Thurleigh
(RAE Bedford)
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VE Day 1945 (© 306th Bomb Group USAAF)
Thurleigh airfield
Airfield Today:
Agriculture, vehicle storage
Tower Type:
1. Watch Office with Met Section 518/40
2. Post-war ATC building type not known
Tower:
1. Demolished 1946
2. Not known
Other Buildings:
None
History:
01/42 to 02/42, RAF No. 160 Sqdn formed here with B-24 Liberators, moved to India. Airfield runways extended to 6,000ft in 1942, this was the first RAF combat airfield transferred to the USAAF.
07/09/42 to 15/12/45, 367th, 368th, 369th and 423rd Bombardment Squadrons of the 306th Bombardment Group (H) 'The Reich Wreckers' with B-17F and B-17G Flying Fortress bombers. The 306th Bomb Group were stationed in England and at one airfield longer than any other USAAF combat unit. First mission flown 09/10/42, last 19/04/45, flew 342 missions and lost 171 aircraft in action. Moved to Germany.
1946, Wartime Thurleigh airfield was lost during the construction of Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford. This was planned to have a five mile long runway linking Thurleigh and Little Staughton airfields and a new hangar site to be built on Twinwood Farm airfield. The long runway was never built and giant wind tunnels were built next to Twinwood Farm.
RAF Thurleigh - 306th Bomb Group -
1943 (© USAAF via Russell Abbey)
RAF Thurleigh airfield - 306th Bomb Group -
Airfield:
Operational bomber
Opened:
/1941
Closed:
31/03/1994
ID Code:
TL
USAAF Station:
111
Runways:
3x - concrete, tarmac
Hangars:
4x - T2
County:
Bedfordshire
Location:
5 miles N of Bedford
OS Ref:
TL042601
Links:
©:
Photographs © copyright as stated
RAF Thurleigh airfield - 306 BG - RAE Bedford -
1943 (© USAAF via Russell Abbey)
306th BG memorial '306th Bomb Group, First USAAF Unit over Germany'(© Rick Garside)
Post-war hangar and buildings at Thurleigh 2003 (© Christopher Leek)
RAF Thurleigh airfield - 306th BG - RAE Bedford -
306th BG RAF Bedford Thurleigh control tower + airfield = www.controltowers.co.uk © robert truman 2006 Thurleigh - 306th Bomb Group -