Monument record EYE 072 - Brome/Eye Airfield

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Summary

Second WW airfield near Eye, originally part of an American families Cornwall estate. For detailed history and description see (S1)(S2).

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 13396 75131 (1616m by 1796m)
Map sheet TM17NW
Civil Parish BROME AND OAKLEY, MID SUFFOLK, SUFFOLK
Civil Parish EYE, MID SUFFOLK, SUFFOLK
Civil Parish THRANDESTON, MID SUFFOLK, SUFFOLK
Civil Parish YAXLEY, MID SUFFOLK, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (7)

Full Description

2nd World War Airfield - Eye. Originally part of an American families Cornwall estate. It was developed by 827th and 859th Battalions (Engineering). During construction it was known as Brome Airfield. It is situated about half a mile from Eye to the SE of the perimeter fence. The tower was active for just 12 months. Eight of the hard standings are situated on the west side of the A140 road. It was home in 1944 to the American 490th Bomb Group. Then it was taken over by the 93rd Combat Bomb Wing of the 3rd division along with the other two B-24 Groups and 34th at Mendlesham. A lot of the runway still survives as well as a lych-gate (S1), including 50 hardstandings, 2 T2-type hangers and Nissen hut and other temporary type buildings. The hardstandings on the west of the road meant a permanent guard was needed to halt traffic when aircraft taxied from them, as well as gates. Runways had a screeded surface finish instead of tarmac. Technical and admin buildings and living quarters were on the NE side and Eye church lay on the approach to the southern end of the NW-SE runway. After the war it was sold in 1962-3 and a factory for processing straw was established in the hangers. St Ives Sand & Gravel cleared unwanted concrete and two Mushroom Farms were established, one was gone by 1977. T2 hanger considered worthy of preservation (S3).
A World War Two Military airfield, opened in 1944 and closed in 1945. The flying field was situated in a triangle of land bounded by the B1077 to the east, the Eye- Yaxley road and a London North Eastern Railway branch line to the south and the A140 to the west. Here on the west side some of the dispersal hard standings for aircraft were on the far side of the road. Some of the dispersed administrative and domestic barrack sites for personnel were located to the east of the B1077. There were two Type T2 aircraft hangars, one each on the west and east sides of the flying field. Bomb stores and an ammunition dump were situated on the western edge of the flying field. The base was a class "A" heavy bomber base with three intersecting concrete screeded runways. It was used by the 490th Bomber Group of the 8th United States Air Force, designated as station 134. They took part in the bombing of industrial and infrastructure targets around major German cities, and also in the Allied reponse to the Ardennes offensive. After the end of World War Two passed briefly to Royal Air Force Bomber Command. Some of the runways were subsequently destroyed. By the late 1970s the airfield site was used for light industry and agriculture, as well as a natural gas pumping station (S4).

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <S1> Bibliographic reference: Smith, G.. 1995. Suffolk Airfields in the 2nd World War. Smith Graham, 1995.
  • <S2> Bibliographic reference: Freeman, Roger A. 1978. Airfields of the Eighth - Then and Now. Freeman Roger A, 1978.
  • <S3> Bibliographic reference: Email. Cuthbert M to Pendleton C (SCCAS), 27 October 2004.
  • <S4> Index: English Heritage. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1395175.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

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Record last edited

Jun 1 2015 2:58PM

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