Burtonwood Home Page

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(Follow these links to see pictures and learn some of the history about the sites at RAF Burtonwood)

Dispersed Sites Site 1 Site 2 Site 3
 Site 4   Site 5 Site 6 Site 7
Site 8 A Site E Site G Site
Mary Ann Site Technical Site  BRD Site 53rd Weather Reconnaissance
Flight Testing WW2 Aircraft Findings Aircraft Parts Bob Pugh 1965th AACS Sq

Notice At The Main Gate At Burtonwood Gate 12

Aldon Fergusons Facebook group, Aldon is the RAF Burtonwood
association, founder and honorary lifetime president.


Click on the interesting links given to us by Aldon.



Thanks to Gary Skentelbery for this photo &

article on the Warrington World Website

The Burtonwood GI Brides pictured
here inside the White Hart pub

A group of Warrington women, who became known as the Burtonwood GI Brides are pictured at the White Hart pub, prior to embarking on a new life across the Atlantic.

Now Aldon Ferguson, founder and UK President of the Burtonwood Association, is seeking help in identifying the women ahead of next year’s UK Reunion.

Aldon said: “The photograph shows a group of GI Brides who married GIs from Burtonwood but had to wait until after the war before they could travel across the Atlantic.

“It was taken in the White Hart Hotel in Warrington in late 1945. They travelled to the US in large groups, many on the Queen Elizabeth or Queen Mary, to New York where they were initially met by their husbands.

“The authorities then stopped that and told the husbands not to travel to New York to meet them. Instead they gave the brides, often with children, train tickets and sent them all over the US to their new homes. It must have been quite an ordeal as they had never left home before, never been to the US and many had never seen their husbands in civilian clothes as they were always in uniform.

“They had a new family to go to and could only communicate with home by letter. Most marriages survived and we still have many GI brides as members of the Burtonwood Association. They do however, tell stories of how hard it was at first although they were generally welcomed into the family. The only problem would be when the GI told them he lived in a huge ranch in Texas and they found him in a poor district in Chicago or similar!”

Aldon added: “Of course many , many marriages continued after the Americans came back to Burtonwood in 1948 and still continued right into the 1980’s to the US Army personnel there.

“We are having our next Reunion in Warrington in May 2020 with the slogan ‘2020 – Looking Forward’ and we will have several GI brides join us then.

“It would be wonderful if anyone can name any of the brides on this photo.

The photograph came from Edith Kratzer (front row, 4th from left) who married in 1951 but she entitled it ‘War Brides 1945’ so the date is questionable. She was nee Astle, married Mack Kratzer Jr (7540th Maintenance Group Depot, Feb 49 – Feb 52) at Warrington Registrar’s Office on 4 October 1951. Edith worked on the base as a telephone operator for four years 1948 – 1952. Mack died 3 Oct 1996. Edith was last known to be living at, Kokomo, IN.

Does anyone recognize
these Warrington ladies?

I believe that they worked in the office at RAF Burtonwood during the 1950s for the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron USAF.

Dave Eaton from Warrington replied saying that the girl with the name Marg at the bottom right of the photo is his sister.

Erin Buckley also replied saying:

"well, we are almost 100% sure that is my Auntie Margaret (Margaret Allcock nee Chapman).on the photo she is first, on the left front row, We weren’t aware she worked at RAF Burtonwood as we thought she worked at Rubery Owens so we are just trying to make the connection xxx"

Any help regarding the photo please email Me at:


William Richardson's Motor Pool Driving Permit in the 1950's

William Richardson's Letter of Promotion

Various Photos of the Goose Bus with William Richardson & Personel

Emergency Mirror

Mark Richardson at the Terminal

Non Commissioned Officers
Club Xmas Menu 1950's

Family Xmas Card 1956





Christmas party at Burtonwood in
1944 for the local children.
The man in the middle and the boy to the right met
in the Burtonwood heritage center 66 years later.


Louise Carey Rockey Graduation
at Scripps College June 1942

First Lieutenant Louise Carey Rockey Evans.
WAAC/WAC, Serial Number L903406, U.S.A.,
and England 1942- 1946

Louise Carey Rockey was born in Portland, Oregon, in November 1921. Her family had lived in Portland for three generations. Her maternal grandfather, Judge Charles H. Carey, was a noted lawyer, author, and historian; her paternal grandfather, Dr. Alpha Eugene Rockey, was an early Portland physician.

Carey wanted to join the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) but was unable to do so because she was not yet 21. After graduation from Scripps, to mark time until her November birthday, she attended the San Francisco School of Fine Arts. She signed up in San Francisco for the WAAC on 2 December 1942, receiving a call-up in January 1943

In England, Carey was assigned to Headquarters HQ 8th Air Force Bomber Command in Earls Colne, Essex (about 60 miles NE of London. The Command flew primarily Martin B-26 Marauders (medium bombers) and A-20 light bombers. She had very little seniority and was an administrative officer there.

