RAF Glatton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
RAF Glatton
USAAF Station 130

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Eighth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).png

Located Near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England
457bg-B-17G-40-BO-42-97075.jpg
B-17s of the 457th Bomb Group attacking a target. Aircraft in forgeround is Boeing B-17G-40-BO Fortress Serial 42-97075 "Flak Dodger" of the 750th Bomb Squadron. This plane survived the war and returned to the USA in June 1945
Coordinates 52°27′58″N 000°15′07″W / 52.46611°N 0.25194°W / 52.46611; -0.25194Coordinates: 52°27′58″N 000°15′07″W / 52.46611°N 0.25194°W / 52.46611; -0.25194
Type Royal Air Force station
Code GT
Site information
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces
 Royal Air Force
Site history
Built 1943
In use 1943 (1943)-1948 (1948)
Battles/wars European Theatre of World War II
Air Offensive, Europe July 1942 - May 1945
RAF Glatton is located in Cambridgeshire
RAF Glatton
RAF Glatton, shown within Cambridgeshire
Garrison information
Garrison Eighth Air Force
RAF Bomber Command
Occupants 457thaeg-emblem.jpg 457th Bombardment Group
3 Group badge.jpg No. 3 Group RAF

Royal Air Force Station Glatton or more simply RAF Glatton is a former Royal Air Force station located 10 miles north of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England.

History[edit]

USAAF use[edit]

Glatton was constructed in 1943 and was assigned to the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force as a heavy bomber airfield. Its layout was unique in that the three runways surrounded Rose Court Farm which continued to operate in the centre of the airfield. Glatton was assigned USAAF designation Station 130.

457th Bombardment Group (Heavy)[edit]

The airfield was first used by the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arriving from Wendover AAF, Utah on 21 January 1944. The 457th was assigned to the 94th Combat Bombardment Wing of the 1st Bombardment Division. Its tail code was Triangle U.

The 457th Bomb Group consisted of the following operational squadrons flying B-17s :

The 457th Bomb Group flew its first mission on 21 February 1944 during Big Week, taking part in the concentrated attacks of heavy bombers on the German aircraft industry. Until June 1944, the Group engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets, such as ball-bearing plants, aircraft factories, and oil refineries in Germany.

The Group bombed targets in France during the first week of June 1944 in preparation for the Normandy invasion, and attacked coastal defenses along the Cherbourg peninsula on D-Day. It struck airfields, railroads, fuel depots, and other interdictory targets behind the invasion beaches throughout the remainder of the month.

Beginning in July 1944, the 457th resumed bombardment of strategic objectives and engaged chiefly in such operations until April 1945. Sometimes flew support and interdictory missions, aiding the advance of ground forces during the Saint-Lô breakthrough in July 1944 and the landing of British 1st Airborne Division during the airborne attack on the Netherlands in September 1944; and participating in the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 - January 1945, and the assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

The Group flew its last combat mission on 20 April 1945. The unit had carried out 237 missions. Total number of sorties was 7,086 with nearly 17,000 tons of bombs and 142 tons of leaflets being dropped.

After V-E Day, the 457th transported prisoners of war from Austria to France, and returned to Sioux Falls AAF, South Dakota during June 1945 and was inactivated on 18 August 1945.[1]

RAF Bomber Command use[edit]

After the war, RAF Glatton was used by the RAF's No. 3 Group under the control of RAF Bomber Command using Avro Lancasters and Consolidated B-24 Liberators flying to the Middle East. It was closed and sold in 1948.

Current use[edit]

With the end of military control, Glatton airfield was largely returned to agriculture however parts of two runways have been retained and Glatton now operates as Peterborough Business Airport. The 457th Bomb Group has a memorial dedicated to the men who lost their lives flying from Glatton in All Saints Church Conington churchyard.

Gallery[edit]

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. ^ Maurer 1980, p. 00.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Freeman, Roger A. (1978) Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-09-6
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1991) The Mighty Eighth The Colour Record. Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35708-1
  • Maurer, M. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. USAF Historical Division. Washington D.C., USA: Zenger Publishing Co., Inc, 1980. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

External links[edit]