Skip to main content
Edit entry 


Military site : airfield

Boxted was built for heavy bombers and became operational from May 1943. In the few months B-26 Marauders of the 386th Bomb Group were stationed there, there were two night attacks by the Luftwaffe. On 17 August 1943, one man was killed when bombs fell amongst the Nissen huts.
The next unit to fly from Boxted was the 354th Fighter Group, a Ninth Air Force group temporarily under control of VIIIth Fighter Command. They flew escorts for long-range bombing missions, including the first P-51 Mustang mission in the ETO. In preparation for the invasion of Normandy, the 354th moved to Lashenden in Kent, and the 56th Fighter Group took their place. This unit was one of the most famous in the Eighth Air Force, on account of its high numbers of 'ace' pilots. For a large part of 1944 the base also hosted an air-sea rescue unit at its northern edge, a nearby farmhouse being used as the its administrative building.
Roger Freeman, author of 'The Mighty Eighth' series of books about the USAAF, lived nearby and frequented the base during the war. His father, a farmer, had permission to cut grass at the airfield to make hay.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

The site of a former military airfield opened in 1943 and closed in 1947. The airfield was mainly used by units of the United States Army 8th Air Force, principally 386th Bomber Group, and 56th Fighter Group, and also by 354th Fighter Group of the 9th Air Force and 65th Air Sea Rescue. Dispersed barrack sites were located to the south of the flying field. After American forces left the base in September 1945 the Royal Air Force flew Mosquitos and then Meteor (early jet) aircraft from the base. The establishment of the base was run down and Boxted closed as an active military airfield in 1947. The airfield was used for crop spraying into the 1960s but the site returned to agricultural use and is now covered by orchards




  • John Aagaard

    Military | Private First Class (6th Grade) | Enlisted Man | 56th Fighter Group
    John Aagaard served in the 1126th Quartermaster Company, which was attached to the 56th Fighter Group in England.

  • Everett Abar

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 56th Fighter Group

  • Sidney Abell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 62FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 5th ERS.

  • Ralph Aberth

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 62FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD).

  • Thomas Adcock

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 61FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD).

  • Lyle Adrianse

    Military | Brigadier General | Fighter Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 63FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. 101 x combat missions. Transferred after promotion to HQ Sqn 65th Fighter Wing. Awards: DFC (2OLC), AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (3 x Battle Stars).

  • William Aggers

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 495th Fighter Training Group
    Assigned to 61FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Baled out during navigation mission when visual contact with leader was lost in overcast in P-47 41-6401 31-Dec-43. Returned to Duty RTD. Transferred to 495FTG 8AF USAAF. Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Frank Aheron

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 62FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Killed in crash at Cranfield following mechanical failure of P-47M 44-21125. Canopy covered in oil, engine misfiring before crashing 2 miles north of Cranfield, Died Non Battle DNB. Awards: AM (OLC), PH.

  • Richard Akard

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 353rd Fighter Group
    First lieutenant in the Air Force during World War II, assigned to 352FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron. Flew 90 European missions and received both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal (5 OLC), as well as...

  • Paul Albers

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 63FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD).

Show more


  • 41-31576 Dinah Might

    B-26 Marauder

  • 41-34947 'Lady Luck'

    B-26 Marauder
    554BS, 386BG, 9AF "Lady Luck". Lost 10-Feb-44 when flak shell hit fuel tank of starboard wing, wing detached at nacelle and A/C tumbled on fire. France. 1 x POW, 5 x KIA. MACR 2082. ...

  • 41-34958 Hazard

    B-26 Marauder
    B-26C-15-MA 41-34958 "Hazard" [RG:F] was assigned to the 386BG/552BS at Boxtred, UK. On 9-Sep-43 the aircraft was shot down by a direct hit of anit-aircraft fire while attacking the coastal defenses around Boulogne, France. 4 of the crew were killed,...

  • 41-34971 Pay Off

    B-26 Marauder
    B-26C-15-MA 41-34971 "Pay Off" was assigned to 386BG/554BS at Boxted, UK. The aircraft was attacked by an enemy fighter as well as flak on 22-Aug-43 while on a mission to bomb the German airfield of Beaumont Le Roger, France. The fighter attack set the...

  • 42-102661 Big Dog

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23/3/44; Hunter 9/4/44; Dow Fd 29/4/44; Assigned 544BS/384BG [SU-L] Grafton Underwood 1/5/44; transferred with group to Istres for mapping duties; Salvaged 9AF Germany 29/12/45. BIG DOG.

  • 42-25711 'Bubbles'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 368FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 5ERS, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) rescue mission last seen struggling on instruments in adverse weather conditions 20 miles NE of Southwold over North sea. Pilot 1Lt John W Clark Killed in...

  • 42-26258 Moptop's Pride

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 42-28543 Pat

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 42-28623

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 61FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Strafing mission to Oil tanks in Frankfurt. A/C abandoned, pilot Capt Gordon J Blake Prisoner of War (POW). 18-Nov-44. MACR 10333.

  • 42-28688

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47 Thunderbolt 42-28688 62nd FS, 56th FG, 8th AF, part of the famous Zemkes Wolfpack, this plane was lost on a sweep of Koblenz when hit by flak 18th December 1944. Pilot 2nd Lt Haggard bailed out and became POW. MACR 11308.

Show more


Date Contributor Update
03 September 2019 12:37:31 Emily Changes to english heritage description

Historic England National Monument Record TM 03 SW 62

Date Contributor Update
14 December 2016 12:00:06 SavvyGA Changes to description

Addendum: Roger Freeman's wartime links with the airfield.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:16 AAM AAM ingest

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