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Thread: Wing

  1. #21
    Senior Member airfields man's Avatar
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    Default Re: USAAF Station Numbers (UK Locations)

    Hello Pauline, Welcome to the Forum, regards Wing airfield and your related experience I'm sorry to say that I have absolutely no idea....though no-doubt someone will have. All sounds a bit scary to me, a true mystery. I have a book here written by a chap who was briefly based at Wing airfield, though sadly there seems to be very little mention of what actually went on there. Hope that someone has the answer to your question. Paul.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: USAAF Station Numbers (UK Locations)

    Hi Pauline - Wing airfield was used mainly as an Operational Traing Unit flying Wellingtons during WW2. A few bombing operations were undertaken by the OTU airplanes in support of the 1,000 bomber raids. Towards the end of the course crews would also fly on leaflet dropping missions over France. At the end of the war many ex-POWs were flown into Wing on their return to the UK.
    The airfield closed to flying in 1946 and I know of no further activity after that date that would explain the US presence other than perhaps on some sort of exercise.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: USAAF Station Numbers (UK Locations)

    Thanks Paul and Ray,
    This is all very odd as I remember this incident very well, you do not forget having a gun pointed at you!
    I am beginning to think that I shall have to write down all that my father told me about life at Wing when he was there, as I think that he must have been one of the first to be posted to the airfield, and he talked about it a lot. I know about the training of the crews and 'circuits and bumps' which caused much amusement among those on the ground, I heard about the bombing raids and about the return of the POWs, "poor devils" my father said, he told me that they and the aircraft had to be deloused and that they were just skin and bone. I don't suppose that anyone knows about the Dornier that was brought down at Wing or very close by? I have apiece of the windscreen of this aircraft which is, of course, a dirty green colour unlike, as Captain Mainwaring would say, our own clean clear British perspex!!

  4. #24
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    Default Re: USAAF Station Numbers (UK Locations)

    Wing airfield was used by the USAF as a temporary ammunition store until the permanent base at Welford became available. My record states that the latter then became available 'sometime in the mid 1950s'. However I also have 'in 1956 282 MU Bicester opened to control Finmere and Wing'. 282MU was an ammunition storage facility for the USAF.
    Last edited by Carnaby; 16-02-2012 at 10:29. Reason: typo

  5. #25
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    Default Re: USAAF Station Numbers (UK Locations)

    So it sounds as if I was held at gun point in order to protect an ammunition storage facility. Thank you for that, it's nice to know what it was that the USAF were so keen to keep hidden from us!

  6. #26
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    Default Re: USAAF Station Numbers (UK Locations)

    KenNeedham.jpgRAFWing01.jpgRAFWing02.jpgRAFWing04.jpg

    Here are the photos of Wing as promised. As you will see one has one of those 'famous' bicycles on it, one is a group photo, taken I would guess, 1942/43, and one is the garden that my father constructed beside his nissen hut. The airman with the bicycle is identified as Ken Needham.

    Pauline.

  7. #27
    Senior Member airfields man's Avatar
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    Default Re: USAAF Station Numbers (UK Locations)

    Thankyou Pauline for those excellent photographs. Especially like the second one with the small wooden bridge over the stream. Very good ! Thanks for showing them. Paul.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: USAAF Station Numbers (UK Locations)

    Thank you Paul, glad you enjoyed the photos. While doing a bit more background research about Wing I discovered the a
    potential new fighter 'kite' was tested there, and from Wikipedia I gleaned more which I thought might interest you.

    The listed as "Experimental Aeroplane 120" with the serial number R2492, the MB3 was temporarily stationed at 26 OTU Wing, Buckinghamshire for trials and first flew on 31 August 1942. The tests were supervised by Group Captain Snaith. On 12 September 1942 the Unit Report states, "Captain Baker had just got airborne, when he had immediate loss of power, in trying to save the aircraft he made a forced landing in a field but hit a tree stump and was killed".

    Reports from a ground-crew man and an eye witness state that those at 26 OTU saw the MB3 during the tests and that Capt Baker flew very fast shooting up the runway very low. He had taken off towards Stewkley at the time of the accident, and three men working at Cold Harbour Farm had tried to rescue him but the fire was too fierce.

    The loss of his great friend, Capt Baker, caused Martin to devote the rest of his life to the invention and development of the ejector seat, so, by a strange quirk of fate, 26 OTU Wing played a part in saving many pilots lives in subsequent years.

    I have a feeling that my father, who was at Wing at this time, may have witnessed this crash as, after the DH110 crash at Farnborough, he told me that he had seen it before. I thought he was just referring to events connected with the training of bomber crews but maybe not!

    Regards, Pauline.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: USAAF Station Numbers (UK Locations)

    Really great photos. A moment in time gone forever. Wonder where the huts were located in the photo? The huts might be gone but I wonder if the pond is still there to act as a marker?
    Last edited by Jeff Morgan; 27-04-2012 at 06:49.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: USAAF Station Numbers (UK Locations)

    Thank you Jeff. I too wonder how much is now left of the airfield at Wing, there must be something as I recently learnt that a hangar, now used as a workshop, is reputed to be haunted! Could it be something to do with this?
    "A serious accident involving Wing occurred in June 1944. A Wellington X collided with a parked similar aircraft, two low loaders and a hangar. Three WAAFs with the lorries and the Wellington's co-pilot were killed." This was probably 26 OTU Wellington HE854 which on 09/06/44 crashed after take-off, destroying a Tomahawk which was on a low loader trailer near a hangar. Three ground crew staff were killed as well as two crew on the Wellington. One report states one from the aircraft killed and the other two. Does anyone know more about this, and the supposed haunted hangar?

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