Hardwick, the RAF and the USAAF
RAF Hardwick is a former World War
II airfield in England. The field is located near the village
of Topcroft ,
5 miles (8 km) west of Bungay in Norfolk and
a similar distance from the A140 main road from Norwich to Ipswich.
(See MAPS page).
Hardwick Airfield was one of the
early USAAF heavy bomber airfields constructed for the RAF
during 1941-42 in the East
Anglian area. It was built by John
Laing & Son Ltd., and required 4 miles (6 km) of surface
drains (French drains), 13 miles (19 km) of drains, 13 miles
(19 km) of roads, 5 miles (8 km) of sewers and 7 (11 km) of
water mains. A total of 4,750,000 bricks were used in
the construction of the camp.
as a spacer
Three main runways were laid in
concrete, each 50 yards (46m) wide, and 1,975 yards (1808m),
1,400 yards (1280m), and 1,400 yards (1280m) long. Total
area of concrete* in runways,
perimeter track and aircraft dispersal points was 550,000 square
yards (113 acres, 459870m2, 46 hectares). Cost: $4,400,000
in 1942. Like other heavy bomber fields originally planned
for RAF needs and begun at the same time, this airfield had
hangars grouped together on the administrative and technical
site, in this case on the eastern side of the airfield. The
technical site was adjacent to the hangars and bordered the
country road running from Hempnall to Alburgh.
On the eastern side of this road
lay the major part of the camp with domestic sites hidden amongst
woodland. One site was located at Topcroft Street.
All accommodation was of the temporary type, mostly Nissen/Quonset huts
. The bomb dump was situated off the north-west corner
of the airfield in and adjacent to Spring Wood.
roughly 63 football/soccer
pitches' worth of concrete surface - WebMaster.)
the above is an extract from Wikipedia, see the
full article and
more about the RAF and USAAF at Hardwick.)
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1942 image from Wikipedia.
The photo opposite shows
the main runways at Hardwick Airfield but not the accommodation
area where the 93rd Bomb Group
Museum is sited. The accommodation area is
to the east/right of the map along the road marked 'to Topcroft
Street'. See also the MAPS page.
aerial photo opposite overlaid
on a 2011 map. (Permisson of Nick Stone,
see his Geomapping pages).