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RAF Ibsley

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RAF Ibsley

RAF Ibsley
USAAF Station AAF-347

Aerial Photo of Ibsley Airfield, January 1944. Note the runway extension to the 01 runway at the south side of the airfield, with the perimeter track extension.
ICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
Location Ibsley, Hampshire
Built 1940 (1940)
In use 1940-1947 (1947)
Elevation AMSL 164 ft / 50 m
Coordinates
Map
RAF Ibsley is located in Hampshire
RAF Ibsley
RAF Ibsley
Location in Hampshire
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
02/20 3,283 1,000 Grass
02/20 3,283 1,000 Grass
02/20 3,283 1,000 Grass

Royal Air Force Station Ibsley or more simply RAF Ibsley is a former Royal Air Force station in Hampshire, England. The airfield is located near the village of Ibsley, approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Ringwood; about 85 miles (137 km) southwest of London

Opened in 1941, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as a fighter airfield. After the war it was closed in 1947.

Today the remains of the airfield are mostly quarry lakes, with an abandoned control tower overlooking the water.

History

USAAF use

Ibsley was known as USAAF Station AAF-347 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. It's USAAF Station Code was "IB".

1st Fighter Group

The first USAAF unit to use Ibsley was the Eighth Air Force 1st Fighter Group, equipped with Lockheed P-38 Lightnings. The 1st FG arrived from RAF Goxhill on 24 August 1942. Tactical squadrons of the group and squadron fuselage codes were:

The stay of the 1st FG was short, being assigned to Twelfth Air Force for duty in the Mediterranean theater in support of the Operation Torch North African landings.

On 16 October 1943 RAF Ibsley was allocated to the Ninth Air Force.

48th Fighter Group

Republic P-47D-30-RA Thunderbolt Serial 44-33204 of the 493d Fighter Squadron.
P-47Ds of the 48th Fighter Group at an advanced landing ground.

With construction completed, on 29 March 1944 the Ninth Air Force 48th Fighter Group arrived at Ibsley from Waterboro AAF, South Carolina (). The 48th flew the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and had the following fighter squadrons and fuselage codes:

The 48th was a group of Ninth Air Force's 70th Fighter Wing, IX Tactical Air Command. Ibsley continued to be used by the 48th FG until 4 July when the last personnel departed.

367th Fighter Group

Lockheed P-38 Lightning of the 394th Fighter Squadron wearing D-Day invasion markings, June 1944.

Arriving on the heels of the departing 48th FG, the 367th Fighter Group arrived at Ibsley on 6 July 1944 from RAF Stoney Cross. The 367th flew Lockheed P-38 Lightnings. Tactical squadrons of the group and squadron fuselage codes were:

The 367th was a group of Ninth Air Force's 70th Fighter Wing, IX Tactical Air Command. The 392d and 393d and 394th Fighter Squadrons went to Carentan (ALG A-10), Cretteville (ALG A-14) and Reuxeville (ALG A-6) respectively.

Current use

Today, the former RAF Ibsley is unrecognizable. The airfield consists mostly of a series of gravel pits and large landscaped lakes. One lake being overlooked by the derelict, windowless control tower. A very small section of the end of runway 01 still exists south of Ellingham Drive at the southern part of the airfield.

A small memorial is located near the control tower .

See also

References

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

Citations

Bibliography

  • Freeman, Roger A. (1994) UK Airfields of the Ninth: Then and Now 1994. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-80-0
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1996) The Ninth Air Force in Colour: UK and the Continent-World War Two. After the Battle ISBN 1-85409-272-3
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • www.controltowers.co.uk RAF Ibsley
  • British Automobile Association (AA), (1978), Complete Atlas of Britain, ISBN 0-86145-005-1

External links

  • Full listing of units (RAF/USAAF) at RAF Ibsley
  • Ibsley Airfield photo album
  • Lakenheath Airmen attend WWII ceremony 3/1/2006
  • RAF Ibsley Historical Group
  • RAF Ibsley Airfield Heritage Trust
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