Metfield

Airfield
Personnel of the 491st Bomb Group with ground support vehicles, including trucks, ambulances and a Cletrac wait in front of the control tower at Metfield for returning B-24 Liberators. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'Waiting for mission return, probably Metfield, Nov.'

Object Number - FRE 2112 - Personnel of the 491st Bomb Group with ground support vehicles, including trucks, ambulances and a Cletrac wait in front of the control tower at...

Built during 1942-43 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, Metfield had three concrete runways, 39 pan plus 15 loop hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. It was first occupied by the 353rd Fighter Group, equipped with P-47s, from August 1943 to April 1944. The station then became home to the 491st Bomb Group, equipped with B-24s, from May to August 1944. A devastating accident occurred at Metfield on 15 July 1944 when the bomb store exploded, killing at least five ordnance men, damaging 11 B-24s, and rocking the countryside for several miles around. Transferred to the European Division of Air Transport Command in October 1944, the station was used until May 1945 as a general transport base. More significantly, it was one of the stations used by the 1409th Army Air Force Base Unit, which operated B-24s and other transport types for secret missions to Sweden, carrying special materials and ferrying personnel. Handed over to the RAF in 1945, the site was effectively abandoned by the Air Ministry and began the process of return to agriculture. This speeded up after the airfield was sold during 1964-65. The runways and perimeter tracks were removed, and the huge crater made by the 1944 bomb store explosion was filled in, during the late 1960s.

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 353rd Fighter Group 351st Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-793476
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 491st Bomb Group 854th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12185471
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 353rd Fighter Group 350th Fighter Squadron 352nd Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12046115 / O-793481
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 491st Bomb Group
  • Service Numbers: 16122459 / O-714596
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 491st Bomb Group 852nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 1607910 / O-694302
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Alyce
  • Unit: 353rd Fighter Group 351st Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 353rd Fighter Group 495th Fighter Training Group 351st Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Wham Bam Thank You Mam
  • Unit: 491st Bomb Group 854th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: 150
  • Unit: 491st Bomb Group 853rd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Pappy's Yokum
  • Unit: 491st Bomb Group 853rd Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date27 Sep 2014 18:02:17
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 (2nd edn, London, 2001)

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Metfield

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/huge-rare-wwii-army-air-force-hw-…

Metfield: Gallery (81 items)