Shipdham

Airfield
Field Ambulances standby as B-24 Liberators of the 44th Bomb Group line up for takeoff at Shipdham. Image has been signed on reverse with an illegible signature. Handwritten caption on reverse: '281-66-76.'

Object Number - FRE 667 - Field Ambulances standby as B-24 Liberators of the 44th Bomb Group line up for takeoff at Shipdham. Image has been signed on reverse with an...

Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number of hardstandings for aircraft, and more accommodation was built. It was briefly home to the 319th Bomb Group, before the 44th Bomb Group and its B-24 Liberators moved in. Although detached twice to North Africa, this unit operated from the airfield from November 1942 to the end of the war. In 1946-1947, the airfield was used as a transit camp for German Prisoners of War. The airfield was sold in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Today, it is still operated as a General Aviation airfield, and it is also home to a museum telling the story of Shipdham and the 44th Bomb Group.

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English Heritage's Record Description

A former World War Two military airfield, opened in 1942 and closed in 1945, later a civilian airfield. It was the first United States heavy bomber base in Norfolk, used by the 44th Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force, as Station 115. The airfield comprised three tarmac runways with the technical site and three aircraft hangars (Type T2) on the south side of the airfield. A bomb dump was located to the south-west of the airfield. Accommodation for around 3000 personnel was dispersed across fields to the south-east of the airfield. The 44th bomb group flew B-24 Liberators and were involved in 343 missions, including a raid on the Romanian oil fields at Ploesti that were vital for the Axis war effort. After the war from 1946-1947 the airfield was used as a holding camp for German Prisoners of War who were to be repatriated. Parts of the former military site were disposed of between 1957 and 1963. In 1970 the airfield reopened as a small civilian airfield with a new aircraft hangar and other buildings. The wartime hangars at the site were reused for industrial purposes. The civilian airfield closed in 1999. The remains of the wartime control tower are on private land to the south of the airfield.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 67th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19012052 / O-689756
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 67th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: AR
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 506th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier, Enlisted, Nose Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 68th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 14151313
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 67th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37377434
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 68th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Spirit of 76
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 68th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Maisie
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 66th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - Jenny - Lady Luck
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 66th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Miss Dianne
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 67th Bomb Squadron 8th Air Force Finance

Revisions

Date3 Sep 2019 12:50:36
ContributorEmily
Sources

Historic England National Monument Record TF 90 NE 26

Date25 May 2016 09:13:24
ContributorFlying8ball
Sources

edited minor details

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).

Shipdham: Gallery (92 items)