Following D-Day, Carey was reassigned to the 8th Air Force at RAF Horsham St. Faith near Norwich on England’s east coast (about 120 miles northeast of London), the home of B-24 heavy bombers. There, she was attached to the 458th Combat Bombardment Group,   8th Air Force. As operations officers, Carey and three other WACs performed administrative work, such as keeping track of where the aircraft was.

Carey was on duty in the operations office on 18 August 1944 when a pilot named Charles S. “Sam” Evans miraculously landed his B-24 with a broken wing on an emergency runway at RAF Woodbridge about 40 miles south of Horsham (CPT Evans was returning from a bomb run over France), while she was still stationed at Horsham, Carey met up with Sam Evans and they began seeing each other. and were later to get married.

First Lieutenant Louise Carey Rockey, Mess
Officer at RAF Burtonwood England 1944

In the fall of 1944, flying was reduced enough that four WACs were not needed in the operations office. Carey was transferred in October to RAF Burtonwood in Warrington, halfway between Manchester and Liverpool on the west coast, and about 170 air miles northwest of Norwich.

At Burtonwood, she was promoted to First Lieutenant and appointed mess officer (one of her jobs was to censor all letters written by her staff). She overheard an enlisted serviceman remark to another, “Well, we got us a new mess officer and it’s a damn lady.” More than 3,500 meals were prepared and served every 24 hours

Upon Carey’s transfer to Burtonwood, they visited as often as they could. Carey would take the train to London where she would meet Sam, or from London on to Horsham (Norwich) where they would meet. She would do the reverse to return to Burtonwood (Warrington). Sam and a few of his crew members once tried to fly her from Horsham to Burtonwood in a B-24.

The weather was so bad over the Burtonwood airfield that after circling it for about 20 minutes, he flew back to Horsham, meaning that Carey had to take trains, via London, back to her base at Burtonwood.

Sam and Carey were married on 6 September 1946 in Portland. They moved to Richmond, California, to finish college. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts at the University of California at Berkeley; she earned a Master of Fine Arts, also at Berkeley. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, they lived on stipends of $125 per month each. In 1949 they settled, and have since resided, in Portland.

During his time in the USAAF, Sam Evans became the rank of Captain and carried out 30 combat Missions, and earned 2 Distinguished flying crosses.

Charles Sam Evans passed away on 31 December 2016
Louise Carey Rockey Evans passed away on 6 October 2019
They left 4 Children, 6 Grandchildren, and 1 Great-Granddaughter.

Pilot Charles Sam Evans 1st on the left-back
row in front of their Consolidated B-24 Liberator
at Horsham St Faith England May 1944.

Charles was Assigned to the 8th Air Force,
458th Bombardment Group Heavy,
of the 753rd Squadron

USAAF (RAF) Burtonwood (Cheshire/Lancashire)

Aerial Image of USAAF Burtonwood on
the 10th of August 1945 by 541 Squadron

Overlay of 1955 USAF Burtonwood Airfield
Plan On Top of 2015 Google Aerial View

Landing Charts

Landing Charts

The American flag is raised during WW2 for the transfer of the
Burtonwood Air Depot to the United States 8th Air
Forces Service Command 15th July 1942

Building number 8 on the left of the flag is the Burtonwood
repair Depot site Headquarters, during the late 1950s
this building become the United States Air Force
Dependents School having moved from site 1

World War 2 Photo Looking West

In the background the J type hangar on
technical site can clearly be seen

In the background to the right is the 3 earthed covered
hangars next to the high level water towerer on E site

In the foreground is the east perimeter track

All our photos that we took in the RAF Burtonwood Airfield .

For more information about RAF Burtonwood visit the RAF
Burtonwood Archive on the 'Airfield Findings' page.

Where is it?

RAF Burtonwood is just outside the town of Warrington.

What is it?

RAF Burtonwood was an expansion programme airfield. It was constructed as an aircraft storage and repair depot.

What were the main sites?

There were 5 main sites on the airfield :

A site with 2 K type hangers,

E site with 3 L type hangers,

G site with 3 L type hangers,

Tech site with 1 K type hanger and 1 J type,

and Mary Anne site with 3 C type hangars.

There was also a site off the airfield known as BRD site, it was constructed as a factory.

What about the Runways?

There was 3 runways at RAF Burtonwood :

04/22 was 4200 FT long,

09/27 was 5280 FT long,

and 15/33 that was 4248 FT long

What about the Sub sites?

There were also 7 sub sites for living accommodation.

Site 8 Header house was opened in 1954 as a warehouse.

What about the Control towers?

There were 3 control towers :

One was a fort type 207/36 and was made of concrete.

