Record Details

NHER Number:9522
Type of record:Monument
Name:Hethel World War Two Airfield

Summary

An airfield from World War Two used by the USAAF. Runways, hangars, air raid shelters and bunkers all remain on the site, as well as a Roman Catholic chapel, with original wall paintings by American airmen. The site is visible on aerial photgraphs taken during World War Two and in the post-war period.

Images

  • World War Two American forces mural of the Crucifixion in the chapel of Hethel Airfield, Bracon Ash and Ketteringham  © Eastern Daily Press
  • World War Two American forces mural of map of the world in the Sunday School of Hethel Airfield, Bracon Ash and Ketteringham  © Eastern Daily Press

Location

Grid Reference:TG 156 008
Map Sheet:TG10SE
Parish:BRACON ASH, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
KETTERINGHAM, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

World War Two airfield used by the USAAF.
Several overgrown runways remain; part of perimeter track used as road. Most hangars remain; those by Hethel Wood Farm at 1570 0080 used as Lotus car factory, but one still in original condition at Aves Corner, 1578 0169.
Visited E. Rose (NAU) 8 November 1978.

Roman Catholic chapel, now used as a museum, contains murals by aircraftmen see (S1) and (S2) in file.
E. Rose (NLA) 10 July 1984.

At TG 160 003, to southeast of Little Potash, is a dispersal area containing two semi-underground structures formed of arched concrete cast in sections with ribs in between. The entrance is in a brick wall at one of the short end; the opposite end in each case has a base for a stove or similar object; with hole in the vault above. Trees now grow over the top. Excellent preservation. The eastern of the two is situated beside a concrete area with a large rectangular block in the centre.
Exact location on plan in file.
Owned by [1].
E. Rose (NLA) 3 November 1997.

A noticeboard on Church Farm, Hethel, says there are 'six aid raid shelters' from the airfield on the land. This may include some of those mentioned at Little Potash.
E. Rose (NLA) 5 October 1998.

1999.
Source [2], owner of the northern part of the airfield, states the hangar at Aves Corner was moved there from the eastern side of the airfield around 1960. It is on an original dispersal area. There are no air raid shelters, pillboxes etc. in this sector. To the north of the above noted remains at Little Potash, east of the wood are buildings used by the USAAF Women's section.
E. Rose (NLA) 18 August 1999.

For further information on the operational history of the airfield and photographs of remaining buildings, see (S3).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 13 January 2010.

January 2010. Norfolk NMP.
Hethel Airfield, and its associated structures, are visible on aerial photographs from 1942 (S4)-(S13).
The airfield was constructed in 1941-2 (S3) for American use and was assigned USAAF designation Station 114. Camouflaged roofs of the three main type T2 aircraft hangers, centred on TG 1562 0055, are visible under construction in 1942 (S1), and the main control tower is visible at TG 1546 0071.
From 14 September 1943 though to 12 June 1945, Hethel served as headquarters for the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing of the 2nd Bomb Division.
North of the three main aircraft hangars, was the technical operations site, centred at TG 1570 0084. The administration site was situated to the south east of the hangars, at TG 1591 0037.
Two fuelling points were visible to the north and south of the main runways, at TG 1548 0155 and TG 1549 0000. A large semi-circular bank (approximately 63m x 17m), which made up the back of a rifle range, is visible to the north of the runways, at TG 1560 0173. To the northwest of the main runways, a series of structures are visible, which have been described [3] as an ammunition dump (centred on TG 1480 0118) and a Bomb dump (centred on TG 1465 0151).
There are at least ten further concentrations of nissen huts to the east of the runway, most of which appear to be accommodation areas, and amongst these huts are many concrete structures which may represent air raid shelters or weapons pits.
The sewage works for the site are also visible to the south east, centred on TG 1635 0007.
The airfield is visible still in use in 1972 (S12), but in more recent years has become the headquarters for Lotus cars (S13).
E. Bales (NMP), January 2010.

March 2011. Norfolk NMP.
Airfield structures also visible on (S14) and dispersed accommodation site visible to the north and recorded under NHER 54604.
E. Bales (NMP), March 2011.

Monument Types

  • AIR RAID SHELTER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • AIRCRAFT HANGAR (TYPE T2) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • AMMUNITION DUMP (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • FUEL TANK (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)
  • RIFLE BUTTS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SEWAGE WORKS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • UNDERGROUND MILITARY HEADQUARTERS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. Wartime mural still there. 9 July.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. Still anon.. 15 October.
---Graphic Material: Various. Various. Architectural plans..
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. Villagers protest at free-range chicken scheme. 4 June.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. A passion to unearth flying history. 9 January.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. [untitled]. 13 August.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2000. Museum is planned for wartime air base. 25 September.
<S3>Monograph: McKenzie, R.. 2004. Ghost Fields of Norfolk. pp 52-53.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF/HLA/470 8467 FS 11-APR-1942 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7PH/GP/LOC264 5048 31-MAR-1944 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1429 3114-5 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1429 3169-70 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 58/1896 (F21) 0087 10-OCT-1955 (NMR).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1962. RAF 543/1883 (F22) 0163-5 27-SEPT-1962 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1964. RAF 58/6209 (F22) 0008-10 11-MAR-1964 (NMR).
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1968. OS/68146 074-5 01-JUN-1968 (NMR).
<S12>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1972. OS/72034 042-3 22-MAR-1972 (NMR).
<S13>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Google Earth. 2009. Infoterra and Bluesky Ltd 02-JUL-2009 (Google Earth TG1531 0083).
<S14>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF HLA/470 61-4 11-APR-1942 (NMR).

Related records

54604Parent of: World war Two accommodation site probably related to Hethel airfield NHER 9522 (Monument)

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