Framlingham - East Suffolk - England - Station 153 (Part 2)

T/Sgt. Charles Webster was a engineer/top turret gunner on the B-17, " Sure Thing ". Charles completed 26 missions and was a part of the 390th BG, 568Th BS. Charles and his crew flew one mission in the "Anoxia Queen" to Brunswick, Germany on January 30, 1944. He had this to say about Framlingham. "The base was spread out and by the time we walked to the mess hall and back three times a day we had taken quite a few steps. The rest of the day some like to read, some just like to walk around the base. Some of us played poker and some played other card games. There was a pub just off the base where we spent a lot of time. We spent a lot of time at the NCO club. We would get a week end off I think about every three or four weeks. A group from Framlingham would take us on tour of some of their towns, castles and churches. It was very interesting."   
- Charles Webster
The Air Ministry surveyed the land between Parham and Great Glenham in January of 1942. Requisition papers were served to the landowners in February of 1942. Construction began in May of 1942 with the first load of concrete being laid in June. Before construction could begin, the area had to be cleared of nearly eight miles of hedgerows and 1500 trees. The trees had to be cut down and the stumps blown up. The river Ore supplied a large reservoir that was dug to hold water needed to mix the large amount of concrete needed for the project. The hardcore base was obtained from any source, bricks and rubble from bombed buildings in London , Birmingham and other towns provided a large amount together.  Tons of small pebbles or coarse gravel were bought in from nearby beaches. Trains and lorries ran day and night carrying these elements to the local station, and along what used to be quiet country roads. Once on the base, horse and cart were the major form of transportation.

The airfield was built to a "A" class specification standard operational airfield. This included 3 intersecting runways 60 degrees to each other, all 150 feet wide. 2 of these runways were 4400 feet long with the main runway being 6400 feet long. The perimeter track was 50 feet wide and would circumscribe the entire flying area, being 3.25 miles in length.

The airfield was designed to accommodate 1500 personnel, but eventually held over 3000. The design of buildings such as living quarters, communal sites, recreational, training, storage facilities, as well as basic utilities such as water, sewage, electricity and telephone which became a necessity.

Most of the flying area was completed by November 1942. It was allocated to the US Army Air force and was transferred to the 8th AAF on August 15th 1943. This became the home for the "Anoxia Queen" A/c 42-39819 for all of her 35 missions.

Material Used and Utilities laid
500,000 square yards of concrete, 4,500,000 bricks, 32,0000 square yards of tarmac, 20 miles of drains, 6 miles of water mains, 4 miles of sewer, 10 miles of roads, which were 20 feet wide. Paths and runways totalled in excess of 35 miles, and 10 miles of electrical conduit at a cost of $4,000,000  at the 1943 US rate.


* Click on the "Home" button at the bottom center of the post to go to the home page.