Another one was a watch office for all commands. Its reference number is : 12779/41, it had small windows to 15371/41

The last one was a post war USAF tower.

Can you give us some Brief History about RAF Burtonwood?

The airfield first opened on April 1940, with 37 maintenance unit moving in .

The USAAF moved in on the 15th July 1942 and was called Base Air Depot 1 for repair and modification of aircraft.

The airfield returned to RAF use on June 1946.

Controll was handed back to the USAF in September 1948.

In 1951 the USAF expanded the base with extensions of runway 09 / 27 to 9000 FT and 250 FT wide , a new controll tower was constructed in 1953 on Tech Site.

What is RAF Butonwood like now?

RAF Burtonwood is now completely demolished apart from taxi ways between E and A sites and the odd bit of fencing.

WWII USAAF BAD1 Burtonwood Trench Art From One of Our Members

Early this week we received an email from one of our members and he told us about an aluminium sign that he says was made from WWII aircraft alloy that he has in his possession.

So we asked him to send us a photo of the item and he has given us permission to publish it along with his message below.

"Hello Sir ,

I'm Nigel , and I've just spent a good while perousing your great website.

Very interesting .

I write Sir ,because I have a nice item from the old Burtonwood Airfield.

It's a Sign basically or the raised elements from said sign.

It's made from scrapped USAAF Aircraft Aluminium that much we know , it features a B-17 in semi profile the wings and star of the USAAF and banner logo with the legend "Base Air Depot No1" all as seperate parts and is roughly sand cast made locally on base the whole assembly is around 2-3 feet square .

I have the parts mounted on a piece of felt covered MDF just for display now, but would love to know if You might know where abouts on the airfield it was originally?

We've had it a long time.

And I'm keen to know a little more about it if possible .

I'd be glad to send photos if you'd be interested in seeing it .

Many thanks for Your Time Sir, and Very best regards Nigel."


This is a Souvenir Poster From One of the Many Open Days at the
Header House at Burtonwood During the US Army's Occupation

The administration
department at Burtonwood

The administration department at Burtonwood
carried out a huge undertaking during world war 2.

There was 18,500 US personnel on
base including many women.

In addition, Burtonwood controlled more than 20 other
bases spread across Britain so it had a combined
responsibility for well over 60,000 personnel. 

It operated 24 hours a day, seven days
a week with three eight-hour shifts. 

Boeing B17E - 41-9175 on the
16th of March 1943 with 'A'
site in the background.


P38 Lockheed Lightning
During Maintenance

P38 Lockheed Lightning During Maintenance

P-38 Lightning Maintenance Burtonwood England

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress undergoing
Maintenance at Burtonwood during world war II

P-51 Mustangs Lancashire
England 25th of February 1944

B17's on Dispersal

bell P-400-Airacobra at Burtonwood
on the 16th march 1943.

The aircraft appears to be
on Site 1 facing South.

Personnel of the Base Air Depot 1
outside Nissen huts at Warrington.

Handwritten caption on reverse: 'Left to right- Pop Raddle,
G Basson, Dick Kingston, W [illegible] "Me", Steve Paras.'

P47 Thunderbolt CV-S, serial number 42-22468 nicknamed
Geronimo of the 359th Fighter Group has crash-landed

Official caption on image

GAD-35-I-100][12-5-44[]222468- BURTONWOOD

Famous visitors to visit the base included: Comedian Bob Hope and Singers
Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, Vera Lyn & Joe Loss and also Major
Glen Miller the famous USAAF Band leader

Left To Right - Major Glenn Miller at one of his concerts with
Love Dust on the 27th of July 1944 at Burtonwood.

(Photo USAAF)

Left To Right - Joe Loss, Vera Lynn and Major Glen Miller outside Building
226 on Mary Ann Site during a concert visit on the 15th of August 1944.

Shortly after this photo was taken Glen Miller flew to Twinwood farm in
Bedfordshire and then onto Paris. However, his aircraft never arrived
at Paris (presumably) having crashed in the English Channel.

(Photo by Wally Baldwin)

Glen Miller Photos Credit Jerry Migoski

Glenn Miller is on the right and on the left
is Second Lieutenant Donald Haynes.

He was Miller's administration officer at
Burtonwood Air Depot on 15 August 1944.

Burtonwood - Bob Hope Show, 28 Aug 1943

(Photo From The American Air Museum in Britain -
Ray Zimmerman Collection via Aldon Ferguson)

Burtonwood - Bob Hope Show, 28 Aug 1943

(Photo From The American Air Museum in Britain -
Ray Zimmerman Collection via Aldon Ferguson)

Burtonwood - Bob Hope Show, 28 Aug 1943

(Photo From The American Air Museum in Britain -
Ray Zimmerman Collection via Aldon Ferguson)

Burtonwood - Basket Ball Team 14 Apl 1943

(Photo From The American Air Museum in Britain -
Ray Zimmerman Collection via Aldon Ferguson)

Burtonwood - names of Basket ball team (above)

(Photo From The American Air Museum in Britain -
Ray Zimmerman Collection via Aldon Ferguson)

The Dining Room of the USAAF 27th Air Transport
Group 8th Air Force Service Command.

