Tangmere

Airfield
Aerial photograph of Tangmere airfield looking north, the technical site is to the left, 3 March 1942. Photograph taken by No 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, sortie number RAF/HLA/411. English Heritage (RAF Photography).

Object Number - RAF_HLA_411_F22_2004 - Aerial photograph of Tangmere airfield looking north, the technical site is to the left, 3 March 1942. Photograph taken by No 1 Photographic...

Built during 1917-18 as an RAF Training Depot Station (TDS), Tangmere was handed over to the US Army Air Service (USAAS) as a TDS for large Handley Page (HP) 0/400 bombers.

However, delays in delivery prevented the start of training before the Armistice on 11th November 1918. American personnel moved in from Ford with a few smaller aircraft types after the Armistice, but soon left to return to the USA. At that time, Tangmere had a grass airfield, seven Belfast Truss hangars and one large HP shed.

Closed in 1920 but kept by the Air Ministry, Tangmere re-opened in 1925, became an RAF fighter station in 1926, and remained so until 1958 when it was transferred to Signals Command.

Allocated briefly to the Eighth Air Force as a fighter base in 1942, and again briefly as a tactical fighter base in 1943, the station was never occupied by USAAF units during the Second World War. It was transferred to Transport Command (later Air Support Command) in 1963, by which time it had two hard runways and three Cold War era T2 hangars, as well as many preserved historic buildings. Tangmere closed in 1970 and the airfield was sold in 1979.

Part of the site is occupied by the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, founded in 1981.

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Detailed History

A new research project in collaboration with the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, led by Dr Ross Wilson, of Chichester University’s History Department, and assisted by volunteers from Chichester Community Development Trust, will document the lives of the American military personnel who were based at Tangmere aerodrome and other sites along the Sussex coast from 1917 to 1919. See the Museum's website for further details:
http://www.tangmere-museum.org.uk/news/project-to-investigate-us-histor…

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: No 71 'Eagle' Squadron No 121 'Eagle' Squadron No 133 'Eagle' Squadron
  • Service Numbers: J15016
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron Headquarters (4th Fighter Group) No 71 'Eagle' Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-885143
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Fighter pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 25th Bomb Group 653rd Bomb Squadron 654th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32891039 / O-886133
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: No 71 'Eagle' Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 146885
  • Highest Rank: Flying Officer
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Corn State Terror
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Squawkin Hawk II
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Sabotage Jr
  • Unit: 78th Fighter Group 83rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: The Little One
  • Unit: 351st Bomb Group 510th Bomb Squadron 511th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: Spitfire
  • Nicknames: Manchester Chairman
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron

Revisions

Date27 Sep 2014 18:02:18
ContributorAAM
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, The Mighty Eighth War Manual (London, 1991)

Chris Ashworth, Action Stations 9: Military Airfields of the Central South and South-east (Cambridge, 1985)

http://www.tangmere-museum.org.uk/

Tangmere: Gallery (6 items)