Skip to main content
Edit entry 


Military site : airfield

Originally named Winfarthing when the site was allocated to the Eighth Air Force in 1942, it was renamed Fersfield when built for the Eighth Air Force 1943-44. USAAF and US Navy projects 'Aphrodite' 'Batty' and 'Anvil' (attempts to develop and use radio-controlled aircraft as precision weapons) were launched from the airfield in 1944, one of which resulted in the death of Lt Joseph Kennedy, elder brother of future US President John F Kennedy. The airfield was closed in 1946, and it has since been since returned to agriculture.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known




  • Joseph Andrecheck

    Military | Captain | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Command pilot Aphrodite drone B-17 42-30212, mission to V1 missile site Watten, France. 6-8-44. Baled out successfully over UK.

  • Thomas Barton

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    newly assigned May 1944

  • Eugene Creagh

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Pilot of B-17G 42-102696, acting as wireless relay for Aphrodite mission to V1 missile site at Wizernes, France. 4-8-1944. Killed in Action (KIA) 12 September 1944 in B-17G 42-107085 'Little Chum' AM w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster PH

  • Roy Forrest

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Commanding Officer | 388th Bomb Group
    Lt Col Roy W Forrest [Commanding Officer 388th BG] monitored Batty* project glide bomb mission from P-38J 43-28490 'Jeanne'. Target Le Havre submarine pens. 13-8-44. ...

  • James Gabler

    Military | Major | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 562BS, 388BG, 8AF USAAF. Pilot of Aphrodite 'Mother' ship B-24J 43-37793 on mission to Wizernes V1 missile site. 4-Aug-44. ETD Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Hazen Graves

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Eng/Autopilot Eng | 447th Bomb Group
    Autopilot Engineer, command crew of B-17G 42-31394 on Aphrodite mission to V1 missile site Wattens, France. Baled out sucessfully over UK. 6-8-44.

  • Raymond Healy

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Eng / Autopilot Eng | 388th Bomb Group
    Autopilot Eng, control crew of B-17 42-30212 on Aphrodite mission to V1 missile site Watten, France. Baled out safely over UK. 6-8-44.

  • Perry Lewellen

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Assigned 8th AF June '44 - Dec. '44. Ours was a replacement crew - completed tour of combat. Arrived England about time of D-Day and back in states for Christmas. As a lead crew, think tour was 32 missions. ...

  • David McCarthy

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator / Observer | 25th Bomb Group
    Served with 8th AF USAAF September 1943 - May 1944. ...

  • George Montgomery

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 560BS, 388BG, AF USAAF. Pilot B-17 42-30793 (mission navigation support) on Aphrodite [remote controlled flying bomb] mission to V1 missile site at Wizernes, France. 4-Aug-44. Awards: AM (4OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

Show more


  • 41-24639 'Careful Virgin'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/9/42; Boise 16/9/42; wrecked on landing with broken crankshaft, rep; Cheyenne 11/10/42; Assigned 323BS/91BG [OR-W] Bassingbourn 29/1/43 and first in group to have AFCE fitted at 2 SAD Lt Staughton 8/3/44; transferred 7/5/44 50+m...

  • 42-102696 'Midge'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/3/44; Hunter 16/4/44; Dow Fd 2/5/44; Assigned 562/388BG Knettishall 05/23/44 for combat. used on Aphrodite training project; Returned to the USA Bradley 3/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 18/7/45; Reconstruction Finance...

  • 42-30039 'Liberty Belle'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 2/4/43; Sioux City 14/4/43; Kearney 3/5/43; Dow Fd 24/5/43; Assigned 337BS/96BG [AW-Q] in US; transferred 544BS/384BG [SU-H] Grafton Underwood 29/5/43; 2 SAD Lt Staughton 14/8/43; transferred Aphrodite Project 803BS RCM Knettishall 1...

  • 42-30066 'Mugwump' aka 'Rum Boogie II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/4/43; Gore 14/4/43; Kearney 16/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 16/5/43; Kearney 22/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG [MZ-X] Andrews Fd 2/6/43; RUM BOOGIE II; transferred 418BS/100BG [LD-U] Thorpe Abbotts 9/6/43; as war weary F...

  • 42-30212 Quarterback

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 14/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 16/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 17/6/43; transferred Aphrodite project, Missing in Action V-sites, Watten 6/8/44 with Lt Joeseph P Andrecheck & T/Sgt Raymond Healy (2...

  • 42-30342 "T'aint A Bird II"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 19/5/43; Gore 20/5/43; Smoky Hill 30/5/43; Wright 30/6/43; Smoky Hill 20/7/43; Kearney 22/7/43; Dow Fd 25/7/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-B] Horham 28/7/43; 54m, transferred APH with Azon for Aphrodite missions, Knettishall; Aphrodite...

  • 42-30363 'Ruth L III'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/5/43; Smoky Hill 1/6/43; Gr Isle 5/6/43; Dow Fd 1/7/43; Assigned 338BS/96BG Snetterton 4/7/43 RUTH L III; transferred RCM 388BG project Aphrodite Knettishall; Missing in Action Hemmingstadt 14/9/44 with Lts M. Hardy & E. Hadley,...

  • 42-30595 "Olin's 69'ers" aka 'Gremlin Gus II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/6/43; Smoky Hill 13/7/43; Kearney 16/7/43; Dow Fd 19/7/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/7/43; (34m) transferred Aphrodite project as OLIN'S 69'ERS; when War Weary, fuselage cut down and vehicle windshield fitted before open...

  • 42-30793 'Tom Paine'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Named Tom Paine after a famous soldier who served in the American Army during the War of Independence after the airmen of the 562nd after they found out that he had been born in the nearby town of Thetford. Was chosen to promote Anglo-American co...

  • 42-31394 Aphrodite

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/10/43; Assigned 526BS/379BG [LF-D] Kimbolton 20/1/44; transferred AFSC with Azon/Aphrodite (388BG) Knettishall 7/6/44; Missing in Action v-sites Watten, Fr; 6/8/44 with Lt J. Sollars & T/Sgt H. Graves (2 Returned to Duty); lost...

Show more


Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:16 AAM AAM ingest

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Manual (London, 2001)

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