Monument record GLG 028 - Framlingham Airfield

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Summary

Airfield built in 1942-3 as a standard heavy bomber airfield to Class A specification.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 32970 60722 (2344m by 1624m)
Map sheet TM36SW
Civil Parish FRAMLINGHAM, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK
Civil Parish GREAT GLEMHAM, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK
Civil Parish MARLESFORD, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK
Civil Parish PARHAM, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (9)

Full Description

Airfield built in 1942-3 as a USAAF standard heavy bomber airfield to Class A specification. Despite being known as Framlingham Airfield no part of the airfield fell within Framlingham parish boundary. Had perimeter track of concrete and other usual features of a USAAF airbase of the period. Could accommodate 3,000 in nissen huts dispersed in the surrounding countryside. Airfield was 3 miles east of Framlingham between Great Glemham and Parham, all of the technical sites and buildings were around Silverlace Green. For 1942/3 layout see (S4).
Up until June 1943 was temporary base for 95th Bomb Squadron, housing P38s, P47s, P51s, B17s and B24s. USAAF operated there - US Station number 153. In June 1943 B17Fs arrived permanently (S3).
In August 1945 an RAF holding partly took charge but the field wasn't used by other flying units, instead it became a clearing station for the rehabilitation of Polish nationals. It was then abandoned, being like most other 9th airfields, surplus to RAF requirements. The War Agicultural Committee let farmable areas for agricultural purposes. IN 1978 some of the land was owned by a farmer who intended keeping the perimeter track whole, and many of the camp buildings and control tower (now a museum) remained intact (S1). Includes Braithwaite water tower worthy of preservation 'on opposite side of {air}fieldto the control tower' (Martin Cuthbert, pers. comm., Dec 2004).
Runways can still be seen. Control Tower and T2 hanger considered worthy of preservation (S5)(S6).
A former World War Two airfield, opened 1943 and closed 1945, now housing an aviation museum. Framlingham Airfield was also known as Parham, after the nearby village. The airfield was an operational bomber base for the United States Eighth Army Air Force, designated by them as Station 153. Construction had begun in 1942, the site was occupied in May 1943 before it was fully complete (June 1943). The airfield was a full "Class A" bomber base: this designation meant that it was provided with three hard runways (concrete and wood chippings), and two aircraft hangars (Type T2). The technical site was established on the south west side of the airfield and there were dispersed stores and "temporary" barracks (nissen huts) for about 3000 people further to the south. Bomb and ammunition dumps were on the east side, a fuel store on the far west side. The airfield was initially used by the 95th Bomb Group and for a longer period by the 390th Bomb Group. After the war, much of the runways were broken up but the perimeter track was retained. The control tower on the west edge of the flying field is extant and has been restored as the centrepiece of museum about the airfield and 390th bomber group in particular (S7).

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Copy (S4); Ditigital image on disk.
  • <S1> Bibliographic reference: Miscellaneous Bibliographic reference. Freeman Roger A, Airfields of the 8th then and now, 1978.
  • <S2> Bibliographic reference: Miscellaneous Bibliographic reference. Smith G, Suffolk Airfields in the 2nd World War, 1995.
  • <S3> Bibliographic reference: Miscellaneous Bibliographic reference. Norf & Suff Aviation Mus, Airfields & Airstrips of Norf & Suff, 1977 (2nd ed 1977, 3rd 1993).
  • <S4> Map: Kindred P, (RAF?), 1942/3 (digital copy on disk with SAU).
  • <S5> Bibliographic reference: Email. Cuthbert M to Pendleton C (SCCAS), 27 October 2004.
  • <S6> Serial: Suffolk Industrial Archaeological Society Newsletter. August 2010.
  • <S7> Index: English Heritage. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1395515.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Apr 6 2022 12:45PM

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