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Military site : airfield

Built during 1942-43, Nuthampstead was the nearest Eighth Air Force heavy bomber base to London. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. It was first occupied from September 1943 to April 1944 by the 55th Fighter Group, equipped with P-38s, which was the first group to use these aircraft for long-range escort missions. The 398th Bomb Group, equipped with B-17s took over the station in April 1944 and remained until June 1945. Transferred to the RAF in July 1945, Nuthampstead was used as a Maintenance Unit ordnance store until 1954 and eventually closed in 1959.

In the 1960s, it was one of the sites considered for London's third airport, but was ultimately rejected in favour of Stansted. Since mostly demolished and returned to agriculture, plus forestry and light industry, Nuthampstead retains a small, private, grass airstrip.

Nuthampstead Airfield Museum is dedicated commemorating the experiences of the 55th Fighter Group and 398th Bomb Group. Visit the museum's website to find out when its next open day is:

More information on the history of Nuthampstead can be found here:

More information on the 398th can also be found at the website of the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association, including many interviews with 398th veterans:

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known



  • 814th Enginer Aviation Battalion

    814th Enginer Aviation Battalion

    Arrived in Liverpool on 15 July 1942 and travelled to Royston, Hertfordshire. The men spent their first night bivouacking in the village of Nuthampstead. Over the next few months, they built the new airfield outside the village.

  • 398th Bomb Group

    398th Bomb Group

    The 398th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire on strategic bombing raids over Germany. The Group switched focus in the days before D-Day, when they targeted enemy positions on the Cherbourg peninsula. When the Allies...

  • 478th Sub-Depot
  • 55th Fighter Group

    55th Fighter Group

    The 55th Fighter Group were the first P-38 Lightning Group to go fully operational from England. The pilots flew long-range escort missions for bombers flying over occupied Europe and racked up 'kills' of their own by destroying enemy aircraft in...

  • 18th Weather Squadron

    18th Weather Squadron

    Browse 18th Weather Squadron photographs and other documents in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library digital archive here:

  • 325th Station Complement Squadron
  • 38th Fighter Squadron
  • 600th Bomb Squadron
  • 601st Bomb Squadron
  • 602nd Bomb Squadron


  • Floyd Aaron

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer - Top Turret Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    Missing in Action (MIA) 13 April 1945 Neugmunster, Germany. Bombs from one of our planes in the formation exploded in mid-air after release and damaged this aircraft.

  • Donald Aasen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 601BS, 398BG, 8AF USAAF. 35 x combat missions. ETD Awards: AM (5OLC), AFCM, WWII Victory, EAME (3 x Battle Stars).

  • George Abbott

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Togglier/ Bombardier | 398th Bomb Group
    He had been a waist gunner in training to take over the Bombardier role and was in the nose. A German 88 anti aircraft shell had exploded in his lap, killing him instantly. The plane with its nose blown off and up into the windshield made it back to...

  • Chambers Adams

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 398th Bomb Group
    Flew 32 missions in 77 days Distinguished Flying Cross (July 1944)

  • Nunzio Addabbo

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 398th Bomb Group
    Addabbo remembered the mission of 14 February 1945 when they were blown off course by high winds and bombed Prague instead of Dresden. Not in the lead aircraft they simply had to follow.

  • Albert Albino

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 55th Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 29-Nov-43 while pilot of P-38H 42-67051 when his aircraft was shot down at Hoogeveen, Holland. The aircraft with 2LT Albert A. Albino crashed into the railroad marshalling yards at Hoogeveen, Holland. He was originally listed...

  • Manuel Aldecoa

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 55th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 343FS, 55FG, 8AF USAAF. Killed in Action (KIA) on 25-Nov-43 when his aircraft, P-38H 42-6706 sustained a mid-air collision with a Fw-190 over Cuinchy, France while on a mission to provide top cover for P-47s that were attacking the German...

  • Albert Aleksyn

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 603BS, 398BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin; mid air collision near Lehmke in B-17 43-38697, Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 12215. Awards: PH.

