Halesworth

Airfield
P-47 Thunderbolt pilots of the 61st Fighter Squadron chat to one another after their latest mission, at Halesworth air base where the 56th Fighter Group were stationed. Left to right they are: Lieutenant-Colonel Francis S. Gabreski, Lieutenant Eugene E. Barnum and Lieutenant Frank W. Klibbe. Passed for publication 26 November 1943.

Object Number - FRE 218 - P-47 Thunderbolt pilots of the 61st Fighter Squadron chat to one another after their latest mission, at Halesworth air base where the 56th Fighter...

Halesworth was constructed in 1942-1943. Initially planned as a bomber airfield, its location close to the Suffolk coast meant that it was in an ideal position to operate escort fighters, where range was a critical factor. Consequently, the 56th Fighter Group with their P-47 Thunderbolts moved in - one of the most successful Fighter Groups in the USAAF. In April 1944 the fighters were replaced with the B-24 Liberators of the 489th Bomb Group, who occupied the airfield until November. The 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron occupied Halesworth from January 1945, equipped with P-47 Thunderbolts, CA-10 Catalinas and lifeboat-equipped B-17s. The airfield was also briefly used as a training base for P-51 pilots before the end of the war in Europe. The Royal Navy took over Halesworth in August 1945, using it as a training base, before it was closed for flying in early 1946. It was sold in 1963.

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 489th Bomb Group 844th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37706629
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron 62nd Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 17112016 / O-706331
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 489th Bomb Group 844th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12166626
  • Highest Rank: Corporal
  • Role/Job: Squadron Clerk
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 466th Bomb Group 489th Bomb Group 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy) 785th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-690845
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 489th Bomb Group 846th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 489th Bomb Group 845th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 63rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 56th Fighter Group 335th Fighter Squadron 63rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 63rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group

Revisions

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)

Roger Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Manual (London, 2001)

Michael Bowyer, Action Stations 1: Wartime Military Airfields of East Anglia 1939-1945 (Cambridge, 1979)

Halesworth: Gallery (154 items)