I needed an old picture of Marsworth Wharf for that post and whilst searching I came across Cheddington Airfield. It appeared we were moored just 1400 yards from the old runway.
The airfield close to Marsworth and Long Marston villages opened in 1942 and was named Cheddington as this was the nearest rail station--a fact that often dictated the naming of an airfield. It was used initially by the Royal Air Force (RAF) for bomber training with both Vickers Wellingtons' and Avro Ansons' being based here. Later that same year it was handed over to the USAAF who then soon after transferred to Norfolk. In 1943 once again the RAF handed the airfield back to the USAAF who returned to Cheddington. There is a lot of reading in the links I will provide so I will be brief. The first memorial is for the crash I refer to above.
In November 1944 a USAAF B24 Liberator crashed soon after take off, killing a Navigator and Gunner. Pilot Norman Landberg and Gunner George Eberwine attended the memorial ceremony at Cheddington in 2009. LINK
In December 1944 seven B24 Liberators were returning to Cheddington after their mission. Bad weather diverted four to Shrewsbury and the remaining three to Anglesey. Whilst waiting to land, one of the three ditched in the sea after running out of fuel. Eight of the crew are still to this day listed as missing. LINK
In February 1945 a B24 crashed half a mile from the runway after take off from Cheddington. Three Ariel Gunners perished. The plane had the nickname Beast of Bourbon. LINK
Another link HERE. The main information text here is under NOV 2009 and MAY 2011 but there are other references throughout the pages. Another link HERE for the Welsh disaster.
Light planes can still land on a grass strip at Cheddington; the concrete runway has long since been torn up. I can see a windsock blowing in the wind to the left side of the site.
Regardless of the connection Nb Valerie has with the U.S. I felt this was worthy of a blog post. So many brave people gave a lot, some sacrificed everything, for the freedom we have today. Those that were based here are a good example.
|on the Leeds and Liverpool|
As we travel the canals I will never stop being amazed at the history of the places we pass through.