Record Details

NHER Number:2697
Type of record:Monument
Name:North Pickenham airfield


The airfield opened in May 1944, and the USAAF were stationed here throughout the last years of the war. The last group of B-24 Liberators to serve in Norfolk were stationed here. The airfield was converted to a storage airfield in 1945 and there is now a small commemorative stone on the airfield to the memory of those who served here during World War Two. Converted to a Thor missile site 1958 - 1963. Closed in 1965.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 848 066
Map Sheet:TF80NW

Full description

North Pickenham airfield, ex USAAF. Thor missile pads between runways.
Many relics kept at the Blue Lion Inn in North Pickenham (1994).
NAU air photography shows a large circular feature at TF 842 066 infilled bomb crater? However, circular feature at TF 842 069 on NAU air photographs is clearly some sort of defensive structure, possibly connected with post-war missile use.
E. Rose (NLA) 5 September 1995.

Opened May 1944 for 492 bomb group. Later replaced by 491st. Last Liberator base in Norfolk. Airfield closed 1945. See (S1) in file.

For further information on the operational history of the airfield and photographs, see (S2).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 13 January 2010.

Thor missiles installed in 1959 as E flight of 77 (Strategic missile) Squadron, based at RAF Feltwell. Closed in October 1963. The airfield was used briefly to test experimental aircraft 1964 - 1964. (S3)
K. Hamilton (HES) 9 November 2012

In December 1958, the first major action involving civil disobedience organised by the National Council for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Tests' Emergency Committee for Direct Action against Nuclear War took place here in response to the deployment of Thor missiles. Forty-five demonstrators were arrested for blocking the entrance to the site and thirty of them spent Christmas in jail (S4).
D. Gurney (HES), 21 February 2013.

Monument Types

  • BOMB CRATER? (World War Two - 1944 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (World War Two - 1944 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY BUILDING (World War Two - 1944 AD to 1945 AD)
  • THOR MISSILE SITE (Cold War - 1958 AD to 1963 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF8406 A,B,C-F; TF8506 A-J; TF8507 A-E; TF 8406 G-H.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1998. TF8407/F,G.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF 8506K - P.
---Publication: Bowyer, M.J.F.. 1979. Action Stations 1: Wartime Military Airfields of East Anglia 1935-1945.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1998. Bombers remembered for their bravery. 13 October.
<S2>Monograph: McKenzie, R.. 2004. Ghost Fields of Norfolk. pp 74-77.
<S4>Publication: Rigby, A.. 1988. A Life in Peace: A Biography of Wilfred Wellock.

Related records - none

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