Station 115 Shipdham

The Story of a USAAF Airfield

Peter Bodle FRAeS

The birth, growth and evolution of a World-War II USAAF airfield seen through the eyes of the people who were there.
Date Published :
February 2016
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
black and white photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781781554951
Pages : 176
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Station 115-Shipdham is the unique story of 600 acres of Norfolk countryside in the center of the agricultural heartland of East Anglia. It was turned into a major Second World War airfield in ultra-quick order shortly after the start of hostilities in the early 1940s. Built on prime arable and dairy farmland, it is a mere 10 minutes flying time from the city of Norwich, between the Mid-Norfolk Market towns of Dereham and Watton.

Station 115-Shipdham covers the gestation of the airfield from open arable farmland through the construction phase to its commissioning as a USAAF Heavy Bomber base in the front line of the greatest conflict that the world has ever seen. It then tracks the activities of the 44th Bomb Group (The Flying Eightballs) at the airfield during the latter stages of the War in some detail. It covers this period of the involvement of the USAAF 8the Air Force from a more personal and human view than many of the excellent books written on the more technical aspect of the war. It then moves on to describe the airfield’s reversion to farmland in the 50s, 60’s and 70. Following this quieter period of its life it then traces the re-emergence of the airfield into an operating base for an air-taxi service and then to its activation as a crop spraying operation for the local intensive cereal growing industry.

In the mid nineteen-eighties it became home to Arrow Air Centre, a very successful flight training school and a busy light aircraft maintenance base. Finally it evolved into a modern day General Aviation airfield providing a home for light aircraft used for recreation by keen amateur from the Norfolk area. It also became the center of attention for the visits from the Veterans of the 44th Bomb Group Veterans Association. It houses a sizable three room museum, memorial garden and engraved granite memorial that honors the men who served at the station during the war. Several chapters of the book contain the personal reminiscences of the people involved with the airfield during its various stages of evolution.

About The Author

Peter Bodle started out in life as an engineer, became a designer, and then an inventor by inventing the Passive Floor Path Marking System for passenger carrying aircraft. The company he started then, is now the world’s leader in this technology. Its success has allowed Peter the time to pursue his writing interests and thus far he has published over twenty-five titles, mainly biographies and aviation history. He was a light aircraft pilot for almost 25 years and is married with four children and a growing number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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