Second in the series, again a simple trick, sticking an aerial photo on a Google map, Maps eh, what’s not to like. A selection here from the fair scatter across Norfolk, more to follow eventually.

The Ghost above is from a series of photos which were pointed out to me by a chap called Brendan in Ipswich, the original is owned by Lew Funk: his Son John is digitising his fabulous and fascinating collection which catalogues his activities in USAAF 34th Bomb Group at Mendlesham in Suffolk from 1943 – 1945. In 1943 He visited Norwich, and took this, and so did I again in 2012. White stuff was an International, GAP was a Barclays bank, Buntings is Habitat, or was and Bullen’s remains unchanged. I like the fact that these show life going on, rather than ending. Much better. Thanks to Lew and John Funk, you can view their little bit of USAAF history in East Anglia here. The original is here


RAF Attlebridge

Just South of Weston Longville, not far out of Norwich. This site is amazingly complete, although covered in turkeys.

Originally used by No 2 bomb group completed in 1941. No 88 Squadron flew Blenheim IVs and Bostons. It then was given USAAF designation 120 as part of 2nd Bomb wing extended for heavy bomber use. The First American flying units at Attlebridge were squadrons of the 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) flying B-25 Mitchells which arrived at Attlebridge on the 12th September 1942 from Harding Army Air Field Louisiana. The airfield was then a satellite field for RAF Horsham St. Faith where the Group HQ and some personnel were stationed. The Mitchells moved out during November to St-Leu, Algeria as part of Twelfth Air Force, and Attlebridge was used by a training airfield with a few B-24 Liberator aircraft. No. 320 (Dutch) Squadron RAF, moved in during March 1943 flying B-25 Mitchells departing in February 1944.

RAF Attlebridge © Nick Stone

From the 7th March 1944 and was used by the United States Army Air Force Eighth Air Force 466th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arriving from Topeka Army Air Base Kansas. The 466th was assigned to the 96th Combat Bombardment Wing, and the group tail code was a “Circle-L”. It’s operational squadrons were: 784th Bombardment Squadron (T9), 785th Bombardment Squadron (2U), 786th Bombardment Squadron (U8), 787th Bombardment Squadron (6L).

The group flew the B-24 Liberator as part of the Eighth Air Force’s strategic bombing campaign. Being a mine of information, absolutely none of that came from Wikipedia at all…

I’m lying, interesting though isn’t it.

It is now owned by Bernhard Matthews PLC RIP etc, and is therefore bootiful *yawns at stereotype of Norfolk*, as I said a lot of it is intact, although the hangers have gone, there’s all sorts of bits and bobs. in an ideal world this could effectively be a very complete historical example of a WW2 airfield in most parts, I wonder whether the owners might consider this.

RAF Marham

Not exactly a ghost like the other ones, as the vast majority of the base is still there and still operational just as of earlier this year. But you still get that backward flick to when it was a WW2 station flying two of my favourite bits of wood out across the channel; The Mosquito and the Wellington, as well as HP Harrow.

RAF Marham © Nick Stone copy

I spent a very enjoyable day watching all sorts of fantastic things here a couple of years ago, including the BBMF and the Vulcan. top stuff.
go here for more info

RAF Tibenham

Famous bomber field in South Norfolk, near Diss. There’s rather a lot of it left in terms of runway, the NE runway also appears to have been extended after the original RAF/MOD aerial was taken apparently in the early 1950s just in case it was needed for jet aircraft.

RAF Tibenham © Nick Stone

Jimmy Stewart of Hollywood fame was famously stationed here for part of his war. Now used by Norfolk Gliding club, altogether more peaceful.

RAF Shipdham

Shipdham was a bomber base, home to 319 BG medium flying Marauders and 44 BG heavy flying Liberators from September/October 1942 onwards respectively.

RAF Shipdham © Nick Stone

following the war it became a repatriation stopover for German POWs flying back to Germany from the US. The site was sold off in chunks between 1957 and 1963. Quite lot of the site still exists including the CT which is in the industrial estate although derelict.

RAF Hethel

Both an RAF base and a USAAF base given designation Station 114. Flying B26 Marauders of 320th Bombardment Group (Medium), 310th Bombardment Group (Medium) from 1943 also used as a training airfield for B-24s by other 2nd Air Division Groups and also from B24s from 389th Bombardment Group (Heavy). operational squadrons of 389 on completion of the base were 564th Bombardment Squadron (YO), 565th Bombardment Squadron (EE), 566th Bombardment Squadron (RR) and 567th Bombardment Squadron (HP).

RAF Hethel © Nick Stone

After the yanks pulled out the RAF moved back in training A Polish RAF Squadron of Mustangs. The base shut in 1948. Bits are still visible as it’s now owned by Lotus who drive cars up and down the remaining runway, the T1 and T2 hangers are intact as are various other periphery building, nice eh.

Original Google and IWM. Images Googlemaps, MOD out of ©/CC NFP. Composites © Nick Stone.