Great Ashfield

Airfield
Replica entrance sign at Great Ashfield, home of the 385th Bomb Group. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'Replica of entrance to Station 155.'

Object Number - FRE 4905 - Replica entrance sign at Great Ashfield, home of the 385th Bomb Group. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'Replica of entrance to Station 155.'

The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the airfield until 1945. In total the 385th flew 296 missions from Great Ashfield, losing 129 B-17s. From October 1945 Maintenance Command took control of the airfield, before the site was abandoned in 1959-1960.

Connections

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

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 551st Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier
AJ Ardzinski, a tail gunner of the 385th Bomb Group in position inside a B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-32059) nicknamed "Poltergeist". Image via Tim Bivens. Bivens has handwritten on reverse: ' AJ Ardzinski- Tail gunner. Fred Heiser crew 550th BS, 385th BG, B-17G-35-BO "Poltergeist" 42-32059.' Bivens enclosed a letter with the print: 7-14-03, Hello Roger, Got another “Mystery B-17” for you. Just recently obtained the enclosed prints from slides taken by the co-pilot Bob James in the photos. A
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 550th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12150071
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 550th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-827757
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 548th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 548th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: PH/Passenger

Aircraft

A B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 41-9017) of the 92nd Bomb Group in flight. Passed for publication 5 Sep 1942. Printed caption on reverse: 'Q.13312: A Flying Fortress photographed in flight at a U.S. Training Centre.' On reverse: Westminster Press Provincial Newspapers Ltd and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps].
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Heidi Ho
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 482nd Bomb Group 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few 94th Bomb Group 97th Bomb Group 327th Bomb Squadron 342nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Dixie Demo
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few 97th Bomb Group 414th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Slick Chick
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Wee Willie Wilber
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 551st Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Kentucky Winner
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 550th Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date16 Oct 2017 10:05:03
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Connected aircraft records that have 'Gt Ashfield' in their biography fields.

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)

Great Ashfield: Gallery (68 items)