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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

RAF Bodney
USAAF Station 141
Located Near Watton, Norfolk in England
RAF Bodney - 18 Apr 1944 - Airfield.jpg
Aerial photograph of Bodney airfield, looking north, 18 April 1944
RAF Bodney is located in Norfolk
RAF Bodney
RAF Bodney
Location in Norfolk
Coordinates52°33′44″N 000°42′48″E / 52.56222°N 0.71333°E / 52.56222; 0.71333
TypeRoyal Air Force station
CodeBO
Site information
OwnerAir Ministry
OperatorRoyal Air Force[1]
United States Army Air Forces
Controlled byRAF Bomber Command
(1940-1943)
Eighth Air Force
(1943-1945)
Site history
Built1939 (1939)-40
In use1940-1945 (1945)
Battles/warsSecond World War
  • Air Offensive, Europe
Airfield information
Elevation40 metres (131 ft) AMSL

Royal Air Force Bodney or more simply RAF Bodney is a former Royal Air Force Station located 4.5 miles (7.2 km) west of Watton, Norfolk, England.

Originally built as an RAF Bomber Command airfield during 1939-1940, Bodney was transferred to the United States Army Air Forces in the summer of 1943. Placed under the jurisdiction of VIII Fighter Command of Eighth Air Force, it was primarily the home of the 352d Fighter Group, the "Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney". The unit briefly moved to Belgium in January 1945 due to the Battle of the Bulge, although it returned in April. It was closed after the 352d returned to the United States in November.[2]

History

Royal Air Force use

Initially it was used by aircraft of No. 21 Squadron RAF and No. 82 Squadron RAF (No. 2 Group) Bomber Command. They carried operations over France and later the Netherlands and even Norway. Their Bristol Blenheim IVs were joined on occasions by, in May 1941, 90 Squadron evaluating its new Boeing Fortress Mk 1s[1] some Handley Page Hampdens for mining operations. 90 Squadron suffered heavy casualties and the use of the Fortress I was discontinued. Towards October 1942, the Blenheims were changed to Lockheed Venturas but the squadron moved on to RAF Methwold before the Venturas were operational.[3] No. 17 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit RAF was also here.[4]

United States Army Air Forces use

Lt. Lincoln Delmar Bundy, a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot flying from here, was shot down over occupied France on June 10, 1944.[5] Eluding capture, he joined a mixed group of French resistance fighters and British soldiers in the SAS. Their mission, known as Operation Bulbasket, was sabotage of SS units coming north to oppose the Normandy invasion. The group was ultimately captured, and Bundy, along with the others, was executed.

USAAF Station Units assigned to RAF Bodney were:[2]

  • 1st Service Group (VIII Air Force Service Command)[6]

352nd Fighter Group

Pilots of the 486th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, in front of P-47 Thunderbolt (PZ-R, serial number 42-8412), named "Sweetie" at Bodney air base in March 1944.
Pilots of the 486th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, in front of P-47 Thunderbolt (PZ-R, serial number 42-8412), named "Sweetie" at Bodney air base in March 1944.
A P-51 Mustang (PE-Z, serial number 42-106459) nicknamed " La Riena Peg " of the 352nd Fighter Group at Bodney, April 1944 running on a revetment at Bodney  Lt Col E Clark. PE-Z, 42106459 La Riena Peg.'
A P-51 Mustang (PE-Z, serial number 42-106459) nicknamed " La Riena Peg " of the 352nd Fighter Group at Bodney, April 1944 running on a revetment at Bodney Lt Col E Clark. PE-Z, 42106459 La Riena Peg.'
Ground crew in front of P-51 Mustang (PE-P, serial number 44-14906), named "Cripes A' Mighty" and flown by Major George E. Preddy Jr. of the 328th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group. 1944.
Ground crew in front of P-51 Mustang (PE-P, serial number 44-14906), named "Cripes A' Mighty" and flown by Major George E. Preddy Jr. of the 328th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group. 1944.
Memorial to the 352d Fighter Group at Bodney Airfield.
Memorial to the 352d Fighter Group at Bodney Airfield.

See also

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

Citations

  1. ^ a b "RAF Bodney". Control Towers. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Bodney". American Air Museum in Britain. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  3. ^ Smith 1994, p. 00.
  4. ^ "Bodney". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  5. ^ MacIntyre, Ben. Rogue Heroes: the History of the SAS, Brtain's Secret Special Forces Unit that Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War. Broadway Books, 2017; see also "Lincoln Delmar Bundy," American Air Museum in Britain. http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/148807
  6. ^ "1st Service Group". American Air Museum in Britain. Retrieved 2 March 2015.

Bibliography

External links

This page was last edited on 5 May 2020, at 08:07
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