Wednesday, February 16, 2011

England at Last!

Northeast of London in Norfolk, the heart of East Anglia, East Wretham airfield was rapidly built in the early days of the war and became operational in March 1940. It consisted of grass runways, the northeast to southwest measuring 5,640 feet and north northwest to south southeast at 4,200 feet.

East Wretham Airfield, England 5 February 1946 Source: Royal Ordinance Survey. Annotations on photo from Freeman, Roger A., Airfields Of The Eighth, Then And Now, 1978. This artistic work created by the United Kingdom Government is in the public domain.

The Royal Air Force requisitioned Wretham Hall, located approximately one mile from the airfield, for use as an officers’ mess.

Wretham Hall, one mile from East Wretham Airfield USAAF Station Number 133, six miles NE of Thetford. Courtesy of J. McAlister: Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association

East Wretham and its various hangars and buildings as well as Wretham Hall officially transferred to United States forces in July 1943 with the 359th Fighter Group and the 85th Service Group, comprised of the 1833rd Ordnance Supply and Maintenance Company, 1065th Quartermaster Company, 49th Station Complement Squadron, 395th Service Squardon, and the 1101st Signal Company, arriving on October 19, 1943. East Wretham was assigned USAAF designation Station 133.

"We Take Over" from the photo archives of Howard Fogg

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