  • Louis Alessio

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Navigator | 398th Bomb Group

  • Isaac Alhadeff

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 398th Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and crashed in Baltic on 8/6/44 in B-17 #42-102467, Prisoner of War (POW). POW

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  • 41-9107 The 401st Hack, Agony Wagon, Gravy Train

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 340BS/97BG Polebrook 15/4/42; transferred 390BG Framlingham 29/6/42; 407BS/92BG [PY-N] Bovingdon /9/42; 401BS/91BG [LL-X] Bassingbourn 22/7/43; 613BS/401BG [IN-P], then 612BS [SC-X] Deenethorpe, Nth. 6/11/43; /390BG Framlingham, 6/11/43; 600BS...

  • 42-102390

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 27/2/44; Hunter 15/3/44; Dow Fd 8/4/44; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-M] Grafton Underwood 11/4/44; transferred 600BS/398BG [N8-X/S] Nuthampstead 26/4/44; 603BS; abandoned on continent with Lt Alwood & Stevens 21/11/44 and returned 22/2...

  • 42-102391

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 27/2/44; Gt Falls 2/3/44; Hunter 15/3/44; Grenier 9/4/44; Assigned 601BS/398BG [3O-B] Nuthampstead 26/4/44; (18m) Missing in Action Hamburg 18/6/44 with Willard Hadjes, Co-pilot: Homer Kuck, Navigator: Dick Howell, Bombardier: John...

  • 42-102418

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Cheyenne 3/3/44; Hunter 12/3/44; Dow Fd 9/4/44; Assigned 600BS/398BG [N8-M] Nuthampstead 24/4/44; 601BS; battle damaged Germersheim, Ger 13/1/45 with Larry Delancy; crew OK; on return crash landed RAF Woodbridge, Sfk, UK; Salvaged 14/1/45.

  • 42-102445

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 4/3/44; Kearney 22/3/44; Dow Fd 5/4/44; Assigned 601BS/398BG [3O-R] Nuthampstead 26/4/44; (23m) Missing in Action Noball V-1 sites 8/7/44 with George Wilson (KIA – went down with ship); Tail gunner: Reg Ferguson (evaded capture); Co...

  • 42-102463

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 5/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Dow Fd 19/4/44; Assigned 601BS/398BG [3O-Z] Nuthampstead 28/4/44; transferred 602BS [K8-Z]; (17m) Missing in Action Toulouse 25/6/44 with John Godwin, Co-pilot: Bill Freeman, Bombardier: Ed Seward, Flight...

  • 42-102467 Agony Wagon III

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 5/3/44; Gr Island 27/3/44; Grenier 7/4/44; Assigned 600BS/398BG [N8-J] Nuthampstead 27/4/44; on training mission 4/5/44 with Lt E. Ford in mid-air collision with 42-107191, damaged left wing but returned safely; Missing in Action...

  • 42-102469

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 5/3/44; Kearney 6/4/44; Grenier 21/4/44; Assigned 603BS/398BG [N7-Q] Nuthampstead 3/5/44; force landed Abbeville with Overton AOC 11/1/45 Salvaged 5 SAD Merville, Fr. 28/1/45.

  • 42-102476

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Dow Fd 14/4/44; Assigned 603BS/398BG [N7-B] Nuthampstead 28/4/44; (18m) Missing in Action Munich 16/7/44 with Ray Gallagher, Co-pilot: Harry Castleman, Navigator: Bill Berry, Bombardier: Wendell Davis, Flight...

  • 42-102487

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/3/44; Gr Island 29/3/44; Grenier 6/4/44; Assigned 600BS/398BG [N8-F] Nuthampstead 26/4/44; repaired Missing in Action 25/2/45 with Sheffer, AOC 26/2/45 after mission; ret. 6/4/45; transferred RAF Valley 21/5/45; Returned to the USA...

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Date Contributor Update
22 June 2018 09:34:22 Lucy May Changes to description

Updating the information about Nuthampstead Airfield Museum:

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)
Roger Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Manual (2nd edn, London, 2001)