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Furzedown House

Military site : non-airfield

Detailed history

Furzedown House was located about 5 miles south of the small town of Stockbridge and close to a little Hampshire village called Kings Somborne. It was a large property with extensive gardens and peaceful surroundings - an excellent location for a USAAF Rest Home.
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.
On arrival 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.
Furzedown House joined the programme on 26th June 1944. It was set up to accommodate 25 officers and was allocated to the 1st Bomb Division.
As has been the case with many large, country houses since WW2, Furzedown House has been split into a number of individual apartments. Although the interior has altered beyond recognition, the façade has changed very little.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known


Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 20:19:49 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 Dec 1944; 'Flak' Houses Then and Now, Thomas, After the Battle.