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RAF Leiston

Yet another of the numerous 8th Air Force fields scattered around East Anglia, RAF Leiston has the advantage - or disadvantage - of being barely inland from the North Sea and thus the first place that many damaged aircraft saw as being a refuge.

It is perhaps for this reason that it has so many dispersal areas. Where most stations had around forty, Leiston has, including steel mat stands, over 100 around its perimeter. It didn't start with that many, although provision was made at the time of construction for a "lodger" RAF unit to be based there in addition to the resident USAAF contingent. The RAF never visited, but nonetheless, the steel mats were placed and Leiston ended up with 12 double fighter pens, 38 panhandle dispersals, 12 Blister hangars, 2 T2 hangars and no less than 29 additional steel mat pads. No-one could ever have mistaken Leiston for anywhere else - there's virtually no peri track space left where they could have put any more parking.

Initially home to the P-47s of the 358th Fighter Group, Leiston was part of a "swap" between 8th and 9th Air Forces, with the P-47s moving to a 9th AF field and being replaced by the 357th FG, who moved their Mustangs from Raydon to Leiston in January 1944.

With the departure of the Fighter Group to occupation duties in Germany following the end of the war, Leiston stood empty until sold off in the 1950s and there is now little remaining of this once hectic airfield. A simple stone monument on the edge of a caravan park marks the men and machines of the 357th.


Version History
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v1.0 Initial release

Known Issues

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