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About Hardwick, the RAF and the USAAF

RAF Ensign

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).

USAAF 'Hap' Patch

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.

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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 three T-2 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.

(*That's roughly 63 football/soccer  
pitches' worth of concrete surface - WebMaster.

(Much of the above is an extract from Wikipedia, see the
full article and more about the RAF and USAAF at Hardwick.)

(Conversion by Convert-Me.com

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Hardwick Airfield

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.


 

Old map - new map - overlay

The 1942 aerial photo opposite overlaid
on a 2011 map. (Permisson of Nick Stone,
see his Geomapping pages).

 


Hardwick airfield in 2012

In 2017 Hardwick airfield is still in use: runway 13-31 and an adjacent grass strip 17-35.   There is a further grass airstrip at Airfield Farm, slightly to the east.

SpacerHardwick Nov 2012, GPS Hardwick, GPS in a Vans RV9
(photo: Nov 2011)

 

SpacerHardwick Nov 2012, from the north Hardwick from the north
(photo: Nov 2011)

 

SpacerHardwick Nov 2012, from south-west Hardwick from the south-east
(photo: Nov 2011)

 

Hardwick Nov 2012, plan of runways Hardwick runway plan
(photo: Nov 2011)

 

 

 

 

See the GALLERY - AIRFIELD page for videos of take-off and landing on 13-31.

If you found us by mistake please stay and enjoy, then bookmark our url.

93rd Bombardment Group Museum, Station 104, Hardwick, Norfolk, UK.
www.93rd-bg-museum.org


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