History of RAF Foulsham



History of RAF Foulsham
Foulsham, Norfolk


History of RAF Foulsham which opened in May 1942 and received 98 and 180 Squadrons in October 1942 with B-25 aircraft. Describes problems getting B-25 operational and early operations as well as an early low level operation on Ghent/Terncuzen where three of 12 aircraft were shot down.

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[inserted] Annex ‘A’ to MDB 25 1X [/inserted]


House, Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen, on March 21 1945.

After the war squadrons of 2 Group began arriving for armament training, No 180 in June 1945 and Nos 605, 140 and 613 in July. Then, on August 1 1945, No 2 Group Disbandment Centre formed from the GSU and through the unit squadrons of 2 Group passed to wind down. No 2 Group Training Flight was also in residence at this time and when it closed in December 1945 Fersfield ended its active days.

Flixton, Suffolk
[italics] See Bungay [/italics]

Foulsham, Norfolk
[italics] TG029265. E of Foulsham village, off A1067 [/italics]

This was an unconventional operation. Whatever else, the Mitchell was not a low-level strike aircraft, it was too slow and clumsy. Yet when 98 and 180 Squadrons entered battle on January 11 1943, they did so with a roof height attack on Ghent/Terneuzen, from Foulsham. Flak was heavy and, as the bombers and their unusual escort of Mustangs, best at low level, retired, FW 190s raced in. Three Mitchells out of 12 were shot down.

Foulsham opened in May 1942, joining 2 Group the following month. It was far from ready to receive its squadrons and not until October did 98 and 180 Squadrons bring their aircraft in from Massingham. Foulsham would always be remembered as the first Mitchell operational station, for here the squadrons worked up, plagued with gun and turret problems. Indeed, these were so bad that the squadrons had to be withdrawn from a share in the December Philips raid, although 180 Squadron managed ASR patrols on December 8, the first operational sorties by RAF Mitchells.

Turret and gun troubles retarded Mitchell operations until May. Training had been hindered, too, by the poor state of the muddy airfield where accommodation was primitive. This did not prevent Horsa gliders arriving for storage, where No 12 Glider MU was situated for a year.

By May 1943 both Mitchell squadrons were training to fly in box formations and on the 11th six crews of 180 Squadron set off for Boulogne, but were thwarted by bad weather. Next day 98 Squadron successfully raided the same target. On May 15 and 16 they bombed Caen airfield, 180 [inserted][symbol] over [/inserted]


“History of RAF Foulsham,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/9384.

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