RAF Seething

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RAF Seething
USAAF Station 146
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
Eighth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).png
Located Near Norwich, Norfolk, England
Seethingairfield-16oct1945.png
Seething Airfield - 16 October 1945
RAF SeethingUSAAF Station 146   is located in Norfolk
RAF SeethingUSAAF Station 146
RAF Seething
USAAF Station 146

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg

Eighth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).png
Type Royal Air Force station
Code SE
Site information
Owner Air Ministry
Controlled by  Royal Air Force
US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built 1942 (1942)
In use 1943-1945 (1945)
Battles/wars European Theatre of World War II
Air Offensive, Europe July 1942 - May 1945
Garrison information
Garrison Eighth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).png Eighth Air Force
Occupants 448thbombgroup-patch.jpg 448th Bombardment Group
713th Bomb Squadron Ford B-24H-25-FO Liberator 42-95185 "Do Bunny". This aircraft was shot down by a Me-262 on 25 March 1945 over Soltau, Germany
North American B-24J-1-NT Liberator 42-78491 "Egress U-Uncle" of the 713th Bomb Squadron (foreground). One of only three (of eight total) B-24s built by North American Aircraft to survive hostilities.
714th Bomb Squadron "Jokers Wild" Consolidated B-24J-60-CF Liberator 44-10547
For the civil use of this facility, see Seething Airfield

Royal Air Force station Seething or more simply RAF Seething is a former Royal Air Force station located 9 miles (14 km) south east of Norwich, Norfolk, England.

History[edit]

Seething airfield was built in 1942−43 by John Laing & Son Ltd., to the standard Class A requirement for heavy bombers, the airfield had a main runway 6,000 ft. long aligned SW-NE and two secondary runways of 4,200 ft in length. The encircling perimeter track was three miles long. To meet United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) requirements, there were fifty-one hardstands both of the loop and frying-pan type and two T-2 hangars, placed one on each side of the airfield, that on the south being adjacent to the technical site. The camp was of temporary buildings and the sites dispersed in farmlands to the south of the airfield.

USAAF use[edit]

The airfield was assigned USAAF designation Station 146. Its ID Code was "SE".

448th Bombardment Group (Heavy)[edit]

The airfield was opened on 1 December 1943 and was used by the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force 448th Bombardment Group (Heavy). The 448th arrived from Sioux City AAF Iowa and was assigned to the 20th Combat Bombardment Wing. The group tail code was a "Circle-I". Its operational squadrons were:

The 448th flew Consolidated B-24 Liberators as part of the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing campaign. The group entered combat on 22 December 1943, and until April 1945 served primarily as a strategic bombardment organization, hitting such targets as aircraft factories in Gotha, ball-bearing plants in Berlin, an airfield at Hanau, U-boat facilities at Kiel, a chemical plant at Ludwigshafen, synthetic oil refineries at Politz, aircraft engine plants at Rostock, marshalling yards at Cologne, and a Buzz-bomb assembly plant at Fallersleben. The group took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20–25 February 1944.

In addition to strategic operations, flew interdictory and support missions. Bombed V-weapon sites, airfields, and transportation facilities prior to the Normandy invasion in June 1944, and on D-Day attacked coastal defenses and choke points. Struck enemy positions to assist the Allied offensive at Caen and the breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July. Dropped supplies to airborne troops near Nijmegen during the airborne attack on the Netherlands in September. Bombed transportation and communications centers in the combat zone during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945. Dropped supplies to troops at Wesel during the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

The group flew its last combat mission on 25 April, attacking a marshalling yard at Salzburg. It returned to Sioux Falls AAF South Dakota the US in July 1945.

After the war, the field was closed in 1945. [1][2]

Current use[edit]

With the end of military control, most of the airfield was reverted to farming. The eastern section, including part of the main runway and a section of perimeter track, is now Seething Airfield which is home to the Waveney Flying Group. They have built three hangars and a clubroom and the airfield is active most days of the week.

To the south of the airfield, on some of the former dispersed barrack and communal sites, several of the old living quarters and associated buildings are still in existence. Some of these buildings are in a reasonable condition, although they are derelict and overgrown.

The former control tower has been renovated and has become a memorial museum to the 448th B.G. It contains a Group Roll Of Honor and various artifacts and memorabilia. It is open to the public on the first Sunday of the month May to October, but can be inspected at other times by special request.

In front of the control tower, dedicated during a veterans' reunion in 1990, stands a memorial to the men of the 448th B.G. who were missing or killed in action during service at Seething.

Two other memorials were dedicated during a veterans' reunion in 1984. One is on the airfield itself near the Waveney F.G. club-house and consists of an engraved stone plaque and rose garden; another similar plaque is in the churchyard of Seething Parish Church, which is a mile or so north of the airfield. The "Stars and Stripes" hang in the church itself while an oak sapling has been planted near the village hall to commemorate the Group's close association with the village.

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.
  2. ^ Freeman 2001, p. 00.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]