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A Brief History

Ridgewell operated as a satellite to RAF Stradishall until May 1943. It had three concrete runways, initially 36 pan hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. Taken over by the Eighth Air Force in June 1943 as home to the 381st Bomb Group, equipped with B-17s, the hardstandings were increased to 50 pans and five loops. The 381st Bomb Group flew a total of 296 missions and lost 131 B-17s while based at Ridgewell, although at least two specially-named B-17s 'Rotherhithe’s Revenge' and 'Stage Door Canteen' each completed over 100 missions. After the 381st Bomb Group left in June 1945, the station was handed back to the RAF and used as a Maintenance Unit munitions store until 1957. Although most of the site has since disappeared. A private collection of memorabilia is currently displayed in and around the old Hospital building by the Ridgewell Airfield Commemorative Association

 

 

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