Record Details

NHER Number:8908
Type of record:Monument
Name:Watton Airfield


This World War Two military airfield was used both by the United States Army Air Force and the RAF. Rumours suggest that Allied spies were flown from here before being dropped by parachute into Germany. After World War Two the station was used as a Radio Warfare Establishment and since 1965 air traffic management has operated from part of the site. During the Cold War surface to air missiles were based here. The airfield closed in 1989.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 941 996
Map Sheet:TL99NW

Full description

Disused. Housing being built over southern area at Griston; to west of this, Wayland Prison being constructed. Some runways survive, land between being cultivated. Postmaster at Griston says all wartime buildings except bomb dumps removed some years ago. Occasional brick sheds in surrounding countryside. Post war housing etc. remains on north side.
E. Rose (NAU) 21 July 1982.

The housing, now being sold off for private use, has air raid shelters set in front of each block of houses.

Built as grass field February 1939 with 'C' type hangars. 1943 rebuilt with concrete runways as United States Army Air Force base (occasionally known as Neaton). 1945 returned to RAF. 1969 squadrons removed to become administrative satellite for Honington except for special exercises.
Information from (S1).
E. Rose (NAU) 3 August 1983.

Press cuttings (S2-S4) in file.

World War Two anti aircraft artillery. See file.
D. Gurney (NLA) 28 January 1997.

Monument Types

  • AIRCRAFT HANGAR (TYPE C) (Modern to Cold War - 1937 AD? to 1967 AD)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (Modern to World War Two - 1937 AD to 1945 AD)
  • WATCH OFFICE (207/36) (Modern to World War Two - 1937 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • CONTROL TOWER (World War Two to Cold War - 1939 AD to 1967 AD)
  • MILITARY BUILDING (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ROBIN AIRCRAFT HANGAR (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • COUNTERMEASURES STATION (World War Two to Cold War - 1944 AD to 1967 AD)
  • RADAR STATION (World War Two to Cold War - 1945 AD to 1969 AD)
  • MILITARY TRAINING SITE (Cold War - 1951 AD to 1957 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF9400 A-E.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1992. Base used for spy missions. 21 September.
---Monograph: McKenzie, R.. 2004. Ghost Fields of Norfolk. pp 108-114.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Needed no more: old haunt of the Forgotten Bomber…. 4 January.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1990. New memorial to war dead. 11 December.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. Buyer of old RAF station stays secret. 17 August.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. A proud history of sacrifice and top-secret endeavour. 1 December.
<S1>Article in serial: Airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk.. Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum. Vol IV.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989. Camp's wartime past to go on show. 28 March.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1985. 20 years of air safety. 6 July.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989. A golden milestone for RAF. 2 January.
<S5>Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England.. Vol I.4, p 573.

Related records - none

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