The group served at Burtonwood from 1943 to May 1945
& carried cargo and passengers within Great Britain.

In February 1945 the group assumed additional missions of ferrying all types of
aircraft to and from Burtonwood for maintenance, repair and modification.

 The aircraft, once repaired etc where
then ferried back to the front line airfields.

27th Air Transport Group Units assigned to BAD 1.

302nd Transport Wing, 8th Air Force Service Command

310th, 311th, 312th Ferry Squadron's

320th, 321st Air Transport Squadrons

Colonel I W Ott (in the Centre of the photo) of Base Air Depot 1 (BAD1)
Commander From the 6th of March 1944 to the end of Hostilities.

Colonel I W Ott Was Later Promoted to General.

Far left is Col Billy Arnold Head of Maintenance.

We received the following message/update from one of our
readers 'Leullier Patrick' regarding the photo above, 

"Hello Sir,

The Person on the right of  Brig Gen Isaac 'Ike' Ott( center ) of this
picture Is Colonel  Martin Ansel Bateman Commanding officer of  the 302
Transport Wing.

And to my Maternal Grandfather ( Robert J.Byron) how
served under him as a Sgt 405 Clerk Typist in Grove  GB, Paris France in
the HQ HQ SQ of the 302 Transport Wing in 1 Rue de Tilsitt, and in
Namur Belgium. 

So I suppose that my Maternal worked too in Burtonwood?
but without any certitudes.

You got a very interesting site.

Best regards from Normandy France.

Leullier Patrick"

Thanks to Aldon Ferguson and Also Herbert Anastor
(Feature Writer of Area Auto Racing News) for the following info:

A David Loska has also been working on the infrastructure of BADA and BAD#1 at Burtonwood during World War II and came up with the narrative below about Bill Arnold, which reflects your own research.

The Officer in the centre of the photo you post is Brig Gen Isaac 'Ike' Ott who had overall responsibility for ALL 8th Air Force supply and maintenance and this expanded to providing aircraft and equipment to the 9th Air Force which was the occupational USAAF element in Europe after the June 1944 invasion. He was based at Burtonwood.

Ike's cousin, Col 'Dewey' Ott, was Chief of Flight Test. I knew him well and he always spoke in glowing terms of the achievements of both Ike and Billy in England during the War.

Lt Col Billy Arnold, Chief of the Maintenance Division was uniquely experienced at leading both of the mainland depot operations having transferred from Warton to Burtonwood 15 Feb 1944.

Arnold's Maintenance Division Weekly Activity Reports to HQ BADA, never missed an opportunity to highlight base or intra-theatre production record-breaking metrics and output.

Arnold's unique origin and technical background made him unusually adept to the rigours and undaunting pace of depot operations. Before joining the Army, a week after the attacks at Pearl Harbor, Arnold earned a PhD from Michigan Tech and was employed as an engineer for the Chrysler Corporation.

Years earlier, Arnold took up car racing after studying for a baccalaureate in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois. Between years 1930 and 1932, Arnold led almost every lap he raced at the Indianapolis 500.

In 1930 at age 24, Arnold became the first to win the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway in under 5 hours and the first to finish at a greater than 100 mph average speed without relief help.

He also led all but the first two laps of the around the race, 198 out of 200 or 99% of the total laps (back then it was brick-paved), a record and metric that has yet to be surpassed even to the day of this writing.

In addition, he was also the American Automobile Association's National Champion for 1930.

The following 5 photos (credit to go.fold3.com) have Captain W.W. Ott of
Osyka, Mississippi, appearing in them early in WW2 when he was a test pilot.

He was promoted to Colonel and Eventually became
a Brigadier General and became the Burtonwood
depot base commander from the 6 of March
1944 until the end of hostilities.

The new commanding officers of the Burtonwood Air Depot pose
after the transfer over to the United States Army Air
Force,  W W Ott is second from the right.

Left to right are Major William Arnold later to be promoted to Colonel
and head of Maintenance, he inspects the repaired motor of a B-17
While Captain, W.W. Ott a test pilot later to be promoted to Colonel and then
Brigadier General and base commander, and Lieutenant, Leyland Schoff look on.

Captain W.W. Ott a test pilot, of Osyka, Mississippi 
Discusses the repair of the aircraft (in the
background) with its ground crew:

Left to Right - Captain W.W. Ott a test pilot, of Osyka,
Mississippi Private, Micheal F. Biage of Memphis,Tenn, and
Private Jasper  P. Howard, off Oklahoma City, Okla.

