View Full Version : The nantwich airfield
I have stumbled upon the unit that was stationed in Nantwich in the late 40s. I was under the assumption that it would be RAF, but it turned out to be USAAF. Near the Old Austerson Hall on Coole Lane there was an almost 10 acre facility for the 158th Liaison Squadron, 9th Air Force. The last of the installation was dismantled in the late 70s, never to be again heard about. I would love it if someone had more information, but I will do some digging myself, and what I find I will post on here. So, if you are out there and know about this installation, let me and everyone else know.
From a website which disappeared two years ago we have:
Nantwich, Dorfold Hall WWII US Army 158th Liaison Squadron(camp capacity 170 personnel) (K1274) (tented)
That's very interesting as the 158th was thought to have used nearby RAF Calveley for its Stinson L-5s. The unit also operated L-4 Cubs but that might have been after they moved to France. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force in WW II has them at Nantwich 13 Dec 1944 to 21 Jan 1945. The use of the town name in the records does not always mean that a liaison squadron was actually based on the edge of it. It would be great if you can find out more!
Further to what I wrote yesterday, I forgot that I also have a copy of Ken Wakefield's The Fighting Grasshoppers. It says: "The 158th landed at Swansea ten days later and proceeded by train to Camp Doddington, near Nantwich, Cheshire, where it picked up its equipment, including 24 vehicles. It was assigned to Ninth Air Force but received no aircraft while in England, its 30 L-5s being delivered by a Ferrying Squadron to Chartres in France to await collection. The 158th departed Nantwich on 31 January 1945."
Doddington must be Doddington Park on the A51 south of Nantwich. (Twitch, as the town was known to the air traffic controllers at Mersey Radar, Hack Green, in the 1960s!)
So the plot thickens! Nantwich was the centre of a complex of US camps and HQs in 1944, so the Austerson Hall site may have nothing to do with the 158th. What is certain is that L-4 Cubs and L-5s would have been used frequently for liaison purposes around the area. That field across the road from your site looks like it would have made an excellent light aircraft strip.
Some interrogation of elderly locals is called for!
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