WW2 Bases In East Anglia

#1
I'm looking for information on which units were quartered and trained where and when in Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire.

There's lots of signs of old concrete tracks and the odd buildings all over the place but no maps or collated resource. I'd like to rectify that.

I'm trawling many and various unit histories and I can tell you it's a lot of feckn reading for little return ! :( (Although interesting in itself of course).

If any other WW2 history geeks out there have names and dates and places readily to hand (or even better, unit maps) then I'd really appreciate hearing from you. Post on the thread or pm.

Cheers All,
D_B
 
#2
#3
I trust you've had a look through http://www.old-maps.co.uk/index.html If you look at maps produced just after the War and compare them with earlier ones, you may find evidence of wartime structures. Of course, there'll be no detail of units, but you should get a few locations to add to the list.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
There's a whole set of books about the airfields but the name escapes me - try any East Anglian public library; for the USAAF try the memorial library in Norwich (part of the main public library). Also any OS map of the area as the perimeter tracks are often still visible.
 
#5
There is a great overlay for Google Earth which shows all of the RAF bases past and present in the UK and a rundown of what units were stationed there +dates. I shall look up the link for you.
 
#7
seaweed said:
There's a whole set of books about the airfields but the name escapes me - try any East Anglian public library; for the USAAF try the memorial library in Norwich (part of the main public library). Also any OS map of the area as the perimeter tracks are often still visible.
Ken Delves. Put his name in amazon or play and the whole lot comes up. It's the "Military Airfields of Britain" series. They are excellent.

Not that I'm some kind of geek you understand. Er.... a (cough) "friend" told me about them.
 
#8
seaweed said:
There's a whole set of books about the airfields but the name escapes me - try any East Anglian public library; for the USAAF try the memorial library in Norwich (part of the main public library). Also any OS map of the area as the perimeter tracks are often still visible.
The "After the Battle" series?

http://www.afterthebattle.com/books/books.html

Scroll half-way down the first page for BoB and look at Page 2 for books on USAAF bases. Well worth looking at.
 
#9
Thanks for the info so far guys. all very interesting and I'll follow it up over the weekend.

I should have said, however, that air forces of either nation aer not what I'm after. I've spent many a happy hour whilst living in this country on and off visiting pretty much all the airfields in the region and as has been said, it's all VERY well documented.

I'm more interested in the British and US Armies. They were stashed all over the place for training pre D-day and often for relatively short periods of time before other units moved in.

Just as the combat veterans are leaving us in great numbers every day, so were the civillian witnesses to the squaddies in their back yards. It would be nice to get some of this properly documented.

D_B
 
#10
seaweed said:
There's a whole set of books about the airfields but the name escapes me...
The Action Stations series?

Getting back to the Army, the Desert Rats site has a list of their units' locations before D-Day. These locations would no doubt have served other units and formations before and after 7 Armd Div's time. Off the top of my head 15/19 H handed Didlington over to 22 Armd Bde.
 
#12

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
#14
dogs_bollox said:
I'm looking for information on which units were quartered and trained where and when in Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire.

There's lots of signs of old concrete tracks and the odd buildings all over the place but no maps or collated resource. I'd like to rectify that.

Cheers All,
D_B
Actually the camps themselves are very well documented, ironically enough by The Luftwaffe, both in a pre-war survey and during it.

I believe that the records are now at Kew, having been snatched by the Brits at the end of WWII.

The Luftwaffe flights also provided one of the best aerial survey maps of London pre-Blitz/War, and were used as part of the basis for the proposed redesign of London, although the full plans never came to fruition.
 
#17
Try the Suffolk Regt Museum (Royal Anglian) at the Keep Bury St Edmunds.

A number of the old RAF airfields in East Anglia are now prisons but it is possible to reconise some of the old buildings.

RAF Stradishall became HMP Highpoint (North Wing was the old Sgt Mess Accm, now known as HMP Edmundhill).
Main prison had the old RAF OR's accm mostly now flatened, but bit still remain, Hospital was the armoury, visits was the stores, Guard room held the outside farms and gardens, Station HQ became the Prison Officers Mess, Club, Probation and fire office/store. Admin building became the Regulating Office. The RAF Officers Mess became the Cat D unit until too many villians absconded and it was closed and became a staff training unit.
 
#18
+1 on the Library in Norwich - it's part of the main library in the Forum building and it's referred to as the "memorial library", though I do believe it's a little USAF content heavy
 
#19
For those interested in the flail regiments which were working with the RE assault teams on D Day.

Rendlesham Hall (Woodbridge) - Used from late 1943 until May 1944 by 22nd Dragoons in their training with flails at Orford, Brancaster.

Glevering Hall (Wickham Market) - Used by 1 Lothian & Border Yeomanry as well as 22D rear party (roller troops aka Pilot Troops, most command tanks, some Sherman ARV as well as other A & B vehs)

Westminster Dragoons were at Thorpeness
 
#20
More East Anglia in general than your specific request.

Obviously the garrison at Colly but Wivenhoe Park Colchester was used to store vehicles and equipment for D Day

Braintree/Gosfield/ Halstead/Sudbury area had small camps for "units in training" also,I think, Saffron Walden

Bury St Eds had the Depot for the Suffolks
 

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