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Little Walden

Military site : airfield

Little Walden was built as a Class A airfield suitable for American heavy bombers. The 409th Bomb Group, as part of the Ninth Air Force, was stationed at the base between March and September 1944, flying A-20 Havocs.
The base was then handed over to the Eighth Air Force's P-51 Mustang-flying 361st Fighter Group, which flew from Little Walden before setting up on the Continent in December 1944 to help counter the German offensive in the Ardennes from closer range. The Group flew from a base in Belgium before returning to Little Walden in April 1945.
In March 1945, the Eighth Air Force's 493rd Bomb Group temporarily based its B-17s here while runways at its base at Debach underwent repairs.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

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  • Walter Allard

    Military | First Lieutenant | bomber | 409th Bomb Group

  • Joseph Armistead

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 409th Bomb Group
    Joseph Armistead served as a pilot with the 641st Bomb Squadron of the 409th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Little Walden, England. On 11 June 1944, he was piloting A-20 43-9703 when it collided with A-20 43-9946 soon after take-off. Armistead died...

  • Edward Backus

    Military | Brigadier General | Pilot, Commanding Officer | 12th Bomb Group
    Edward N. Backus was born in Vernon, Texas, in 1906. He graduated from Vernon High School in 1924 and attended the University of Oklahoma and Washington and Lee University where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1929. ...

  • Glenn Beeler

    Military | Major | Fighter pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Credited 1 x kill [secured with a bold claim in the combat report, as the pilot of the already damaged Fw190 baled out, with Beeler's P-51D firmly attached to his tail, without a shot having been fired]. Transferred...

  • Fred Boswell

    Military | Captain | Flight Control Officer | 361st Fighter Group
    As Fred Boswell told it to the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force: ...

  • Will Butts

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 361st Fighter Group

  • Robert Dawson

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 3 March 1945 in B-17 #43-39050. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Gerald Doll

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group

  • John Donnelly

    Military | Sergeant | 409th Bomb Group
    John Donnelly served with the 641st Bomb Squadron of the 409th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Little Walden, England. On 11 June 1944, he was flying in A-20 43-9703 when it collided with A-20 43-9946 soon after take-off. Donnelly died when the...

  • Urban Drew

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 361st Fighter Group
    Urban L "Ben" Drew joined the US Army Air Force in 1942, and trained P-51 Mustang pilots after graduating from Marian, Florida. He arrived in England in October 1944 and joined the 361st Fighter Group. Drew completed 75 missions with the 361st and...

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  • 43-22027

    A-20 Havoc
    Assigned to 642BS, 409BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Cologne hit by flak in wing span out of control and crashed Liblar, Germany [1 x POW, 3 x KIA] 2-Feb-45 MACR 12056. ...

  • 43-39050

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 19/11/44; Dow Fd 2/12/44; Assigned 863BS/493BG Debach 4/12/44; Missing in Action Brunswick 3/3/45 with George Graff, Ray Goetschius, Paul Edmunds, Dwain Kantor, Bob Dawson, Cameron McKin, Francis Mungavin (7 Prisoner of War); Bill...

  • 43-9457

    A-20 Havoc
    Shot down by AA fire on mission to Bonnieres, France on 9 May 1944. Pilot 1Lt Gordon R. Argyle, Bombardier/Navigator Ralph Corey and Mechanic/Gunner SSgt William H. Oglesbee were killed. Armorer/Gunner SSgt Louis W. Dirickson became POW. MACR 4677

  • 43-9903

    A-20 Havoc
    Assigned to 643BS, 409BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Over Water (OW) mission to Campagne-lès-Hesdin. Hit by flak over target, headed for base, having crossed the French coast, crew ordered to bale out. 2 x RTD, 1 x KIA. MACR 12274. ...

  • 43-25044

    P-51 Mustang

  • 44-13319

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 358FS, 355FG, 8AF. Transferred to 376FS, 361FG 8AF.

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Date Contributor Update
29 December 2016 16:43:51 SavvyGA Changes to description

493BG presence added

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:17 AAM AAM ingest

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Eighth Then And Now (London, 1978).