Several years ago, I did this entirely to satisfy my own wanderings around WW2 RAF and USAAF airfields in Norfolk. It’s publicly visible on Google already, but it made sense to post it on the website to so it’s more findable. It is worth noting that a lot of these sites are on private farmland or have morphed into business parks, flying clubs, racetracks and businesses in their own right. Nearly all of them have some visible remains that are generally publicly accessible usually from the roadside. It is of course always worth asking the landowner for access, I personally don’t particularly like the whole trespass thing these days and always either at least try to obtain permission or see what I can find where it’s accessible without the whole ‘Get orf moi laaand’ thing being involved.
You will find all sorts of things out there to stare at from slit trenches and Nissen huts, to runway fragments and control towers, some beautifully renovated like Rackheath, some falling down like Shipdham. There’s even a few hangars knocking about, quite a few actually; some being reused as business premises; Technical areas where all the general mending things, refuelling things gubbins were make a good ready made site for an Industrial Estate and there are a quite a few of those out there. The edges of airfields often still have perimeter tracks and taxiways, some now metalled and used as roads, some returned to use as roads having been through several incarnations. You can also spot things like tank blocks, mortar spigots and pillboxes that relate to the sites. There are even a few bomb dumps, parking turns and rifle butts along with remnants of accommodation blocks, latrines, mess halls and medical centres often hiding in woodland or repurposed in farmland, all are worth looking at and recording.
It is also worth noting that although these are listed as ‘RAF dot dot dot’, most of them in fact ended up being USAAF bases from 1942/43 onwards, nearly all of them hosting the 8th Air Force, I will eventually update all the entries to include both.
Above: Remnants of Second World War hardstanding on the roadside at a Tibenham airfield near the Norfolk Suffolk border.
Above: a standing building at RAF Thorpe Abbotts which became USAAF designation Station 139, home to the 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy) or The Bloody Hundredth. The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) arrived on 9th June 1943, from Kearney AAF Nebraska. The 100th was assigned to the 13th Combat Bombardment Wing, and the group tail code was a “Square-D”. Its operational squadrons were 349th Bombardment Squadron (XR), 350th Bombardment Squadron (LN), 351st Bombardment Squadron (EP), 418th Bombardment Squadron (LD)
Top: Feature image: 466TH BOMB GROUP, 786th Sq, Dougherty Crew # 612. While waiting for a delayed mission, crew members were taking it easy when a jeep rolled up and a photographer took this picture. American Air Museum.