Monument record RGH 046 - Rougham Airfield

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Summary

First and second world war airfield, see details.

Location

Grid reference Centred TL 89056 64108 (3138m by 2420m)
Map sheet TL86SE
Civil Parish RUSHBROOKE WITH ROUGHAM, ST EDMUNDSBURY, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (4)

Full Description

WWI details (S1), WWII details (S2). In WWI the airfield was used by the RFC as a night landing site.
The WWII aerodrome was built in 1941-2 by Richard Costain Ltd. The technical site was located next to the A45, living quarters were located in woodland and around Rougham, which could accommodate 3000 people in nissen and other temporary type buildings.
USAF returned the base back to RAF on December 20/12/1945. On 11/09/1946 the air ministry took possession of the site and returned it to civil use. The St Ives sand and gravel company broke up and removed the runways. The two T2 hangers are used for storage. The control tower still stands and is now used as a museum and various other structures still survive - see website. Area mapped in HBSMR revised October 2009 after website plans and details.
Part of the west side of the airfield excavated and recorded under BRG 024.
Also see RGH 045 for assessment Report of A14 works (which may refer to this site?) by Chris Birks.
A military airfield which was opened in 1942. The site is now known as "Rougham Field" but was formerly known as "Bury St Edmunds Airfield", "Rougham Airfield" and also as "USAAF Station 468". The airfield was designed to be used by United States Army Air Force Bomber Groups, and so was constructed with three long runways with tarmac and wood chip surfaces and a technical site situated close to the A45 on the south east side of the complex; this area is now Rougham Industrial Estate. Two aircraft hangars (type T2) were erected as opposite sides of the site, one of which is still extant ( please see TL 86 SE 189 and TL 86 SE 190). Temporary dispersed accomodation (mainly Nissen huts) for up to 3000 personnel was constructed mainly to the south of the road in the direction of Rougham village and Blackthorpe (see TL 96 SW 32). The base was used at first briefly by 47 Bomber Group, replaced in December 1942 by 332 Bomber Group. They did not begin to actively fly their Marauder aircraft until 1943. The 332nd sustained heavy casulties on their second mission: this was a target in Holland from which none of those that set out returned. In June 1943 they were replaced by 94 Bomber Group, who flew 300 missions from the base. In December of 1945 the Americans left, and the airfield was placed under Royal Air Force then War Office control. In 1948 the military disposed of the airfield; since then it has had irregular use by civil light aircraft, including air displays in the summer months. By 1978 some of the runways had been removed but some of the technical site buildings were incorporated into the industrial estate. From 1993 onwards the control tower (now as museum)and some other buildings were restored by The Rougham Tower Association (S6).

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <S1> Bibliographic reference: Miscellaneous Bibliographic reference. Airfields and airstrips of Norfolk and Suffolk, by Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum Publication,.
  • <M1> Excavation archive: Archive Store. (S4).
  • <S2> Bibliographic reference: Freeman, Roger A. 1978. Airfields of the Eighth - Then and Now. Freeman A, 1978.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: RPS Consultants appendix 4.
  • <S4> Unpublished document: RPS Consultants archive.
  • <S5> Photograph: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Air Photograph. SCCAS AP layer on mapinfo 1945/46.
  • <S6> Index: English Heritage. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1390366.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Sep 23 2022 9:31AM

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