Test pilots give there final approval on the Boeing
B-17 called JEZEBEL after the repair work is done.

The men are left to right, W/O Marlyn P. Cory
of Salt Lake City,Utah Captain.

W.W. Ott of Osyka, Mississippi.and first
Lieutenant.David C. Cook of New Albany, Miss. 

"Feather Merchant" (RE - Q)

B-24H-1-CF Liberator

s/n 41-29178

329th Bomb Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force.

Declared 'War Weary' on December 24, 1944.

Pictured at the Warrington Burtonwood Air Depot
with the three of theirtest pilots on October 30,1943.

From left to right: 1stLt. Fred Casoli, Capt. W.W. Ott and
1stLt. Aaron Z. Bessant. These men took up the planes
after the Air Depot had repaired battle damage on them,
a job that could be almost as dangerous as combat flying.

"Feather Merchant" is military slang for a civilian.

Training men receiving practical instruction on
an Allison inline aero engine left to right are: 

Sgt, A, Aldrige from Swansea, Wales, and T/Sgt Robert Root from
Corbin, Kentucky, Sgt Harkey B Carter, Knightstown, Indiana,
and Sgt Edward Scott, Burkesville, Kentucky. on the 1st April 1943.

Photo credit by Fold

United States Ground Crewmen learn to operate
the hydraulic system of a Boeing B-17.

Cpl, A.P. Cooke from Bastrop, Louisiana operates the Emergency
brake, which is used if the regular system has been shot out.
While Cpl, F. W.Shankle from Charleston, 
watches the operation. on the 1st April 1943.

Photo credit by Fold.

Mechanics work on the main engine bearing of a Republic
P-47 Thunderbolt, on the 30th of October 1943.  

Photo credit by Fold.

Pvt, Gerald D Turner of Oklahoma works amidst
a tangle of fuel lines on the 30th of October 1943. 

Photo credit by Fold.

The new skin is fitted to the horizontal stabilizer of a B-17
On the 30th of October 1943. Photo credit bt Fold.

United States Army Air Force Armorers at
work at Burtonwood during World War 2


USAAF Armorers at Burtonwood repaired and maintained
over 39,000 aircraft machine guns and  20 mm cannons
including 37,381 gun solenoids during WW2.

Also, the 1716th ordnance medium maintenance
company was based at Burtonwood for the
maintenance of the aircraft weapon systems.

This farm (below in the photo) was called 'Brook House farm' and was
built before the airfield at USAAF Burtonwood was constructed,
and when the American's took occupation of the base it
became General Isaac W Ott's personal residence.

He was the base Commander and the farmhouse was
sited what became known as site 6 which was the
communal living site and it was also where
'The Flight Test Crew's' where billeted.

Here is what was written on the back of the photo:

"The general's house, the back of it at that compare it with those
shacks in the other pictures. I should have been a general."

Letter From the Deputy Chief of
Staff War Department to General Ott

From the Bangor Daily News, Bangor, by John Connel Jr managing editor, reporting
at the USAAF Air depot station 590 Burtonwood Lancashire England 12th of August 1944

The greatest air depot in the world sounds like a lot of air depot, doesn't it? well, that's just what it is and there isn't the slightest chance of exaggeration, criticism or fear of contradiction when one speaks this way of the place from which I have just returned.

it is a heartening sight for an American to see the vast system of field hangars, shops and warehouses-- the nerve centre of the Air service commands network throughout the European Theatre of operation--and to watch and hear the display of air striking power that we have already demonstrated the enemy will never be able to match.

Over a month would be required to see it all, reams of paper would be used in attempting to tell the whole story of this stupendous overseas project and even then, to the average layman, it would be too fantastic to believe.

The pity of it all, so little of what's going on here can be told even now when our air power definitely has the enemy groggy.

Over 100,000 American soldiers have already passed through this tremendous depot and many thousands of skilled workers-- many of them completely trained since they entered the armed services will someday be returning to tell the story of the base air depot of the air service command.

There are a large number of sub-depots scatted in places many miles away for witch this mighty depot is responsible for I saw planes, fresh from the factories of America on the runways, in the hangars and in the adjoining parking lots.

Here at this depot, all the planes receive their final attention before taking off in search of the enemy or to do damage to installations of war; I was told that just prior to D-day there were thousands of more planes here. it doesn't seem to be possible.

I never saw so many planes at any one time or in one place ever. When a new plane arrives the protective sea covering is ripped off, wings and the fuselages are painted other skilled men go to work on modifications of the plane.

Yes, it's still a new plane, perhaps not six months out of the factory.

But, from every fighting theatre changes are continually being demanded in planes. There wouldn't be time to have these made in America. it might disrupt the whole assembly Line there. Sometimes they are major jobs. but, every time they're important. conditions peculiar to the area to which the plane is going dictate the needs.

