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Thread: Thorpe Abbotts airfield - Sub-Depot site

  1. #1
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    Default Thorpe Abbotts airfield - Sub-Depot site


    According to local knowledge, the derelict Nissen huts nestling in a small woodland located between Billingford and Thorpe Abbotts are associated with the site of a nearby WWII airfield A closer look around the camp site reveals that there are about 10 very dilapidated Nissen huts still standing. All have identical interior layouts and most have wooden ends, but some do have brick walls. There are also a number of overgrown brick-built blast shelters, mainly situated around the perimeter of the site.











    There used to be some seventy such sites spread across East Anglia, which for two years during World War II had become launch pads for USAAF's bombing raids into occupied Europe. Each airfield was home to 2000-3000 airmen, most of them volunteers. These sites became known as 'the fields of Little America' - and this is part of one of them.











    Thorpe Abbotts airfield was built in 1942/43 for the RAF (as a satellite airfield for RAF Horham). During the war it was home to the 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and given the USAAF designation 'Station 139'. After the war the field was transferred back to the RAF. It closed in 1956 and has since been returned to agricultural use. The cluster of Nissen huts quietly decaying in a nearby woodland once formed the airfield's Sub-Depot. (One of the huts was reportedly removed later and shipped to the "Mighty Eighth Heritage Centre" in Savannah, Georgia.)









    After the war, these huts were converted into private dwellings comprising living area, kitchen and bedroom. They served as homes to those who had lost theirs during the war.













    This is the only building still standing on the site of the 350th Air Refueling Squadron. It is located on the edge of a private woodland, across the field from the sub-depot site.










  2. Thanks given by: Bunker Bill, gingrove, hydealfred, Jet48, jindivik, MD, oldscrote, Rich097, Wallsey
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  4. #2
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    March 2010
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    Default Thorpe Abbotts


    The 100th Bomb Group (The Bloody Hundredth), 13th Combat Wing, 3rd Air Division operated B17 Flying Fortesses from Thorpe Abbotts (Station 139) June 1943 - April 1945.

    The average life of an 8th Air Force B-17 crewman in 1943 was eleven missions!

    Good find, excellent photographs
    Here today, gone tomorrow

  5. Thanks given by: hamishsfriend
  6. #3
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    Thank you, Wallsey, for additional information. I believe that the 100th's losses were exceptionally high.

  7. #4
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    Good pic's , this looks the same set up as in West down, part of RAF Chilbolton, the Blast shelters are identical.

  8. Thanks given by: hamishsfriend
  9. #5
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    Only just noticed this report in my unreads. Love these tumbledown nissen huts, and it's humbling to think that they also became homes to those who'd lost theirs.
    Really great site and fab pics as always, H. :)
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

    I can't read and I can't write, but that don't really matter,
    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


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  10. #6
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    what a good find, I was going to say what a rare find the old phone was, then noticed that you also found printed pornography which is even rarer. Proper dereliction, with hints of the past. just how i like it. Thanks.

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tank2020 View Post
    wthen noticed that you also found printed pornography which is even rarer.
    Do you think? I struggle to think of a place I've been to which hasn't had printed pornos in! Haha.

  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by krela View Post
    struggle to think of a place I've been to which hasn't had printed pornos in! Haha.

    lol thats so true, best collection is in a underground bomb store in wiltshire, not thats wansdyke staff would be using it ;)


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