RAF Chipping Ongar

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RAF Chipping Ongar
RAF Willingale
USAAF Station AAF-162

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svgEighth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).pngPatch9thusaaf.png
Chippingongar-21june1947.png
Chipping Ongar Airfield - 21 June 1947 in a reserve status.
IATA: noneICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
Location Chipping Ongar, Essex, England
Built 1942 (1942)
In use 1942-1959 (1959)
Elevation AMSL 253 ft / 77 m
Coordinates 51°43′30″N 000°17′19″E / 51.72500°N 0.28861°E / 51.72500; 0.28861Coordinates: 51°43′30″N 000°17′19″E / 51.72500°N 0.28861°E / 51.72500; 0.28861
Map
RAF Chipping Ongar is located in Essex
RAF Chipping Ongar
RAF Chipping Ongar
Location in Essex
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
02/20 6,00 0 Asphalt
04/22 4,200 0 Asphalt
10/28 4,200 0 Asphalt

Royal Air Force Chipping Ongar or more simply RAF Chipping Ongar is a former Royal Air Force station located 2 miles (3.2 km) northeast of Chipping Ongar; about 20 miles (32 km) northeast of London

Opened in 1943, it was used by both the Royal Air Force (RAF) and United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). During the war it was used primarily as a bomber airfield. After the war it was closed in 1959 after many years of being a reserve airfield

Today the remains of the airfield are located on private property being used as agricultural fields.

History[edit]

United States Army Air Forces use[edit]

The airfield was opened in the early spring of 1943 and was used by the United States Army Air Forces Eighth and Ninth Air Forces.

Chipping Ongar was known as USAAF Station AAF-162 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. It's USAAF Station Code was "JC".

USAAF Station Units assigned to RAF Chipping Ongar were:[1]

  • 53d Service Group[2]
53d and 87th Service Squadrons; HHS, 53d Service Group
  • 21st Weather Squadron
  • 40th Mobile Communications Squadron
  • 46th Station Complement Squadron
  • 1052nd Signal Company
  • 1176th Quartermaster Company
  • 1288th Military Police Company
  • 1812th Ordnance Supply & Maintenance Company
  • 2198th Quartermaster Truck Company
  • 873rd Chemical Company
  • 2047th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon
  • 580th Army Postal Unit
  • 196th Medical Dispensary

387th Bombardment Group (Medium)[edit]

387th Bomb Group B-26 Marauders parked at RAF Chipping Ongar England, 1944
Colonel George Snyder of the 387th Bomb Group and his crew, with their B-26 Marauder nicknamed "Wuneach". Handwritten caption on reverse: 'George Snyder (Ext Left) & crew. From Col RW Keller.'

Parts of the airfield were still under construction when the 387th Bombardment Group (Medium) arrived from Goodman AAF, Kentucky on 25 June 1943. The group was assigned to the 3d Bomb Wing and flew B-26B/C Marauders. Operational squadrons of the 387th were:

The 387th Bomb Group began combat on 15 August 1943 by joining with three other B-26 groups attacking coastal defences on the French Coast near Boulogne, and was mounted in thick fog. In common with other Marauder units of the 3d Bomb Wing, the 387th was transferred to Ninth Air Force on 16 October 1943.

The 387th Bomb Group moved to RAF Stoney Cross in Hampshire on 21 July 1944 when Ninth Air Force moved the 98th Bomb Wing's four Marauder groups into the New Forest area at the earliest opportunity to place them closer to the French Normandy Invasion beaches.

During September 1944, the airfield was used temporarily by IX Troop Carrier Command as advanced C-47 base during Operation Market-Garden.

61st Troop Carrier Group[edit]

Troop carrier squadrons of the 61st Troop Carrier Group used the airfield on 24 March 1945, carrying British paratroops as part of Operation Varsity, the airborne crossing of the Rhine River, who dropped near Wesel.

Royal Air Force use[edit]

With the departure of the Americans, the airfield was never used again for military flying. It was closed on 28 February 1959.

Current use[edit]

With the end of military control, Chipping Ongar airfield was reverted to agricultural use.

One of the large T-2 Hangars was dismantled and re-erected at North Weald airfield. It is believed to be the one nearest the M11 motorway, and now used as a freight forwarding warehouse.

A section of the perimeter track and some loop dispersal hardstands are is still intact, connected to a small private landing strip converted from a straight section of the wartime perimeter, aligned 04/22, and one small section of a secondary full-width runway (09/27) on the southeast side . On the northeastern side, the Operations block, Norden Bombsight Store, and the base of the pilots' briefing room are grouped together, and are in quite good condition 51°43′53″N 000°18′09″E / 51.73139°N 0.30250°E / 51.73139; 0.30250.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Chipping Ongar". American Air Museum in Britain. Retrieved 2 Mar 2015. 
  2. ^ "53d Service Group". American Air Museum in Britain. Retrieved 2 Mar 2015. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]