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Military site : airfield

Chalgrove was built as a USAAF transport or observation unit base in 1943-44. Several reconnaissance units operated from the airfield, including the Ninth Air Force's 10th Photographic Group and 423rd Night Fighter Squadron (later 155th Reconnaissance Squadron) and the Eighth Air Force's 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group. It was handed back to the RAF at the end of the Second World War and has since been used by Martin Baker, manufacturers of ejection seats.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

A military airfield, opened in 1943. During World War Two the base was used by units of the 8th and 9th United States Army Air Force. These included the 10th and 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Groups, Troop Carrier Pathfinder Group and additionally Airborne Pathfinder Paratroops of the US Army. The airfield was equipped with three concrete and tarmac runways and two aircraft hangars (type T2), of which only one is extant (please see SU 69 NW 66. For details of other wartime buildings see SU 69 NW 67). Wartime construction methods typically involved the use of "temporary materials" for many building types. After the war the military left the airfield, and in 1946 the Air Ministry allocated the airfield to Martin Baker Limited. This company used the airfield to research and test aircraft ejection seats. Martin Baker Limited remains at the airfield to date (2004). In 1993 a war memorial was dedicated at the airfield. A German aircraft is reported to be buried on the airfield.




  • Robert Anderson

    Military | First Lieutenant | photographer
    He was a photo reconnaissance pilot with the Army Air Corps, flew missions from France and Belgium, including the Battle of the Bulge, in the winter of 1944/1945. Born February 20, 1924 and raised in San Leandro California, Bob enlisted at the age of...

  • Leo Bazman

    Military | Corporal | Machinist

  • Matthew Bloomfield

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 440th Troop Carrier Group
    Assigned to 95TCS, 440TCG, 9AF USAAF. Downed over Belgium en-route to drop Para troops as part of 'Op Market Garden' in C-47 42-100981. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 10716 Awards: PH.

  • Stanley Fischer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Crew chief | 316th Troop Carrier Group
    Assigned to 37TCS, 316TCG, 9AF USAAF. Downed over Belgium en-route to drop Para troops as part of 'Op Market Garden' in C-47 42-100981. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 10716 Awards: PH.

  • James Frakes

    Military | Major | Photo Reconnaissance Pilot | 10th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Ralph Holmes

    Military | Master Sergeant | Line Chief | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Nathan Lepselter

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Gunner | 10th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Alfred Luberski

    Military | First Lieutenant | Photo Interpretation | 451st Air Service Group

  • Richard Lynch

    Military | Flight Officer | Navigator | 10th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Stewart Mimm

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Reconnaissance Pilot | 10th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

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  • 43-9449

    A-20 Havoc
    Shot down by night fighter at Le Plessis-Grimoult on night photo recon mission to St-Lo and Vire, France on 11 June 1944. Pilot F/O Stanley J. Kulak, navigator 1Lt Harry H. Cohn and gunner Sgt Lloyd H. Legendre were KIA. MACR 5687.

  • 42-103213 'Azel' 'Boomerang'

    F-6 Mustang
    Aircraft scrapped in Germany, Apr 15, 1946.

  • 42-103382

    F-6 Mustang
    North American P-51C-5-NT Mustang (F-6C) Serial 42-103382 of the 15th TRS, 10th PRG, XIX TAC. Aircraft shot down by Fw 190A-8 flown bo Oblt Alfred Neumayer of JG 4/1 at Bellheim, E of Landau and crashed 3 km NW of Dahnk SW of Pirmasens, Germany 29th...

  • 42-103368 'Nadine'

    P-51 Mustang
    North American P-51C-5-NT [F-6C] Mustang 42-103368 15th Tactical Recon Squadron (coded 5M-G) 10th Photo Recon Group, 9th AF . This Mustang was later named "Nadine" when assigned to Lt. Henry Lewis in July 1944. This Mustang survived the war, only to...

  • N4826

    Airspeed Oxford N4826, assigned to 10th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, 9AF USAAF.

  • 44-23235 'Strato Snob'

    P-38 Lightning
    Assigned to 34th Photographic Squadron, 10th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, 9th Air Force. Personal aircraft of Lt Larry Schmidt.

  • 42-67107

    F-5 Lightning

  • 42-68258 Sweat'er Out

    F-5 Lightning

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Date Contributor Update
03 September 2019 12:40:33 Emily Changes to english heritage description

Historic England, National Monument Record SU 69 NW 65

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 Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

Roger Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Manual (London, 2001)

Michael Bowyer, Action Stations 6: Military Airfields of the Cotswolds and the Central Midlands (Cambridge, 1983)