Yesterday I took a trip to Parham old airfield [again] I stood on this bleak outpost with the wind blowing in my face thinking back to November 1943/44 and wondering what a hive of activity this airfield would be like, with those taking off/returning from bombing missions in their B17's.One of these B17's took off from Parham for a bombing raid on Germany, with a full fuel and bomb load the aircraft failed to gain height and crashed into a bank at the north end of Parham Village, this destroyed the Village Chapel but not one parishioner was injured, sadly the nine crew on board perished and a memorial plaque can be found on the inside North Wall of the Church Tower, ie on the left as you enter the church
Shepherds Grove Airfield a brief history.
During the war, Shepherds Grove was a base for Stirling bombers. It was, in fact, built for the USAAF in 1943, but it was assigned to the RAF's 3 Group as a satellite of Stradishall in April 1944.
At the end of 1944 Shepherds Grove was transferred to 38 Group.
In January 1945 numbers 196 and 299 Stirling transport squadrons moved in. These squadrons were involved in supply drops for Special operations and towed gliders from Shepherds Grove as part of the Rhine crossing. Stirlings continued to deliver mail and stores overseas until March 1946.
In May 1946 the station was taken over by 60 Group as a satellite of RAF Watton Radio Warfare Establishment and some Avro Ansons and Lancasters were positioned here.
In 1950 the station was put on 'Care and Maintenance'.In 1951 it was loaned to the USAF and in August the 116th squadron of the 81st Fighter Interceptor Wing brought in F86A Sabres, the first in this country. The 92nd squadron joined them soon after.
In 1952 the 116th became the 78th Fighter Squadron, and in 1954 received F84F Thunderstreaks. The 78th moved to Woodbridge in December 1958.
In 1959 Shepherds Grove became a Thor Missile Base and a flight of 82 Squadron operated them until their removal in 1963.
The site then changed to agriculture with an industrial estate.
This item is copied from the St Edmundsbury Borough Council Web Site were further information on the history of the USAF in Europe can be found.
More information can be found on http://shepherdsgrove.com