Steeple Morden

Airfield
P-51 Mustangs of the 355th Fighter Group break formation, ready for landing, over the ground support vehicles and control tower of Steeple Morden Airfield. Image signed on reverse with the approval of station censor. Handwritten caption on reverse: '355 FG Steeple Morden, Control Tower, read crew + P41 [sic] group peeling off for landing.'

Object Number - FRE 443 - P-51 Mustangs of the 355th Fighter Group break formation, ready for landing, over the ground support vehicles and control tower of Steeple Morden...

Originally used from 1940 as a small, grass airfield, satellite for nearby RAF Bassingbourn, Steeple Morden was allocated to the Eighth Air Force in August 1942 as a potential bomber base. It was used briefly by the 3rd Photographic Group during the Autumn of 1942, and was then developed with three runways, 55 concrete hardstandings, one T2 hangar and seven blister hangars. Re-allocated to the Ninth Air Force in April 1943 as a fighter base, it was returned to the Eighth Air Force and occupied by the 355th Fighter Group from July 1943 to July 1945. Returned to the RAF in 1945, the station closed in 1946 and was abandoned. Most of the site was sold back to its original owners plus Cambridgeshire County Council during 1960-61. It has largely returned to agriculture after demolition of the runways, Control Tower and the majority of other wartime buildings. A 355th Fighter Group Memorial wall stands near the wartime station entrance off the Litlington Road.

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English Heritage's Record Description

A former World War Two military airfield. It began in 1940 as a satellite airfield for Bassingbourn, operated by the Royal Air Force. Initially the main user was 11 Operational Training Unit. They took part in the first "thousand bomber raid" to Cologne. They were followed by American reconnaissance units in 1942 and by 17 Operational Training Unit. The airfield was then selected for expansion and was redeveloped within the parameters of local topography. The redeveloped airfield consisted of three concrete runways, an aircraft hangar (Type T2) and a number of Blister aircraft hangars. There was a technical site with a control tower at the northern edge of the airfield. The airfield was then primarily used by the United states Army 8th Air Force 355th Fighter Group: Steeple Morden was designated USAAF Station 122. Their main role was to attack German airfields and infrastructure. The airfield closed in 1946 and was sold mostly to the pre-war landowners for agriculture in 1960-1961.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 355th Fighter Group 358th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-1699474
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 354th Fighter Group 355th Fighter Group 4th Fighter Group 2nd Scouting Force 335th Fighter Squadron 358th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-816974
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 355th Fighter Group 358th Fighter Group 358th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19103690
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 355th Fighter Group 357th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 11093392 / O-817871
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 355th Fighter Group 358th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18039014 / O-664496
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Nicknames: Dinny II
  • Unit: 339th Fighter Group 355th Fighter Group 358th Fighter Squadron 504th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 339th Fighter Group 496th Fighter Training Group 503rd Fighter Squadron 504th Fighter Squadron 555th Fighter Training Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 355th Fighter Group 357th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: The Butcher
  • Unit: 355th Fighter Group 357th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 355th Fighter Group 358th Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date3 Sep 2019 13:42:33
ContributorEmily
Sources

Historic England National Monument Record TL 34 SW 120

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, Airfields of the Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

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

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

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

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Cambridgeshire/SteepleMorden355thFighterG…

Steeple Morden: Gallery (114 items)