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RAF Bury St Edmunds: Wikis


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Royal Air Force Station Bury St Edmunds
Royal Air Force Station Rougham
USAAF Station 468

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Patch 8thUSAAF.png

Located Near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Bury St. Edmunds/Rougham Airfield - 6 June 1955
Type Military Airfield
Coordinates 52°14′30″N 000°46′00″E / 52.24167°N 0.7666667°E / 52.24167; 0.7666667
Location code BU
Built 1941
In use 1942–1948
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces
British Air Ministry
Garrison Eighth Air Force
Battles/wars European Theatre of World War II
Air Offensive, Europe July 1942 – May 1945
RAF Bury St Edmunds is located in Suffolk
Map showing the location of RAF Bury St Edmunds within Suffolk.

RAF Bury St Edmunds was a World War II airfield in England. The field is located 3 miles E of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. The airfield, now in private ownership and much reduced in size, is still active and is known as Rougham Airfield.



The airfield was originally and is now again known as Rougham as it is located north of that village between the A14 and the main railway line between Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. It was built in 1941/1942 with three intersecting concrete runways. The main runway of 2,000 yards was aligned approximately E-W. As the airfield was designed for a USAAF bomb group, fifty concrete hardstands were constructed off the encircling perimeter track. Two T2-type hangars were erected, one on each side of the airfield. The technical site was on the southern side of the A14 and most of the living sites dispersed in woodland south of the main road around the village of Rougham. Accommodation was provided for some 3,000 personnel in Nissen and other temporary type buildings.


The airfield was opened in September 1942 and was used by the United States Army Air Force Eighth Air Force. Bury St. Edmunds was given USAAF designation Station 468 (BU).

From 13 September 1943 though 18 June 1945, Bury St. Edmunds served as headquarters for the 4th Combat Bombardment Wing of the 3d Bomb Division.


47th Bombardment Group (Light)

The first USAAF group to use Bury St. Edmunds airfield was the 47th Bombardment Group (Light) arriving from Greensboro AAF North Carolina in mid-September 1942. The 47th was equipped with the Douglas A-20 "Havoc" bomber but the group quickly moved to RAF Horham as Bury St. Edmunds was still under construction. On 2 November the 47th was ordered to North Africa, departing for Medina Air Field 15 miles south of Casablanca in Morocco.

322d Bombardment Group (Medium)

The 322d Bombardment Group (Medium) arrived in December 1942 from Drane AAF, Florida, a satellite installation of nearby [[MacDill Air Force Base|MacDill Field where the 322d originally began their pre-deployment training. The group was assigned to the 3d Bomb Wing and flew Martin B-26B/C Marauders. Operational squadrons of the 322d were:

Ongoing construction at Bury St. Edmunds forced two of the group's squadrons to locate at RAF Rattlesden, and the group's aircraft did not arrive until late in March 1943. Once operational, the 322d flew two low-level bombing operations from Bury St. Edmunds. The first, on 14 May when it dispatched 12 planes for a minimum-level attack on an electrical generating plant near Ijtnuiden. This was the first operational combat mission flown by B-26s.

The second was a disastrous mission to Holland on Monday, 17 May, when the group sent 11 aircraft on a similar operation from which none of the aircraft penetrating the enemy coast, returned. 60 crewmen were lost to flak and interceptors. Group morale was not improved when, on 29 May, a B-26 crashed onto the airfield killing the crew and damaging a hangar.

After these missions, the group was re-equipped and trained for medium-altitude operations for several weeks before returning to combat operations. On 13 June, the 322d moved to RAF Andrews Field in Essex.

94th Bombardment Group (Heavy)

B-17s of the 410th Bomb Squadron on a mission over occupied Europe
Lockheed/Vega B-17G-1-VE Fortress Serial 42-39775 damaged during a raid on the Bf-110 assembly plant at Waggum, near Brunswick Germany - 11 January 1944. This aircraft was repaired and returned to service, however it was again severely damaged and scrapped on 3 November 1944.

The 94th Bombardment Group (Heavy] arrived from RAF Earls Colne on 15 June 1943. the 94th was assigned to the 4th Combat Bombardment Wing, and the group tail code was a "Square-A". It's operational squadrons were:

The group flew the B-17 Flying Fortress as part of the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing campaign and served chiefly as a strategic bombardment organization throughout the war. The 94th flew its first mission on 13 June 1943, bombing an airfield at St Omer. After that, the group attacked such strategic objectives as the port of St Nazaire, shipyards at Kiel, an aircraft component parts factory at Kassel, a synthetic rubber plant at Hanover, a chemical factory at Ludwigshafen, marshalling yards at Frankfurt, oil facilities at Merseburg, and ball-bearing works at Eberhausen.

The group withstood repeated assaults by enemy interceptors to bomb an aircraft factory at Regensburg on 17 August 1943, being awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for the mission. Braving adverse weather, heavy flak, and savage fighter attacks, the group completed a strike against an aircraft parts factory in Brunswick on 11 January 1944 and received a 2d DUC for this operation.

The 94th took part in the campaign of heavy bombers against the enemy aircraft industry during Big Week, 20–25 February 1944. Sometimes operated in support of ground forces and flew interdictory missions. Prior to D-Day in June 1944, helped to neutralize V-weapon sites, airfields, and other military installations along the coast of France. On 6 June the group bombed enemy positions in the battle area to support the invasion of Normandy. Struck troops and gun batteries to aid the advance of the Allies at Saint-Lô in July and at Brest in August. Covered the airborne attack on Holland in September. Hit marshalling yards, airfields, and strong points near the combat area during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945. Bombed transportation, communications, and oil targets in the final push over the Rhine and across Germany.

After V-E Day, the 94th BG dropped leaflets to displaced persons and German civilians. Returned to Camp Kilmer New Jersey in December 1945 and was inactivated on 21 December

RAF Maintenance Command

After the war, the field was turned over to RAF control in December 1945. On 11 September 1946, the facility was turned over to the Air Ministry. It was left unused for several years before being closed in 1948.

Civil use

With the end of military control, Bury St Edmunds airfield's concreted areas were broken up with most of the site being returned to agriculture.

The old technical site has been developed into the Roughham Industrial Estate. The T2 hangars are still in use, for storage. The control tower, used for many years as a private dwelling, has now been restored and is used as a museum.

The airfield, once again known as Rougham, now has two grass runways available for civil use. Gliding and model aircraft flying are frequent and several open air events are organised each year.[1]

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links


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