After the planes have passed through inspection they are turned over to the test pilots for the next operation.

P-38 Locheed Lightning Maintenance

Bangor daily news, newspaper
report August 13th 1944 part 2

Several thousand men carrying mess kits and marching in chow time formation three or four abreast-are on the way to dinner at close to midnight. that's one more of the unusual sights you will see at the great air services command depot 1.

The men at these bases work in two, 10-hour shifts for at least 20 hours every day the greatest mass production job that has ever been undertaken by American engineers grinds out new parts, repairs the worn out and damaged and does everything else necessary to keep our Air force supreme.

At times when it is essential to do more than the regular day or nights work it is not unusual to find every man and officer in the depot command working from 16 to 20 hours at a stretch. When figures are permissible and the history of this project is written [already done--Ed it will surpass anything within reach of the imagination of mankind.

The men at this base work nights for one month and days the next, alternating. After writing yesterday's article I tried to think of some way to impress upon Maine people the size of the main depot for air service command.

The huge gymnasium at the University of Maine came to mind. If I recall correctly when this was built it was one of the three largest in the country. Well, one of about a dozen buildings at this base could still house a few Flying Fortresses after the University Gymnasium had been put in one end of the building.

Concrete aisles- about the width of some of our streets and continuing on from the roads outside-run through the buildings from the ends and the sides. Others have tremendous doors which open to either side and permit any size of an aeroplane to be taxied in, to or three abreast if necessary.

Yesterday we walked up and down the length of one building-over 1,200 feet long and nearly half as wide-and saw mass production at its best. Every man has one job to do in this particular building.

A huge motor enters at one end of the building for overhauling, it is taken down on an assembly line and when it reaches the middle of the building it has been completely disassembled. Every part is checked, repaired or replaced and then the motor moves along and each man has one new operation to complete.

It keeps moving along and when it reaches the other end of the building it is ready for packing and loading on to freight cars which are there waiting to take it to sub-depots in the European Theatre.

Behind all this great setup here is Brigadier General Isaac W Ott's magnificent leadership, the highly trained aircraft engineers he has gathered around him and the efforts of thousands of air service command mechanics and technicians assigned to the jobs.

General Ott has risen from the ranks of Army flyers, he was an engineering officer, a test pilot and a group commander before he was given the job of organising this network of American air depots in the United Kingdom.

Chief of maintenance at the depot and in charge of this end of work for the whole setup is Lieutenant Colonel William H Arnold-to those outside the military,'' BILLY'' Arnold Indianapolis speedway champion.

Testimony of the success of Arnold's work thus far lies in the fact that aircraft modification and repair records of every kind have been broken over and over again.

In the few minutes that Col Arnold took from his busy job to accompany us around two of the main projects in his plant, we saw at least two more records that will be shattered again this month. The results of the first 10 days of this month indicate that a new record - over 1,200 plane engines overhauled-will be chalked up for August.

There are 14,292 parts in an aircraft engine, a minimum of 200 engines are kept on the line at all times to keep production at a normal level, is there any wonder that General Ott was the recipient of the Legion of merit award.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator on P.S.P.
(Pierced Steel Planking) Dispersal.

August 14 1944

Ships of every description from tiny observation planes to Thunderbolts, Fortresses and Liberators, fast fighters and huge transports climb and dive at this base which sees the heaviest air traffic in the world.

We have been writing about this depot located in Northern England for several days because there isn't any other place where more is being done to win this war right here.

We just can't seem to stop thinking and talking about the Air Force soldiers -men bent over mortars, damaged plane bodies and tail assemblies-who, without all the fanfare of shining buttons and knobby uniforms, keep the planes in the air.

We have always known that for every ''hot'' pilot there must be 21 of these unsung heroes on the ground working frantically to keep him hot but never until now have we seen their reasons.

With Lieut D S Roper, assistant to Lt Col William Arnold, the maintenance chief, we have been privileged to see things during the past few days that must be kept a dark secret until the final chapter of this war is completed.

There will be a day when all America will gasp at some of the things that have been done and are being done every day at this depot. There is one ASC depot that is called the ''Willow run of the European theatre operations'' we have seen it and it has its own GI operated railroad with three king size engines and all the necessary equipment.

During our inspection, we saw everything that can be manufactured for an aeroplane either made or being made. Even rubber Lifebelts, life- rafts, parachutes, flares, water containers and some clothing needs are among the more than 200,000 items of aircraft supplied and handled through an aircraft base depot.

Some time ago this base put a number of cracked up Fortresses back into the air in nine weeks. A few have in lately that were pretty damaged. We looked a little perplexed as the Colonel explained that ''those ships will be back on the line soon''.

Then we were reminded that the ''Dotty j'', which made an emergency landing some time ago was brought into this depot to be condemned. It had 389 bullet and flak holes in the fuselage and tail. It came into the depot on two engines and none of the crew expected it could be repaired.

