WW II Airfields in East Anglia

WW II Airfields in East Anglia

The area of East Anglia is very close to Europe and there is nothing but sea between our Eastern Counties and Holland. It was the perfect place to put airfields during the War as a lot of this part of England is relatively flat and much of the area is open countryside.

A list of the WWII airfields in this area includes:

Alconbury, Atcham, Attlebridge, Bassingbourn, Bedford, Bodney, Bottisham, Bovingdon, Boxted, Bungay, Chelveston, Coltishall, Conington, Debach, Debden, Deenethorpe, Deopham Green, Downham Market, Duxford, Earls Colne, East Wretham, Eye, Feltwell, Foulsham, Fowlmere, Goxhill, Grafton Underwood, Great Ashfield, Great Dunmow, Great Massingham, Great Saling, Halesworth, Hardwick, Harrington, Hethel, Honington, Horham, Horsham St Faith, Kimbolton, Kingscliffe, Knettishall, Lakenheath, Langham, Lavenham, Little Snoring, Little Walden, Marham, Marsworth, Martlesham Heath, Mendlesham, Metfield, Methwold, Mildenhall, Molesworth, Mount Farm, North Creake, North Pickenham, Nuthampstead, Old Buckenham, Oulton, Parham, Podington, Polebrook, Rackheath, Rattlesden, Raydon, Ridgewell, Rougham, Sculthorpe, Seething, Shipdham, Snetterton Heath, Steeple Morden, Sudbury, Swannington, Swanton Morley, Theberton or Saxmundham, Thorpe Abbotts, Tibenham, Wattisham, Watton, Wendling, West Raynham, Willingale & Wormingford. (I have probably missed some and would be pleased to be told of any I have overlooked or made a mistake with.)

Some of these airfields are still recognisable from the ground but many have reverted back to what they were before the War and now grow crops again. Some are built upon and some others have been adapted for other uses. Farmers find the old runways and perimeter tracks very useful for building barns on and many of the old hangars and sheds are still in use for storage. Looking at the area from above, it is often still very easy to spot the old airfields as they left a major scar on the field systems of old England and the layout of most fields was exactly the same, so the three runways set out in a rough “A” shape can be seen on the modern websites showing the Earth from above.

So, can you get to visit many of these old WWII airfields? Surprisingly, yes! Even the ones in private ownership are often accessible by appointment and it is, at times, also possible to go into some of the buildings if they are safe. Only last year, I went onto four different airfields with children of ex servicemen and I also had the honour to visit an airfield with a Veteran. That was something VERY special, I can tell you.

Norfolk Tours, Family history, Memphis Belle,

What else? Well, there is the fantastic museum at Duxford. It has a massive collection of aircraft and many are still flying. When I visit, I often see Spitfires flying and the last two times I have been there to see the plane used in the film “Memphis Belle” take off.

Spitfire, Duxford, Norfolk Tours, Family History,

 

If you have connections to any of the airfields mentioned above or would like further information, please get in touch.

4 Responses to WW II Airfields in East Anglia

  1. alastair walker says:

    Please could you supply me with WWII airfields in Norfolk. Especially those which were British and also those where spitfires operated from.

    Would be most grateful.

    • admin says:

      Hi Alastair.

      Apologies for the tardy reply but the website has not been alerting me to posts. There are some very good websites which list the airfields of WWII and Duxford has a very good interactive map, which shows the US bases too.

      WWII RAF Airfields included: Attlebridge, Barton Bendish, Bircham Newton, Bodney, Coltishall, Docking, Downham Market, East Wretham, Feltwell, Fersfield, Foulsham, Great Massingham, Horsham St Faiths, Langham, Little Snoring, Ludham, Marham, Matlaske, Oulton, Sculthorpe, Swanton Morley, Watton, West Raynham and Weybourne.

  2. Victor Beattie says:

    Writing from Virginia a I’m thinking about a trip with my son to London. One possible side trip would be to East Anglia and a tour of the WWII airfields or other activities related to the war effort. I’m thinking of a day trip or, if needed, two days. Would need a price quote and how to get there from London.

    Victor Beattie
    Woodbridge, VA

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