Ridgewell

Airfield

Object Number - UPL 17691 - Air Ministry Record Site Plan-Airfield Site 1945. Ridgewell. Air Ministry Dwg. 151/45

Built during 1941-42 as an RAF bomber station, Ridgewell operated as a satellite to RAF Stradishall until May 1943. It had three concrete runways, initially 36 pan hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. Taken over by the Eighth Air Force in June 1943 as home to the 381st Bomb Group, equipped with B-17s, the hardstandings were increased to 50 pans and five loops. The 381st Bomb Group flew a total of 296 missions and lost 131 B-17s while based at Ridgewell, although at least two specially-named B-17s 'Rotherhithe’s Revenge' and 'Stage Door Canteen' each completed over 100 missions. After the 381st Bomb Group left in June 1945, the station was handed back to the RAF and used as a Maintenance Unit munitions store until 1957. Although most of the site has since been sold, demolished and returned to agriculture, MOD retained the hangars as an extra storage facility for the USAFE at Wethersfield and Alconbury until the early 1990s. A small, private collection of SWW memorabilia is currently displayed in and around the old Hospital building by the Ridgewell Airfield Commemorative Association. Essex Gliding Club is also now based at Ridgewell Airfield, which is all-grass and limited to glider & glider-tug flights only.

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: 381st Bomb Group 533rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-809475
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 535th Bomb Squadron
  • Role/Job: Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 532nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37556937
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 535th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-782142
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 534th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 15171172
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: My Devotion
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 533rd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: In Like Errol
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 535th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: The Joker II
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 532nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group

Revisions

Date30 Sep 2019 12:15:08
ContributorEmily
Sources

Removed 'England' from station name

Date22 Oct 2018 11:05:03
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Restored connections to people and aircraft records.

Date16 Apr 2018 04:03:04
ContributorARowe95
Sources

ARowe95

Date26 Apr 2017 10:26:27
ContributorLucy May
Sources

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

Date30 Aug 2015 17:56:08
Contributorllaforgia
Sources

LaForgia family records.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:02:18
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_Ridgewell

http://www.381st.com/

http://essexgliding.com/

Ridgewell: Gallery (44 items)