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Military site : airfield

Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their home from 1942 to December 1945. Placed on care and maintenance at the end of the war, the airfield was then used as an aircraft test and development centre until it was sold in 1996.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

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  • Chester Aarts

    Military | Corporal | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Chester Aarts served with the 368th Bomb Squadron of the 306th Bomb Group, which was based at Thurleigh, England. Following his service, he settled in Kenosha Wisconsin and married Leona Marie Bose Bydalek Aarts on 8 March 1974 when he was 60 years old.

  • Irwin Aaseby

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Irwin Aaseby served as a gunner with the 306th Bomb Group from Thurleigh. He was shot down on 28 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29779 'Bab's Best', bailed out and was taken as a Prisoner of War (POW). He was held at Stalag 17B Braunau Gneikendorf, near Krems,...

  • Albert Adams

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 6 Mar 1944 on a mission to Erkner, Berlin, B-17F #42-31025 left formation over the target due to the mechanical failure of the #4 engine and on the return was attacked fighters knocking out another engine but was able to return and land at a base...

  • Richard Adams

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 8 November 1942 in B-17F-10-BO 41-24472 while serving as Pilot. Evaded. He reported to the American Consulate Gibraltar 21 April 1943 and returned to England on 23-Apr-43.

  • Hyman Adler

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 29 July 1943 in B-17 #42-5826 'Jeravad Une Petite Peu', Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Harold Aiello

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Aircraft Mechanic | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He served from June 1942 to September 1945. He worked with Joe Terrana (crew chief).

  • Peggy Albertson

    Civilian | Land Girl
    Peggy was born in London, and during the Second World War did war work in factories and then on farms as a member of the Women’s Land Army. She fell in love with and married an American airman – Joe Albertson. After the war, she went with other ‘GI...

  • Walter Albertson

    Military | Sergeant | Mechanic | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was an original with the group, volunteering for service the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. After completing his training at Wendover, he arrived at Thurleigh 6 Sept 1942. He left Thurleigh 28 July 1945.

  • Dean Allen

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Reported to the group on 7 Jun 1944. Crashed at Budberg on 8/26/44 in B-17 Hard To Get #4297946. POW at Stalag 7A Moosburg Bavaria 48-12 (Work Camps 3324-46 Krumbachstrasse 48011, Work Camp 3368 Munich 48-11) POW, AM 2OLC,

  • John Allen

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot; Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Assigned to 368BS, 306BG, 8AF USAAF. Reported to 306BG on 29-Apr-44. He flew on Gwynn Boswell crew as co-pilot. When he was detached service with the 1st Scouting Force (364th FG/384th FS), baled out at Neuringe on 3-Feb-45 from P-51 44-13686. POW at...

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  • 41-24417 Dixie Demo II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 92BG Bangor 14/7/42; 97BG 24/8/42; dam 21/10/42; BAD 24/10/42; 369BS/306BG [WW-M] Thurleigh /10/42; ditched North Sea, off Cromer, Nfk., 26/7/43 with Alphonse Maresh, Co-pilot: Bob Hoyt, Navigator: Jim Brown, Bombardier: Art Isaac, Flight...

  • 41-24460 Little Audrey

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 423BS/306BG [RD-A] Westover 8/42; Thurleigh 13/10/42; wrecked 21/10/42 RAF Sutton Bridge, Cambs. with Wilson, life raft latch broke loose and raft tangled round horizontal stabilizer, rep; transferred 482BG Alconbury 22/8/43; 379BG Kimbolton...

  • 41-24461

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW- ] Westover 22/8/42; Thurleigh 2/10/42; no details other than Salvaged NBD 27/2/43.

  • 41-24463

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 423BS/306BG Westover 16/8/42; took off from Gander (Newfoundland) en route Thurleigh 5-Sep-42 exploded over Atlantic an hour out. (10 KIS) no trace, ditched off Greenland. Missing Air Crew Report 16344. ...

  • 41-24464 Excalibur

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 367BS/306BG Westover 17-Aug-42; Thurleigh 13-Oct-42; transferred 324BS/91BG [DF-J] Bassingbourn 20-Feb-43; Missing in Action (MIA) 2m Hamm 4-Mar-43. Shot down by Lt Kostler (IV/NJG1) in Me 110, KO’d #1 & #3, oil pouring away before #4 was...

  • 41-24465 Montana Power

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 368BS/306BG [BO- ] Westover 17/8/42; Thurleigh 16/10/42; Missing in Action to the ERLA works in Antwerp 5 April 1943 with Pilot Robert W. Seelos (POW). Co-pilot: Alexander Kramarinko (Evaded - POW); Navigator: William W. Saunders (POW); Ball...

  • 41-24466

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 368BS/306BG Westover 19/7/42; force landed Hill Fd, UT with Lyle Fryers 14/8/42; Thurleigh 16/10/42; became trainer aircraft 11/4/43; Salvaged NBD 18/6/45.

  • 41-24467

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Ogden 21/7/42; force landed Hill Fd, Ut 19/8/42 with Ralph Dissaro; damaged at Cheyenne airport with Warren Dean 7/9/42 when brakes failed and it struck a passenger DC-3 owned by Utd Air Lines, rep; Assigned 422BS/305BG Presque Is 19/10/42;...

  • 41-24468

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 3689BS/306BG Westover 20/8/42; Thurleigh 13/10/42; CCRC 26/3/43; Salvaged NBD 31/5/45. WA-HOO!

  • 41-24469

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 367BS/306BG Westover 16-Aug-42; Thurleigh 2-Oct-42; on return from St Nazaire 3-Jan-43 landed RAF St Eval, Cornwall. Next day on t/o for Thurleigh, Bed. in poor weather crashed into the Celtic Sea near RAF St. Eval 7-Jan-43. 10KIS No MACR...

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Date Contributor Update
28 June 2017 15:42:10 Lucy May Changes to aircraft associations

Connected aircraft records that have 'Thurleigh' in their biography fields.

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

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