Monument record DEB 010 - Debach Airfield

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Debach airfield situated 3 miles NW of Woodbridge.


Grid reference Centred TM 23783 53740 (1422m by 2358m)
Map sheet TM25SW


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

Debach airfield is situated 3 miles NW of Woodbridge, partly in the adjoining parishes of Burgh and Clopton. It was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) of the US army during 1943-44, being one of the last 8th Air Force heavy bomber stations to be occupied. It followed the general pattern with a single 2,000 yard runway and two intersecting 1400 yard runways. Two T2 type hangars and 50 hard standings were erected for the USAAF requirements. Living sites for 2,900 men were in dispersed living huts to the South West of the field and Thistledon Hall, actually on the airfield was taken over as an additional billet.
After the US forces left, Debach was a POW camp and later for displaced persons before being abandoned in 1948. It was sold in 1963-64, the main N-S runway becoming the boundary between two adjoining farms. The western side includes the control tower (although now derelict but standing) and other original buildings (mainly in Clopton Parish). The northern end of the runway was sold in 1969 to Country Kitchen Foods Ltd for the construction of a mushroom farm. Both hangars were dismantled. Thistledon Hall (BUG 003) was maltreated during its occupation; its historic interior burnt for firewood. It was demolished, and only the foundations remained, in 1978. Pylons cross the southern edge of the airfield and St Ives Sand and Gravel company removed some of the concrete though runways can still be seen. Debach technical site and control tower considered worthy of preservation. S3
Rumour has it that a massive hole 300x400 yards x40ft deep was dug "b52's and everything from the base was dumped in the hole" possibly near the SAM , (S4) no visible evidence on AP's .

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <S1> Bibliographic reference: Freeman, Roger A. 1978. Airfields of the Eighth - Then and Now. Freeman, Roger A., 1978..
  • <S2> Bibliographic reference: Smith, G.. 1995. Suffolk Airfields in the 2nd World War. Graham Smith, 1995.
  • <S3> Bibliographic reference: Email. Cuthbert, M., email to Pendleton C (SCCAS). 27/10/04.
  • <S4> Verbal communication: Personal communication. Mrs S A Redsell.

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Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jun 7 2016 8:59AM

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