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Airfields of the 8th & 9th Air Force, Years After The Battle

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I was away at the weekend in Cambridge and London, but while in Cambridge, popped along to see the memorial at Steeple Morden, to the 355th Fighter Group. Little remains of the airfield except for a few buildings and the memorial. The airfield itself has returned to farmland. Standing in the cold snow covered field, it's hard to imagine the winter of '44, working to try and keep the aircraft flying in those conditions.






Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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  • 1 year later...

brilliant stuff......

.....disused airfields are to my mind probably the most evocative of second world war sites.......what was once an absolute beehive of activity, of aircraft and men...

.... now lies silent and deserted...with often nothing more than a bit of overgrown perimeter track, a few mouldering huts , maybe a contol tower with no windows and just a bit of concrete runway left........

......fantastic and yet profoundly sad places to visit on your own I've found....I love just mooching around them... nice and quiet....just thinking to yourself.......

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  • 5 months later...

I have stood on several old wartime airfields, I can just stand and look down the runway and imagine the bombers lumbering down the concrete runway struggling to lift themselves into the air. There is something about an old airfield that is quite ghostly, I suppose that its the knowledge that lots of young men took off from these fields never to return. I wish that we had made more effort to retain these airfields in their original condition as a memorial to all the young men of all nations that used them in ernest.

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The War Diary gives specific losses for the 14th as follows:-


1 94BG B-17 MIA manned by 96BG Crew. 1 388BG B-17 crashed on Take Off, crew safe. 1 305BG B-17 Interned in Switzerland. On return 3 badly damaged 384BG B-17's abandoned over England - one crashed Wakerley, one crashed Blaydon, the third at Chetwode. 1 303BG B-17 crashed near Roseley after crew baled out. 1 92BG B-17 crash landed at Aldermaston. 1 385BG B-17 flown by 96 BG crew crash landed near Bovingdon out of fuel.



Are any of these locations ( Wakerley, Blaydon, Chetwode ) near your crash site?



Following on from my post from years ago ,42-3347 was abandoned over England on14 Oct 1943,Pilot Emery Chesmore crew...If you write down(Hand writing) Rowington and then Bovingdon they could easily have been misspelled as I've found through other items.If it is this Aircraft,One great suprise I've recently discovered is the waist gunner is still alive and recalls bailing out of the aircraft.Hew only flew one mission with the Chesmore crew and it was the only time he bailed out of an aircraft..I'm at present in contact with his son ...Will post more as I get it..

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