Planned as a grass airfield fighter satellite to RAF Ibsley, Hurn was actually built during 1940-42 for bomber or transport use. It had eventually three tarmac-surface hard runways, 30 pan plus 46 loop hardstandings, and four T2, three Bellman and 10 blister hangars. Opened in November 1941 before development was complete, the station was occupied by the RAF until August 1944. The first American residents were briefly P-61s of the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron, for training with the RAF during June-July 1944. Allocated to the Ninth Air Force, the station was occupied by the 397th Bomb Group, equipped with B-26s, during August 1944, and then used by other USAAF and RAF units en route to France during September 1944. Handed back to the RAF in October 1944, the site was transferred to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and became Bournemouth Airport. During 1945-46 it was the largest civil long-haul airport in the UK, used by the British Overseas Airways Corporation and several other national airlines. It remains in operation today as Bournemouth Airport, part of the Manchester Airports Group.
Military | Captain | Pilot | 397th Bomb Group
Military | First Lieutenant | Personal Equipment Officer | 416th Bomb Group
Military | Captain | Pilot | 95th Bomb Group
Assigned to 334BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. B-17 42-38123 with Walter O. Rottstedt force landed RAF Hurn, Kent 27-Apr-44 Awards: AM, PH, WWII Victory, EAME, AP, OCC, American Campaign and Defense Medals.
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Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)
Chris Ashworth, Action Stations 5: Military Airfields of the South-West (Cambridge, 1982)