Chedburgh
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Photo shows post-war side extensions to the control tower
- the centre six windows are the original building 1982 (© Paul Francis)
RAF Chedburgh airfield
Airfield Today:
Agriculture, industry
Tower Type:
Watch Office for all Commands 343/43
Tower:
Now used as offices by Yara UK
Other Buildings:
Very little of this airfield now remains
History:
09/1942, Chedburgh was one of the earliest operational wartime airfields in Suffolk. Built by John Laing and Co. it was a satellite bomber station for nearby RAF Stradishall.
10/1942 to 11/1943, The first Short Stirlings stationed at Chedburgh belonged to No. 214 Squadron from Stradishall. The squadron was active on major bombing missions to Kiel, Mannheim, Genoa and Hamburg during 1942. During March to July 1943 No. 214 Squadron lost one Stirling during its first operation over Essen during the Battle of the Ruhr. The crew of seven were all killed. There were further losses over Bochem, Mulheim, Wuppertal and once again Essen. The worst night of the battle was 23rd/24th May over Dortmund. 826 aircraft devastated large areas of the city but four aircraft from No. 214 failed to return. 214 Squadron moved to Downham Market.
06/1943 to 11/1943, No. 620 Squadron was formed from ‘C’ flight of No. 214 Sqn. They were involved in raids over Remcheid during July and Hamburg in August with No. 620 Squadron mounting 37 sorties with no casualties, No. 214 lost three aircraft during the same period. On the night of 23rd/24th August 1943, during the Battle of Berlin, No. 214 lost five aircraft and No. 620 Sqn lost two aircraft.
After the third Berlin raid on 22nd/23rd November 1943 the heavy Stirling loss rate was such that Harris decided that the Stirlings were no longer effective.
12/1943, No. 620 squadron were transferred to No. 38 group at Leicester East.
12/1943 to 12/1944, the airfield was mainly involved in aircrew training on four engined aircraft.
12/1944 to 08/1945, No. 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron arrived with Lancasters from Methwold in Norfolk. No. 218 Squadron participated in many of the Groups ops in daylight raids on the Ruhr bombing key industrial targets such as oil refineries and railway yards. No 3 group were involved with a number of daylight raids during 1945 on oil and Benzol plants at Wanne-Eickel, Datteln and Dortmund experiencing low casualties. They were involved in many of the last major operations of the war.
09/1945 to 12/1946, 301 and 304 (Polish) Sqns of RAF Transport Command with Warwicks, Wellingtons and later Halifax freighters.

Thanks to Kerry Davidge for the airfield history.

RAF Chedburgh airfield
Rear of the control tower today 2007 (© Kerry Davidge)
RAF Chedburgh airfield
Airfield:
Operational bomber, Transport Command
Opened:
09/1942
Closed:
10/1952
Code:
CU
USAAF Station:
B-21
Runways:
3x - concrete
Hangars:
1x - B1, 2x T2, 3x Glider
County:
Suffolk
Location:
6 miles SW of Bury St Edmunds
OS Ref:
TL790570
©:
All photographs copyright © as stated
RAF Chedburgh airfield - 214 Sqn - 218 Sqn - 301 Sqn - 304 Sqn - 620 Sqn - 1653 HCU -
1978 (© Fred Cubberley)
RAF Chedburgh airfield
RAF Chedburgh airfield + control tower = www.controltowers.co.uk © robert truman - Chedburgh 2007