Shipdham
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1980 (© Harry Holmes)
RAF Shipdham airfield
Airfield Today:
Agriculture, aviation
Tower Type:
Watch Office with Met Section 518/40
Tower:
Derelict
Other Buildings:
Not known
History:
09/42 to 10/42, Ground elements of the 319th Bomb Group, moved to Horsham St Faith.
09/42 to 06/45, 66th, 67th, 68th (and from 3/43 the 506th) Bombardment Squadrons of the 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) 'The Flying Eightballs' with B-24 Liberators moved here from Cheddington.
06/43 to 08/43 and 09/43 to 10/43, moved to North Africa to take part in the missions against the Ploesti oilfields and Italy before returning to Shipdham.
The first Group to receive B-24's, also spent the longest time in England of all the B-24 Groups.
First 44th Bomb Group mission 07/11/42, last 25/04/45, flew 344 missions, losing 153 aircraft in combat along with another 39, the highest loss rate of all the B-24 Liberator units. Was the first 8th USAAF Group awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for the mission to Kiel 14/5/43 (with another for Ploesti 1/8/43, during which the Group CO Col. Leon W. Johnson won the Medal of Honor)) and claimed the highest number of enemy aircraft destroyed. The 44th BG returned to the USA.
1946/47, repatriation centre for German POW's returning to Germany from captivity in the USA.
16/06/70, Opened to private flying.
RAF Shipdham - 319th Bomb Group - 44th Bomb Group -
2002 (© Simon Dunham)
Shipdham B-24 crew photos Here
RAF Shipdham airfield - 319th Bomb Group - 44th Bomb Group -
Airfield:
Operational Bomber
Opened:
09/1942
Closed:
/1945
ID Code:
SJ
USAAF Station:
115
Runways:
3x - tarmac
Hangars:
3x - T2
County:
Norfolk
Location:
3 miles S of East Dereham
OS Ref:
TF982075
Links:
©:
All photographs copyright © as stated
RAF Shipdham airfield - 319th Bomb Group - 44th Bomb Group -
'Flying Eightballs Group' the 44th Bomb Group memorial at Shipdham (© Rick Garside)
1982 (© Ian Woodward)
RAF Shipdham airfield - 44th Bomb Group - 318th Bomb Group -
1976 (© Robin Taylor)
RAF Shipdham airfield - 44th Bomb Group - 318th Bomb Group -
RAF Shipdham 8th USAAF - 44th Bomb Group - airfield + control tower = www.controltowers.co.uk © robert truman 2002 - Shipdham -