RAF Wendling is a former
World War II airfield in England.
is located SE of East
Dereham and north of the A47 trunk road in Norfolk.
Wendling airfield was originally planned for RAF Bomber Command
use, however in 1942 was assigned as a United States Army Air Force
heavy bomber installation. It was the most northerly placed of
Eighth Air Force
fields. Planned originally for RAF bomber use, and built by
Taylor-Woodrow Ltd., in 1942, the airfield featured a long main
runway angled on a NE-SW as and two intersecting long secondary
runways, all within a perimeter track and constructed in reinforced
Another twenty hardstands (loop type) were added to the thirty of
the frying-pan type when the airfield was re-scheduled as a
Eighth Air Force
station. Two T2-type hangars were provided plus the usual full
technical facilities, Mark II airfield lighting and dispersed
accommodation for some 2,900 persons. The domestic sites were in
the parish of Beeston to the west of the airfield and the bomb dump
and ammunition stores were in Honeypot Wood to the
Under USAAF control, Wendling was designated as Station 118.
392nd Bombardment Group (Heavy)
airfield was opened in 1943 and was used by the 392d
Bombardment Group (Heavy), arriving from Alamogordo AAF
Mexico on 18 July 1943.
The 453d was assigned to
the 14th Combat Bombardment Wing, and the group tail code was a
"Circle-D". Its operational squadrons were:
- 576th Bomb Squadron (CI)
- 577th Bomb Squadron (DC)
- 578th Bomb Squadron (EC)
- 579th Bomb Squadron (GC)
The group flew B-24 Liberators
part of the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing campaign.
The 392d BG entered combat on 9 September 1943 and engaged
primarily in bombardment of strategic objectives on the Continent
until April 1945. The group attacked such targets as an oil
refinery at Gelsenkirchen, a marshalling yard at Osnabruck, a railroad viaduct at Bielefeld, steel plants at Brunswick, a tank factory at Kassel, and gas
works at Berlin.
took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the
German aircraft industry during Big Week,
20-25 Feb 1944, being awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for
bombing an aircraft and component parts factory at Gotha on 24 February. The unit sometimes
supported ground forces or carried out interdictory operations
along with bombing airfields and V-weapon sites in France prior to the
Normandy invasion in June 1944 and struck
coastal defenses and choke points on D-Day.
hit enemy positions to assist ground forces at St Lo during the
breakthrough in July 1944.
Bombed railroads, bridges, and
highways to cut off German supply lines during the Battle of the Bulge
, Dec 1944-Jan 1945.
supplies to Allied troops during the air attack on Holland in September
1944 and during the airborne assault across the
Rhine in March 1945.
The 392d Bomb Group flew its last combat mission on 25 April 1945,
then carried food to the Dutch. The unit returned to Charleston AAF South Carolina on 25 June 1945 and was deactivated on 13 September
Consolidated B-24 Liberators of the
392d Bomb Group on a mission over enemy-occupied territory.
Consolidated B-24H-15-CF Liberator
Serial 41-29433 of the 526th Bomb Squadron on a mission over
This aircraft crash-landed 29 May 1944 at Sporle, near Little
RAF Maintenance Command use
When the Americans left, Wendling was transferred to RAF Maintenance Command
and was used
as a satellite airfield, later becoming an inactive station before
being finally closed on 22 November 1961. It was used between June
1960 and April 1964 by the United States Air Force
as a radio
facility before being finally closed and sold in 1964.
With the end of military control the airfield has become a turkey
farm, with large coops built along its runways. Most of the
buildings and hardstands have been torn down and the concrete
removed. Also much of the perimeter track has been reduced to a
single lane road.
obelisk monument to the men of the 392nd Bomb Group was dedicated
in September 1945, and stands well maintained and cared for in a
small plot just off the airfield on the road to Beeston.