Monument record LKH 339 - Lakenheath Airfield

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A military airfield used in both World Wars and post-war.


Grid reference Centred TL 7405 8184 (3373m by 2677m)
Map sheet TL78SW


Type and Period (15)

Full Description

A military airfield used in both World Wars and post-war. The site was first used as a landing ground and bombing range during World War One (from 1917). This was located near the Brandon road entrance to the present site. It was disused in the interwar period. Early in World War Two (to 1941) Lakenheath was used as a 'Q-type' night decoy and a 'K-type' day decoy to deflect enemy bombing from RAF Feltwell. A bombing range for the Royal Air Force was also established. The 'K-type' decoy consisted of a replica airfield equipped with dummy Wellington aircraft. The decoy ceased operation on 6th June 1941, as construction of a real airfield, which began in 1940, was provisionally completed in 1941. A battle headquarters thought to date to this time is reportedly extant (please see TL78 SW 103). Aircraft hangars were added in 1942-1943 (four T2 and one B1 hangars were still extant in 1988) and the runways were extended in 1943-1944 as it was chosen for redevelopment as a "very heavy" bomber base. During the war despite the ongoing construction work the airfield was temporarily used by bomber units for operational and training purposes as well as for storage for gliders. Post-war the airfield was mainly used by the United States Air Force and has been greatly modified from its World War Two appearance, for example by the addition of more accomodation and of hardended aircraft shelters. The main role of the American presence has been defined by the Cold War, however in 1986 aircraft from Lakenheath attacked sites in Libya as part of United States strikes against the regime there. A "Peace Garden" of war memorials has been contructed at Lakenheath, this includes a memorial to the airmen who died in the Battle of Britain, erected in 1997, to American POWs taken in south-east Asian wars, and to holders of the "Medal of Honor" (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Index: English Heritage. Pastscape.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Oct 17 2013 3:41PM

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