Debach

Airfield
B-24 Liberators of the 493rd Bomb Group line up for take off. Image via Mark Brown, AFA. Written on slide casing: 'Debach.'

Object Number - FRE 6906 - B-24 Liberators of the 493rd Bomb Group line up for take off. Image via Mark Brown, AFA. Written on slide casing: 'Debach.'

Debach was one of the last Eighth Air Force heavy bomber bases to be completed. It was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) between late '43 and early '44. Pronounced locally as 'Deb-idge', the base was built to a class A standard with accommodation for nearly 3,000 men, the majority in newly-built Nissen huts to the south-west of the main field and a smaller number at nearby Thistledon Hall. The damage to the Hall by this occupation was so great that the decision was taken to demolish it after the war, leaving only the foundations of the building behind. The 493rd Bomb Group flew their first mission from here on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Problems with breaking-up runways dogged the Group's flights and repairs had to be made in the early part of 1945. After U.S. forces left the air field was used as a camp for German PoWs.

Connections

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

Detailed History

Correction to the Station Summary
Thistleton Hall was only used for temporary accommodation in the early days of occupation by the men of 493rd BG whilst the Nissen huts were being completed. Once they were finished the Hall was vacated. It was then used as the NCO's club until another new building was built for that use.
The Hall survived intact, and undamaged until after the departure of the 493rd BG.

It is believed that the interior woodwork was removed whilst the camp was being used for EVW's in the late 40's/early 50's

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 863rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 38420299
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 863rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35326178
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Crew Chief
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 861st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32826432
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 860th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: T-126742
  • Highest Rank: Flight Officer
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 862nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 38553283
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: The Unlimited
  • Unit: 491st Bomb Group 853rd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Wonga Wonga
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Old Glory/Aint Misbehavin
  • Unit: 452nd Bomb Group 493rd Bomb Group 728th Bomb Squadron 862nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Widdle Twinkle
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group

Revisions

Date9 Nov 2017 12:19:51
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Connected aircraft and person records with 'Debach' in biography fields.

Date29 Jul 2017 11:33:53
ContributorDarren Jelley
Sources

493rd BG Museum archives

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)

Debach: Gallery (66 items)