The History of an Essex Airfield
- Bruce Stait
15th October 2011
The wartime airfi eld at Rivenhall is typical of the many airbases that were hastily built in Britain following the entry of the US into the Second World War. It was first used by a long-range Mustang fighter group whose task it was to escort the bombers of the US Eighth Air Force on daylight raids deep into Germany, and this was followed by four squadrons of Marauder bombers that stayed at Rivenhall for a total of 111 days. They were used against targets on the Continent in support of the Allied Forces prior to and following the Normandy invasion in June 1944. The last aircraft to use the airfield were the Stirling tugs and Horsa gliders of No. 38 Group of the Royal Air Force. These squadrons performed a variety of duties and eventually took part in the final airborne operation of the war, the Rhine Crossing. Luckily many of the wartime features of Rivenhall still exist. In addition to the operational history, this book contains a total of seventy photographs as well as a number of maps and appendices.