Deenethorpe

Airfield
Bomber crews from the 401st Bomb Group look over P-51 Mustang, FT-T, serial number 43-12172, of the 353rd Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, at Deenethorpe airfield. One of their B-17 Flying Fortresses is in the background. Printed caption on reverse of print: '...401st Bomb Group look over a North American P-51 Mustang at an 8th Air Force base in England, 27 December 1943.'

Object Number - FRE 398 - Bomber crews from the 401st Bomb Group look over P-51 Mustang, FT-T, serial number 43-12172, of the 353rd Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, at...

Deenethorpe was a base purpose-built for American heavy bombers, with the Class A regulation 2,000 and 1,400-yard runways. All the buildings on site,such as the accommodation and administrative blocks, were temporary. In December 1943, several local homes were destroyed when one B-17 Flying Fortress failed to take off and its bomb load detonated when the aircraft struck a building. The 401st Bomb Group were based here between 3 November 1943 and 20 June 1945.

Connections

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English Heritage's Record Description

A military airfield, opened in 1943 and closed in 1946. It conformed to the standard requirements for as United States Army Air Force bomber base, with three intersecting concrete runways and fifty hard standings. The technical site buildings were situated to the south east of the flying field, with one T2 type aircraft hangar there and one on the western edge of the flying field. Both have been dismantled. There was a bomb dump to the eastern side of the flying field, with a fuel dump and firing butts to the north east. Dispersed administrative, communal and barracks area were situated to the south. Wartime construction methods typically involved the use of "temporary materials" for many building types. The airfield may have initially been used for Royal Air Force training, but was mainly used by the 8th Air Force's 401st Bombardment Group who flew B17G Flying Fortress heavy bomber aircraft. One of the 255 missions, including raids on major German cities and industrial targets such as the ball bearing works at Schweinfurt. The airfield was designated Station 128 by the Americans. After the Americans left in 1945, the base was no longer used for flying but became a Royal Air Force recruitment centre, before closing officially in 1946. After this date the control tower continued to be used by the Royal Observer Corps- it was demolished in 1996. In 1963 the site was sold and part of the main south-west to north-east aligned runway has been used as a private airstrip.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 876th Chemical Company
  • Service Numbers: 32913996
  • Highest Rank: Private
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 613th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 614th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 614th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: The 401st Hack, Agony Wagon, Gravy Train
  • Unit: 390th Bomb Group 401st Bomb Group 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 97th Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron 613th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 401st Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date5 Nov 2018 15:34:39
ContributorEmily
Sources

HISTORIC ENGLAND COMPLETE MONUMENT REPORT, SP 99 SE 34

Date4 Dec 2017 12:17:14
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Connected aircraft records that have Deenethorpe in their biography fields.

Date4 Mar 2015 16:39:07
ContributorPaul Bellamy
Sources

1st Bombardment Division records (AFHRA via 1AD Historical Society Archive)

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)

Deenethorpe: Gallery (298 items)