It was repaired, turned over to a mobile unit and put back into flying condition. Before I report on some more Maine boys I found at this depot I want to speak for one order that was received here just before D-Day that shows how this unit operates.

Not more than a week before D-Day, the base received orders for 80,000 paint brushes and 37,000 gallons of black and white paint.

This meant some hustling around, there was no time to contact America.Every source was checked, one British firm was able to furnish a good part of the order and then the balance was gathered up here, there and everywhere, the order was filled.

As a result, every American airplane used in the invasion on D-Day had a new and easily distinguishable black and white marking on the belly and wings of the aircraft.

This was to aid our own troops in identification.

B.R.D. Airframe Erection Workshop

August 15, 1944

After seeing from the air and ground the greatest Air service Command Depot in the world and writing several articles on it and its personnel, I shook hands with a Bangor boy, Charles F Guild Jr, bade goodbye to him and a public relations officer who had accompanied me to the airplane stepped into a giant C-47 and was on my way.

In the few days that I have been here, I have seen new inventions - some already in operation, others still a mystery not only to our enemies but also to our own people - the new radio devices, the latest modifications in bombers and fighters and I have given a birdseye view of Great Britain turned into a veritable fortress of air- power with the largest American contingent, as Mr Churchill himself revealed some time ago - being American.

As I take off I am thinking of an expression I heard while at the depot ''The impossible things we do quickly, the miracles take a little longer''.

No words tell more nearly the story of what General Ott, Lt Col Arnold and their corps of assistants and workers are doing at the Base Air Depot of the Air Service Command.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Serial Number 40-37716 called
5 Grandon a test flight over Burtonwood during ww2

This plane was built at Boeings Seattle Plant 2 the 5,000th B-17
Flying Fortress bomber to be built by Boeing
during WWII and named "5 Grand.

To commemorate it, all the workers who worked
on it being built wrote their names on it!

It came to Burtonwood as one of over 4,000 received there
for operations in Europe between 1942 and late 1945.

It saw action with a squadron, then returned to the States
and toured a short time before being stored, hoping
to be sold, but it was not and was unceremoniously
scrapped in about 1948.

The Badge of the
8th Air Force WW2

The Emblem (Roundal)
of The Royal Air Force

Burtonwood Airfield 2 miles west of the town of Warrington was ideally suited being nearby to the industries of Manchester and Warrington & also close to Liverpool docks and the main line railway.

The site was selected in 1938 as a decision made in 1936 to build aircraft repair depots (ARD) with engine repair depots in the expansion periods inner war Years.

Building work began in 1938 with no 37 maintenance unit Royal Air Force moving in on the 1st of April 1940. On the 11th of June 1942 USAAF arrived. The USAAF were handed complete control of the air depot. Work began on the construction of 6 large warehouse workshops with a total of 734,000 square feet of floor space.

Work also began on an additional aircraft parking apron at a cost of approximately $2,000,000.

By 1944 18,500 US personnel were stationed on Burtonwood being the largest USAAF base in Europe. The airfield was now known as 8th USAAF base air depot 1 (BAD1) station 590, although an RAF presence continued until 1943.

BAD1 became the centre for flight testing, overhaul, modification and repair of all USAAF aircraft in Europe in World War 2.

30,386 aircraft engines were overhauled and over 11,500 aircraft processed between 1943 and 1945.

Celebrities to visit the base were film actor James Cagney, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Vera Lynn and Glenn Miller.

By April 1945 the base contained:

2.5 miles of runway

3.5 miles of perimeter track

4.05 miles of railway track

18 miles of roadway

1,823 buildings (total area of the buildings and all that is listed above = 1,253 acres)

4,006, 852 square feet of covered facilities for supply and storage, workshops and technical operations

7,096,181 square feet of open facilities

Total value = $50,000,000

Living site accommodation for 18,063 personnel. By 1958 the base motor pool carried 25,000,000 passengers covering 11,000,000 miles, 23,381,200 gallons of petrol was consumed.

6,500 American's married English girls. The base at this time contained:

13 hangars

22 warehouses

1,054 nissan huts

18 miles of surface roadway covering an area of 3,535,990 square feet, 16.85 miles of fencing, with a total acres of 1,471 and 3,940,740 square feet of aircraft parking apron.

The airfield had the standard 3 runway RAF Layout.

Runway 04/22  4,200 feet long

Runway 15/33  4,248 feet long

Runway 09/27  5,280 feet long and was later (in January 1953) extended to 9,000 feet by 250 feet wide by the USAF

3 x control towers were built.

The first was on Mary Ann Site and was a fort type built of concrete to AM (Air Ministry) drawing number 207/36. This tower was demolished due to bad visibility of the main runway and the 2nd to be built was 'watch office' for all commands and was built to AM drawing number 12779/41 with small windows to 15371/41 to the main runway at techsite.

