WWII airfield - Great Ashfield - Suffolk

My father was at Great Ashfield during WWII before shot down over Holland and in POW camp. Anyone ever been there? Any details ie transportation from London? My understanding is there is one runway left and a memorial at a local church. Thanks.

Posted by Geoff
Powell River, Canada
359 posts

Hi Lea; haven't been there but know a bit about it through research I'm doing on my uncle. If your Dad flew from Great Ashfield he was obviously with the 385th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, of the USAAF.

Not much left of the airfield or buildings; same as my uncle's base in Melbourne,Yorkshire, where the 10 RAF Squadron operated from. That said, I've visited uncle's old base (with the permission of the owner - a pig farmer) and it was a very emotional experience; my uncle was killed over Belgium in '43. Fortunately one of the pig farmer's workers is a WW2 history buff and is turning the control tower into a museum of sorts.

Great Ashfield's a bit of a tough place to get to without a car. It'll be train out of London and a trip of about 90 miles; probably through Colchester and Ipswich. From around there a rental car, bus or taxi.

My recommendation for starters, visit a few websites. Look at www.controltowers.co.uk to see what the airfield looks like now and during WW2. Check other websites like www.8thafhs.org, 385thbg, and Google surf for the association for the 385th Bomb Group. Once you make contact with them they'll put you on the right track to make arrangments to visit the base.

I very strongly suggest you do go regardless of the minor difficulties in getting there. I don't know your Dad's story but can assure you it will be a worthwhile experience.

Send a personal message and I can give you some further search suggestions to help plan your trip and if you haven't already done so, how to find information on his war experiences including his POW days. Geoff

Posted by david
diss, norfolk, england
1 posts

I live 10 miles from great ashfield for 35 years, my grandfather worked on the base during the war ground staff englishman lived there all his life 86 years died 1983. the church is where my grandparents are burried. station 155 ,main runway partial, all now
retu
rned to arable farmland, regards David
david.bradley@mypostoffice.co.uk