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Buckland House

Military site : non-airfield

Detailed history

Buckland House was a large, Victorian, country hotel located about a mile south of Wallingford, Oxfordshire, on the road to Reading. It opened as a USAAF Rest Home on 8/8/1943.
Three miles south of there, on the same road, was the Rest Home called Moulsford Manor. Operations at the two places were to become closely integrated.

For USAAF combat air crews in the UK, home leave was impossible. So the doctors responsible for their well-being believed the next best thing would be Rest Homes, using the tranquillity, comfort and freedom from military routine achievable at English country houses or hotels.
Aircrew could, at least once during their tour, come for a week away from the horrors of war. After which it was hoped they would return to their units, refreshed.
At the rest home they were provided with civilian clothes. Uniforms only appeared for the evening dinner. Air Service Command supplied an administrative commanding officer, an adjutant and enlisted helpers. A Medical Officer, rotated each week from operational units, provided any necessary emergency care or medical advice.
American Red Cross girls acted as hostesses, supervising the recreation and dining. The American Red Cross also employed and managed the civilian staff needed to run the house and maintain the grounds.
Buckland House was set up to accommodate 25 enlisted men and was allocated to the 3rd Air Division.
After the war the building went through a number of different uses but since 1997, it has become home to the Mongewell Park Nursery School and the name of the building has changed to Elizabeth House.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known


Date Contributor Update
02 March 2015 19:58:14 MikeO Created entry with name, number, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date and history

Report to the Surgeon, HQ, Eighth Air Force, dated 11 December 1944; "Flak Houses Then And Now" , Thomas, After the Battle.