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Military site : airfield

Prepared as an RAF Advanced Landing Ground in 1943, the land was released for grazing before it was again selected for aircraft use, and improved for the Ninth Air Force in 1944. Used briefly by the 404th Fighter Group, it was then abandoned, dismantled and returned to agriculture in 1945.

Detailed history

In late 1942 farmers of the land between Sopley, Winkton and Bransgore were visited by reconnaissance surveyors of the Air Ministry. Land from Sopley Farm, Parsonage Farm, and both lower and upper or higher Clockhouse Farms would be lost to the war effort. In the summer of 1943 4768 Flight of 5004 Airfield Construction Squadron RAF arrived to prepare the land to accommodate an advanced landing ground. The airfield was ready for September 1943. In January an advance party arrived from the United States Army’s Ninth Airforce to prepare the facilities required for the 1000 Airmen and seventy-five P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft of the 404th Fighter Group. The party included American Airfield Engineers and Ninth Airforce Service Corps personnel. The engineers reinforced the two mile-long runways with pieced steel planking and the corners of intersections between taxiways with tar reinforced burlap. The Service Corps constructed the camp facilities. The airfield was known to the USAAF as Station 414.

In early April 1944 the 404th Fighter Group personnel arrived from Christchurch railway station by truck and by mid-April their aircraft had started to arrive. Following intensive training and preparation the 404th went operational on May 1st. The three squadrons in the Group (506th, 507th and 508th Fighter Squadron) flew dive bombing, armed reconnaissance and escort missions over occupied Europe. On D Day 6th of June the whole group flew four beach protection patrols over the invasion fleet and beaches, the first at dawn, the last in the late evening. The 404th continued to fly an intensive programme of operations from Winkton until early July 1944 when they moved to Normandy. Winkton airfield closed and was returned to agriculture in August 1944.

For more on Winkton ALG and the 404th in England see

You can find out more about the New Forest’s vital role in D-Day from Mulberry Harbour, to holding camps, road widening, advanced landing grounds, PLUTO and Embarkation by visiting our main page on D-Day in the New Forest.|33:1:1

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known




  • William Abraham

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 404th Fighter Group

  • Duane Ash

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 404th Fighter Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Lt. Colonel

  • John Barth

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 404th Fighter Group
    Lieutenant John Leo Barth was a member of the 506th Fighter Squadron, 404th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force during WWII. He flew thirty-eight missions in the P-47 and was awarded the Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters. Based first at Winkton in Hampshire,...

  • Edward Botte

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aircraft Mechanic | 404th Fighter Group

  • Max Conn

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 404th Fighter Group
    Credited with two enemy aircraft destroyed.

  • Buford Courtney

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 404th Fighter Group

  • Rufus Cox

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 404th Fighter Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Lt. Colonel

  • George Cuonzo

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio operator | 404th Fighter Group
    George was born in Mt Vernon New York and enlisted in 1942. He was a chief radio operator in the 508th 404th and attained the rank of Tech Sergeant. He landed at Utah Beach. He spent time at St Trond in Belgium and fought through the Bulge all the...

  • William Donohoe

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 404th Fighter Group

  • Chester Dunsmore

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 404th Fighter Group

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  • 42-25852 Snortin' Bull

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 42-25993 Janie

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-22-RE 225993 was a P-47 in the 507th Fighter Squadron, 404th Fighter Group. ...

  • 42-26465 Rae

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 42-7884 'Reggie's Reply' / 'Lucky' 'Donnie Boy'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D Thunderbolt 42-7884, was 2nd Lt John Godfrey's first 'REGGIE'S REPLY', which he inherited from his future flight leader 1st Lt. Don Gentile. ...

  • 42-7959

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. One-time personal aircraft of Capt James A Goodson. ...

  • 41-6529 'Hi! R.P.M.'/'Eager Beaver/Miss Beth'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    This P-47C Thunderbolt was the one-time mount of Captain Ervin 'Dusty' Miller. It's nose art, 'Hi! R.P.M.', commemorated the birth of his son, Robert Paul Miller. ...

  • 42-25704 My Mozelle, My Lady June

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 404th FG, 508th FS on May1,1944 as "7J-E", as the personal mount of then Capt. "Tibbo" Tibbets, "A" flight leader for the 508th FS. Reassigned Dec.6,1944 as "7J-Z" when assigned as the personal mount of 1St. Lt. Edward M. James. This ship...

  • 42-28794

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 506FS, 404FG, 9AF USAAF.

  • 42-75118

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 370FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 508FS, 404FG, 9AF USAAF.

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Date Contributor Update
17 June 2022 17:22:53 msbarth1 Changes to history

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

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Chris Ashworth, Action Stations 5: Military Airfields of the South-West (Cambridge, 1982)