Monument record MCC4741 - Wormingford WWII Airfield with WWI landing ground origins, Wormingford


American WWII airfield c.1943-47, with WWI landing ground origins.


Grid reference Centred TL 9206 3049 (2315m by 1859m)
Map sheet TL93SW


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

1996: Wormingford opened in late 1943 for the US 9th Airforce 362nd Fighter Group and subsequently the 55th Fighter Group flying bomber escort missions and low level attacks. The RAF moved in and used the airfield until 1947 but it was not sold until the 1960s.<6>

Wormingford was typical of American built wartime airfields, equipped with 3 runways, joined by a perimeter track around which were placed 50 loop dispersals and bomb stores. Two T2 hangars were built at opposite sides of the airfield both of which have gone but the concrete hardstanding of one remains at TL919 311. The site of the second hangar (TL9252 3013) is now under cultivation as is all of the main technical site was built along this eastern side with the control tower (type 12779/41, 343/43) at TL9275 3050. The SHQ/Ops has also been removed (TL9300 3037). Dispersed sites were located to the east of the airfield. Aerial photograph references.<1><2>

1996: SITE ASSESSMENT: The airfield has reverted to agricultural use with large open fields. The perimeter track and 2 runways remain at reduced width which clearly show the airfield in the landscape. Only 2 aircraft dispersals survive, at TL929 306. All the airfield buildings have been destroyed. Buildings are extant on 5 of the dispersed sites closest to the airfield and public highway, but in an unknown condition or use.

1996: THREATS: Poor maintenance leading to deterioration in building fabric.

1996: SITE MANAGEMENT: The condition, completeness and alteration of buildings on the dispersed sites is unknown and first needs to be determined. An RCHME Level 1 record should be carried out before development occurs.<3> An RFC First Class night landing ground of 78 acres, operational from 1916 to 1919. The site was swallowed up by the construction of RAF Wormingford, a USAF air base, in 1942.<4> The site is once again back in agricultural use and part of the WWI field boundaries can still be traced, although partly crossed by the remains of the WWII runway and perimeter track. It is unlikely that anything more of the WWI period of use remains.<5>

MARCH 2006: Originally the site of a World War One landing ground for the Royal Flying Corps, Wormingford was reconstructed during 1943 as an American fighter and fighter/bomber base. It was equipped with three runways, perimeter track, 50 loop dispersals and bomb stores. Two T2 hangars were built on opposite sides of the airfield. The main technical site lay along the eastern perimeter. In the fields to the east of the airfield were dispersed sites with over 300 huts and domestic facilities. From November 1943, the base was manned by 362nd Fighter Group with P-47Ds, followed by the 55th Fighter Group equipped with P-38 Lightnings. In mid-1944, these were becoming outdated and were replaced by P-51Ds. The station’s final operation was on 21 April 1945. After the War, the airfield was used by RAF Training and Technical Training Commands until January 1947. It was eventually sold off for agricultural use in the 1960’s.

Visited in March 2006, the site is now used, with runways very much reduced in width, by a glider club. Virtually all of the airfield buildings have been destroyed. Just three of the bomb store huts of TL 924 314 remain. Photos were taken of these. The hard standing for one of the T2 hangars at TL 919 311 still remains as does a ramp in the same area. See SMR 16669 – SMR 16681 (MCC4984 - MCC4996) Dispersed Sites.<10>

Extensive field boundaries were mapped as part of the NMP update 2010. All of these boundaries were marked on the 1st edition OS mapping and were truncated by the construction of the airfield.<11-14> Field boundaries are also visible on Google Earth aerial photography for 2005.<15>

See also <16>.

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> AP: RAF. 1950. 58-542-PII-5204.
  • <2> AP: RAF. 1963. SLB-RAF-2326-0306.
  • <3> DESC TEXT: Doyle, Paul A. 1997. Fields of the First. pp.77-79.
  • <4> DESC TEXT: Pratt, Nigel. 2001. WWI airfield management recommendations and archaeological potential.
  • <5> Map: Air Ministry. 1945. Wormingford Record Site Plan. May 1945.
  • <6> DESC TEXT: Thorpe, Simon. 1996. Military Airfields in Essex during WWII.
  • <7> DESC TEXT: Bowyer, Michael J. 1979. Action Stations: Military Airfields of East Anglia Vol.1. p.221.
  • <8> AP: unknown. 1944. US-7PH-GP-LOC186-5045.
  • <9> AP: Essex County Council. 1990. 30-4703, 30-4704, 30-4705.
  • <10> Photograph: Nash, Fred. 2006. Wormingford Airfield. 5 frames, Mar 2006.
  • <11> Map: Ingle, CJ, Strachan, D, Tyler, S and Saunders, H. 1993-2012. NMP Cropmark Plot - 1:10,000.
  • <12> AP: Ordnance Survey. 1974. OS/74/091/122.
  • <13> AP: Ordnance Survey. 1996. OS/96/106/45.
  • <14> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1872-1890. 1st Edition OS 6 inch map.
  • <15> AP (Digital): Google Earth. 2005. Aerial photograph of cropmarks at Wormingford Airfield, Wormingford.
  • <16> Photograph: Colchester Historic Buildings Forum. 2011. Digital photograph of 10-14 Vineyard Street, Colchester. Digital. Volume 1.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (14)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Jun 15 2020 12:32PM

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