Grove

Airfield
Aerial photograph of Grove airfield looking south, the technical site with T2 hangars is right, 6 September 1946. Photograph taken by No. 504 Squadron, sortie number RAF/106G/UK/1721. English Heritage (RAF Photography).

Object Number - RAF_106G_UK_1721_FP_1024 - Aerial photograph of Grove airfield looking south, the technical site with T2 hangars is right, 6 September 1946. Photograph taken by No. 504...

Grove was originally intended to be a base for an RAF Operational Training Unit. Construction began in late 1941 and the airfield was usable by October 1942. The airfield was built to a standard design for bomber bases, with a main 6,000 feet runway, two shorter runways, hardstandings and T-type hangars. Grove was expanded by adding more hardstandings, extra T2 hangars and the workshop space necessary for it to become a major maintenance airfield. Used first by the RAF, it was then handed over to the Ninth Air Force, which used Grove as a repair and modification centre. C-47 transport aircraft were then based at the airfield with the 31st Transport Group, which moved to France in September 1944. A reorganisation of the Ninth Air Force’s support units led eventually to the creation of the 1st Transport Group (Provisional) at Grove, before the 31st Transport Group returned to the airfield in December. Handed back to the RAF at the end of the war, it was used for storage before parts of the site were developed into housing and industrial areas.

Connections

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

Detailed History

In addition to the 31st ATG, elements of the 27th ATG were also stationed at Grove, including the 311th Ferrying Squadron, 321st Transport Squadron and the 86th Transport Squadron in the Spring of 1944, before moving to France.

English Heritage's Record Description

A Second World War military airfield, opened in 1942, closed in 1946. The airfield is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1946. Initially it was used by the Royal Air Force as a training school for night flying. Later it was enlarged for use by American bombers. By 1944 it was in service as the United States Army Air Force Air Service Command's 3rd Tactical Air Depot: by then it had a personnel strength of 3402 officers and men. The airfield by then had been provided with three concrete landing surfaces and six aircraft hangars (type T2). Wartime construction methods typically involved the use of "temporary materials" for many building types. After hostilities ceased the Americans left and Royal Air Force Number 3 Maintenance Unit took over the base. The site accommodation was also used post-war by workers who were modifying a nearby airfield at Harwell. By the 1980s research laboratories had been built on part of the old airfield and housing from Grove had encroached onto the former flying field and runways.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 43rd Air Depot Group 43rd Depot Repair Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-489876
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Passenger
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Air Transport Group 31st Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-745282
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 302nd Transport Wing
  • Service Numbers: 36 651 850
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: 405 Clerk Typist
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Unit: 27th Air Transport Group 311th Ferry Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37228603
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Air Transport Group 325th Ferry Squadron
  • Service Numbers: T-003571
  • Highest Rank: Flight Officer
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: C-47 Skytrain
  • Unit: 31st Transport Group 325th Ferry Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: Spitfire
  • Nicknames: Mespotamia
  • Unit: 31st Transport Group No 71 'Eagle' Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: Spitfire
  • Unit: 31st Transport Group 67th Observation Group 107th Reconnaissance Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: Spitfire
  • Unit: 326th Ferry Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: Oxford
  • Unit: 31st Transport Group 326th Ferry Squadron

Revisions

Date6 May 2022 15:36:55
Contributor27ATG
Sources

Gooney Birds & Ferry Tales, The 27th Air Transport Group in WW2

Date3 Sep 2019 13:35:02
ContributorEmily
Sources

Historic England National Monument Record SU 38 NE 95

Date17 Mar 2015 09:41:47
ContributorEmily
Sources

Removed wrongly associated images

Date27 Sep 2014 18:02:16
ContributorAAM
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

Grove: Gallery (5 items)