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Military site : airfield

Acquired in 1938 as an Emergency Landing Ground for RAF Tangmere, Westhampnett was upgraded to satellite status in 1940. It had eventually three grass runways, 19 pan hardstandings, 32 small pens, and one T1 plus eight over-blister hangars. Occupied by RAF fighter squadrons until July 1942, it had been allocated to the Eighth Air Force in June 1942 and became the main home in July 1942 of the 31st Fighter Group, equipped with Spitfire Vs. Transferred to the Ninth Air Force in September 1942, that Group moved to North Africa in October 1942, after which P-38s of the 14th Fighter Group briefly used Westhampnett as a forward operating base. Again occupied by RAF fighter squadrons from November 1942, the station was re-allocated to the Eighth Air Force in July 1943, and transferred to the Ninth Air Force in October 1943, but was never again used by American squadrons. Closed in 1946, the airfield site was redeveloped to become in 1948 the Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit, which closed in 1966. It was also redeveloped from 1958 to become the present-day Chichester Goodwood Airfield with two grass runways.



  • 31st Fighter Group

    31st Fighter Group

    The 31st Fighter Group only flew missions from England between June and September 1942 but during this period they supported the Dieppe raid, the assault on occupied Europe, predominantly by the Canadian army. The attack was forced into early retreat...


  • Harry Barr

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot/Squadron Operations Officer/Assistant Group Ops Officer | 31st Fighter Group
    Born in El Dorado, Kansas June 13, 1919. Commissioned as a 2nd Lt and awarded pilots wings on July 11, 1941. First active duty assignment was with the 31st Fighter Group, Selfridge Field Michigan flying P-39's. Participated in the Louisiana...

  • John Felton

    Military | Flight Officer | Fighter pilot | 31st Fighter Group
    Joined RCAF 1940, Assigned to 185 Sqn RAF Malta defense. 50 missions. Credited 1 x Ju88 Strait of Messina. Transferred USAAF, assigned to 309FS, 31FG, 15AF USAAF. Credited 1 x destroyed. Spitfires and P-51 Mustangs. Ended Tour Duty (ETD). ...

  • John Hawkins

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot/Fighter Group Commander | 31st Fighter Group

  • Jerome Juhnke

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 31st Fighter Group
    Assigned to 309FS, 31FG, 12AF. Shot down east of El Guettar in plane assigned to Lt Leonard Houston Meldeau, coded WZ-O. This was the third time he had been shot down, but this time his parachute (Meldeau's) failed to open. Juhnke assigned plane at...

  • James Thorsen

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot/Squadron Commander | 31st Fighter Group
    CO 308th FS first and third combat tours HQ 350th FG second combat tour CO 79th FG post War Germany Spitfire Mk VIII HL+B "Nightshade" P-51D HL+B "Nightshade IV" 3 air kills plus 1 ME-262 damaged

  • Harrison Thyng

    Military | Brigadier General | Fighter Pilot, Commander | 31st Fighter Group
    /Thyng led his squadron to a field in Algeria. There, American aircraft in the landing pattern were under attack by Vichy French Dewoitine 520 fighters. The 309th pilots downed three of the four Dewoitines, one of them falling to Thyng's guns for his...


  • EN909

    Supermarine Spitfire EN909 Mk Vb, Built at Chattis Hill. ...

  • BM635

    Supermarine Spitfire BM635 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • EP179 'Mary James'

    Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb EP179 Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • EN838

    Supermarine Spitfire EN838 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...


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 Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

Chris Ashworth, Action Stations 5: Military Airfields of the South-West (London, 1982) +