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Wethersfield

Military site : airfield

Planned in 1942 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, Wethersfield was then supposed to be loaned to the RAF in 1943, but was re-allocated to the Ninth Air Force by the time it was complete. Built during 1943-44, it had three concrete runways, 49 loop plus one pan hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. The 416th Bomb Group, equipped with A-20s, occupied the station from February to September 1944, when it was handed over to the RAF. It was used briefly in March 1945 by the 316th Troop Carrier Group, equipped with C-47s, for Operation Varsity, the crossing of the river Rhine. Placed on Care and Maintenance in 1946, the station was dormant until the early 1950s, when the main runway was lengthened and the airfield improved. It was an operational USAFE base from 1952 to 1970, and then a reserve airfield until 1993, when it became the HQ and training centre of the MOD Police (MDGPA Wethersfield). Since 1982, the airfield has also been the home of No. 614 Volunteer Gliding Squadron.

Service

Units

People

  • James Abbott

    Military | Captain | Aviation ordnance office | 416th Bomb Group
    Plain Dealer from November 24 to November 25, 2009, James Samuel Abbott, III, Passed away at his Gates Mills, Ohio residence November 22nd, 2009. Mr. Abbott was born in Cleveland, Ohio, November 19, 1918. He graduated from University School in 1936 and...

  • James Adams

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 416th Bomb Group

  • Paul Atkinson

    Military | Major | Pilot | 416th Bomb Group
    Colonel, U.S. Air Force. Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1943. World War II and Korean War. ...

  • Robert Basnett

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier/Navigator | 416th Bomb Group
    Son of Thomas M. Basnett and Gladys M. Salas Basnett; husband of Lanola Basnett who was affectionately known as Puz. ...

  • William Battersby

    Military | Captain | Pilot - Squadron Operations Officer | 416th Bomb Group
    Captain Battersby was Operations Officer of the 668th and flew on the mission of 9 May 1944 to the Aershot Marshalling Yard in Belgium. Upon returning from the mission, he took a newly arrived A-20 up for a test flight. The plane, without warning,...

  • John Bonura

    Military | Captain | Payroll Officer | 416th Bomb Group

  • Tonnis Boukamp

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 416th Bomb Group
    Tonnis Boukamp was born in Muskegon, Michigan, on December 28, 1920. Later the family moved to Port Huron, Michigan, where Tonnis completed his elementary education and entered Port Huron High School. He was President of his graduating class of May,...

  • Daniel Brown

    Military | Sergeant | Arm/Gunner | 416th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 668BS, 416BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ahutte Railhead. Hit by flak over target, seen to be spinning end over end. Crashed near Schuller, Germany Killed in Action (KIA) 25-Dec-44. MACR 11668. Awards: PH.

  • Jack Burg

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 416th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 668BS, 416BG, 9AF USAAF. Crash landed in A-20K 44-093 in friendly territory [Prosnes A-79], after flak hit A/C, pilot Capt Meagher WIA 2-Dec-44. 48 x missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Munstereifel took direct flak hit to bomb bay Killed in...

  • Francis Bursiel

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 416th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 668BS, 416BG, 9AF USAAF. 60 x missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Ahutte Railhead. Hit by flak over target, seen to be spinning end over end. Crashed near Schuller, Germany Killed in Action (KIA) 25-Dec-44. MACR 11668. Awards: AM (10 OLC), PH.

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Aircraft

  • 43-9216

    A-20 Havoc
    Correct serial number of this aircraft is 43-9216. Shot down by AA fire during attack on Montdidier airfield. Pilot 1Lt Blair H. Bradford was KIA, both gunners POW.

  • 43-21717

    A-20 Havoc
    Assigned to 668BS, 416BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ahutte Railhead. Hit by flak over target, seen to be spinning end over end. Crashed near Schuller, Germany [4 x KIA] 25-Dec-44. MACR 11668. ...

  • 43-9211

    A-20 Havoc
    Shot down by AA fire during attack on Montdidier airfield. Pilot 1Lt Michael E. Kleopfel was KIA, both gunners POW.

  • 43-9360

    A-20 Havoc
    Shot down by AA fire between Garancieres and Boissy-sans-Avoir on a mission to Chartres, France on 3 June 1944. Pilot 2Lt Anton Peter Nikas and both gunners POW.

  • 43-9390

    A-20 Havoc
    Shot down by AA fire north of Abbeville on mission to Frévent, France on 8 August 1944. Pilot 1Lt Norman V. Shainberg and both gunners POW. MACR 7799

  • 43-9673

    A-20 Havoc
    Shot down by AA fire near Le Ponchel on a mission to Frevent, France on 8 August 1944. Pilot 1Lt Peter Dontas KIA, gunner SSgt Arthur L. Nielsen KIA and mechanic/gunner SSgt William Edward Fields POW. MACR 7794

  • 43-9707

    A-20 Havoc

  • 43-9717

    A-20 Havoc

  • 43-9975

    A-20 Havoc
    Assigned to 668BS, 416BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) badly shot up by flak over France, engine failure suffered, ditched in channel off Littlehampton 18-Jul-44. 2 x KIA, 1 x RTD. MACR 12210. ...

  • 44-108

    A-20 Havoc
    Assigned to 668BS 416BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Munstereifel took direct flak hit to bomb bay [4 x KIA] 25-Dec-44 MACR 12016 ...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:18 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Manual (London, 2001)

Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Ninth Then and Now (London, 1994)

Michael Bowyer, Action Stations 1: Wartime Military Airfields of East Anglia 1939-1945 (Cambridge, 1979)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDPGA_Wethersfield

http://www.614vgs.co.uk/

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