Record Details

NHER Number:10466
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two airfield at Seething

Summary

A World War Two airfield occupied this site, some elements of which still survive today. The World War Two site is visible as earthworks, structures and buildings on aerial photographs taken from 1944 onwards. It was used by the USAAF 448th Bomb Group, flying B24 Liberators, from 1943 to 1945. It had a classic ‘A’-shaped layout of three interconnected runways, surrounded and linked by a perimeter track, along which numerous dispersal bays were sited. Hangars and a control tower, as well as numerous smaller buildings, huts and shelters, are evident within the airfield itself, while more dispersed clusters of huts and other buildings would have served as domestic and technical buildings; they include a bomb store to the west and clusters of accommodation huts and an associated sewage works to the southeast. The site is still in use as an airfield today, although of the original runways and perimeter track only a small section remains. The World War Two control tower also survives and is used as a museum.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TM 3144 9511
Map Sheet:TM39NW
Parish:DITCHINGHAM, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
HEDENHAM, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
KIRSTEAD, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
MUNDHAM, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
SEETHING, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
THWAITE, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
WOODTON, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Used by the USAAF 448th Bomb Group, flying B24 Liberators, 1943-45, and by the RAF 1945-56.
Now a private airfield, but reduced in size; part bulldozed 1982 (northwest corner). Control tower remains.
E. Rose (NAU) 29 July 1983.

Control tower restored 1984-87. Now a memorial museum.
See press cuttings (S1) to (S6) in file.

February 2005.
Roger Thomas (English Heritage) reports that there are a number of huts which form part of the World War Two airfield complex hidden in nearby woodland.
S. Tremlett (NLA) 9 February 2005.

These would include what appears to be a headquarters complex at TM 3231 9489.
E. Rose (NLA).

July 2007. Norfolk NMP.
The World War Two airfield described above is visible as earthworks, structures and buildings on aerial photographs (S7)-(S10), with the runways centred at TM 3135 9565. The outline of the runways, perimeter track and dispersal bays has been mapped by the NMP, together with significant structures such as hangars and the control tower (located at TM 3180 9543). Clusters of huts and other structures have been mapped by extent; amongst them several emergency water tanks are visible, together with numerous sunken concrete structures which may have been air raid shelters. Traces of probable barbed wire or fencing are also visible, particularly on the aerial photographs from 1944 (S7), but there is little evidence of any defences, which had perhaps been removed by this date. Some of the buildings, huts and structures would have had a technical or operational function, while others would have provided domestic accommodation. The technical site was located on the southern edge of the flying field (NMR TM 39 NW 28; at TM 319 953?). To the west of the runways, around TM 3019 9570, a notably dispersed group of huts and embanked pens, obscured by camouflage netting or similar, was a bomb store. Dispersed clusters of huts to the southeast of the runways, around TM 3227 9452, provided domestic accommodation. A sewage works, which almost certainly serviced this accommodation, forms a detached portion of the site, at TM 3307 9390.

A copy of a newspaper article (S11) in the Secondary File for this site refers to a Prisoner of War cell at ‘Seething RAF camp’, which was in use in 1941; whether this was co-located with the USAAF airfield is not clear. It seems unlikely that PoWs would be accommodated within such an important military installation, although it is possible that any PoW camp had been removed by the time the airfield was established. The site is not listed in a gazetteer of PoW camps compiled by English Heritage (S12), and no evidence of it was identified on the aerial photographs.
S. Tremlett (NMP) 19 July 2007.

Press cutting (S13) in file.
P. Aldridge (NLA), 12 November 2007.

For further information on the operational history of the airfield and photographs of remaining buildings, see (14).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 13 January 2010.

Monument Types

  • AIRFIELD (Modern - 1901 AD to 2050 AD)
  • ACCOMMODATION HUT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • AIR RAID SHELTER? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • AIRCRAFT HANGAR (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BARBED WIRE OBSTRUCTION (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BOMB STORE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • CONTROL TOWER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • DISPERSAL (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • HUT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • NISSEN HUT? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PRISONER OF WAR CAMP? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SEWAGE WORKS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • WATER TANK (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (World War Two - 1942 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2003. As war raged, they made mischief. 21 October.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1998. Towering achievement. 4 May.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. Air shuttle to the stars has last laugh. 25 June.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2007. Patricia's enduring mission. 10 November.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. US flyer returns to wartime haunts for fourth time. 24 September.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. Veterans clear to …. 6 June. 2.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1986. Seething on target again. 31 January.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. Tower of memories. 2 March.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. Lost aircrew not forgotten. 30 March.
<S6>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. Tower display of group's treasures. 16 October.
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7PH/GP/LOC189 5002-3 02-MAR-1944 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/930 3079-83 16-OCT-1945 (NMR).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/930 3095 16-OCT-1945 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1636 3100-2 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S11>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1991. Captive picture of landscape. 17 June.
<S12>Publication: Thomas, R. (EH). 2003. Prisoner of War Camps (1939-1948).
<S13>Unpublished document: Seething Tower Control Association. n.d.. Station 146 Seething Tower..
<S14>Monograph: McKenzie, R.. 2004. Ghost Fields of Norfolk. pp 91-93.

Related records - none

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