Polebrook

Airfield
A B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-107124) of the 351st Bomb Group flies over Polebrook.

Object Number - FRE 1216 - A B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-107124) of the 351st Bomb Group flies over Polebrook.

Polebrook was laid down for RAF Bomber Command use in 1940-1941. Built by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, it had short runways which were lengthened for USAAF heavy bomber use. The RAF used the base for operational trials - including of B-17 Flying Fortresses. In 1942, the airfield was handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Accommodation for over 2,000 personnel was provided on sites built in woodland to the north of the station. The 97th Bomb Group used Polebrook first, before the 351st Bomb Group moved to the airfield in the spring of 1943. They remained at the base until the end of the war. RAF Maintenance Command took over in 1945, and in 1947 Polebrook briefly became a satellite for RAF Upwood. It was declared inactive a year later. In 1959, however, Polebrook became home to a Thor ballistic missile squadron, which remained until 1963.

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 351st Bomb Group 508th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 351st Bomb Group 511th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36707414
  • Highest Rank: Corporal
  • Role/Job: Ordnance
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 351st Bomb Group 508th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 351st Bomb Group 511th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 351st Bomb Group 509th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: 2nd Bomb Group

Revisions

Date10 Oct 2016 13:18:43
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Connected aircraft records that have 'Polebrook' in their biography fields.

Date15 Jan 2015 22:20:39
Contributorabinsfield
Sources

Personal research

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 (London, 2001)

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

Polebrook: Gallery (78 items)