1946. Photograph taken by No. 540 Squadron, sortie number RAF/106G/UK/1557. English Heritage (RAF Photography).

Object Number - RAF_106G_UK_1557_RS_4173 - Aerial photography Bury St Edmunds (Rougham) airfield, looking north, the technical site and T2 hangar are to the right, 7 June 1946. Photograph...

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.

Connections

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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.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 94th Bomb Group 332nd Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 94th Bomb Group 332nd Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 94th Bomb Group 332nd Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 94th Bomb Group 333rd Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 94th Bomb Group 332nd Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: 94th Bomb Group 332nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Mission Belle
  • Unit: 344th Bomb Group 94th Bomb Group 331st Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date3 Sep 2019 12:39:21
ContributorEmily
Sources

Historic England, National Monument Record TL 86 SE 187

Date30 Mar 2016 16:34:46
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Connected people records that mention 'Rougham'.

Date30 Mar 2016 16:31:55
ContributorLucy May
Sources

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

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)

Bury St Edmunds: Gallery (80 items)