The 3rd control tower was the 80 feet high USAF tower next to the 'J' type hangar on tech site built in 1953.

Airfield Hangar Sites.

The airfield had 5 main hangar sites.

Mary Ann Site had 3 'C' type hangars and 2 large storage workshops.

Technical Site had 1 'J' type and 1 'K' type hangars.

'G' Site had 3 'L' type hangars, 3 bellman hangars and 2 storage workshops.

'E' Site had 3 'L' type hangars.

'A' Site had 2 'K' type hangars.

Also, 20 'robin hangars' were dispersed around the airfield.

BRD Site (Burtonwood Repair Depot)

A factory site was also built off Burtonwood Road and was known as BRD Site. It was erected in 1939 and occupied in 1940 under the control of the air ministry (NOT the RAF).

It was later taken over by the ministry of aircraft production (MAP) and in 1942 transferred to the USAAF.

Living Quarters

On site living quarters were constructed on 6 sites built from the 1st of November to the 31st of December 1943.

The buildings were mostly nissen and gerrard type huts and temporary brick rendered finish. Also, additional off site living quarters were taken over at Bruce Hall & Canada Hall east of Warrington. The Americans were taken to and from Burtonwood in military trucks each day.

After WW2 Bruce Hall & Canada Hall were never required again by the military. Bruce Hall became a police training college and Canada Hall became the site of Padgate teachers training college.

Post World War 2 Scotia North, and ex Royal Navy camp at Lowton near Leigh was opened in September 1950 to provide additional accommodation for servicemen and their dependants.

Also another ex Royal Naval camp was taken over by the RAF called RAF Croft at Lady Lane near Warrington. The site became tenanted by the USAF in 1955 as a processing point for military personnel when Burtonwood was assigned the additional function of Military Air Transport Services (MATS) terminal for passenger flights between the United States and the United Kingdom.

United States Army Air Force units
assigned to Burtonwood during WW2 

Satellite Stations & Associated
Bases (To Burtonwood) in WW2

As well as the 8th army air force, Burtonwood was also responsible for the support of the 9th, 12th and 15th army air forces in WW2. 18,500 personnel worked on the base and an additional 37,545 personnel worked on sub sites, depots, satellite stations and associated bases throughout the United Kingdom for which BAD1 Burtonwood was responsible for.

Al these sub sites had unit code names, but these were normally used for telecommunications only. However, each United States Army Air Force location was identified by a station number. These stations are listed in the list below:


Army Air Forces Station Number Assigned.

The Official Name of The Installation.

Location of County.

Principal Unit(s) Assigned To The Installation.


Little Staughton


Advanced Air Depot For 1st Bomb Wing

158 Sudbury Staffordshire Signal Storage Depot
169 Stansted Essex Detachment 'K' Supply Division Tactical Air Depot
237 Greencastle County Down Northern Ireland 496 Fighter Group, 12 Combat Crew Replacement Centre
362 Ford Sussex 2 - Detachment 14 Fighter Group
375 Honington Suffolk Advanced Depot
446 Taunton Somerset Detachment Ordnance Supply Division Base Air Depot 1 - Supply Depot
473 Bristol Gloucestershire (in WW2) 1512 Quarter Masters Truck Battalion
502 Tostock Park Suffolk 1516 Quarter Masters Truck Battalion Combat Support Wing
513 Liverpool Docks, Kirby House, Silcocks Warehouse Lancashire (in WW2) Port Intransit, Depot 1, Base Air Depot Area (BADA)
514 Kirkby Lancashire (in WW2) Warehouse Site, Port Intransit, Depot 2, Base Air Depot Area (BADA)
515 Warley Common Gloucestershire Port Transit Depot 3. Base Air Depot Area (BADA)
516 St Mellons Monmouthsire Wales Port Transit Depot 4. Base Air Depot Area (BADA)
517 Barnham (Little Heath Site) Suffolk 754 Chemical Depot Company (Aviation). 765 Chemical Depot Company (Aviation).
520 Melton Mowbray Leicestershire 1720 Ordnance Munition Company. 1961 Ordnance Depot Company. 1962 Ordnance Depot Company. V111 Air Force Service Command.
521 Braybrooke Northamptonshire 2107 Ordnance Battalion Aviation
522 Smethwick Staffordshire 892 Signal Depot Company. 908 Signal Company. Signal Supply Base Depot 1
524 Southport (Sunnyside Hotel) Lancashire 8 (BADA 1) Base Air Depot Area.
526 Bures Essex 2108 Ordnance Ammunition Battalion Aviation Special
527 Leicester Leicestershire Detachment - 892 Signal Depot Company
530 Haydock Park Lancashire Base Air Depot Area - Combat Support Wing - Detachment L Supply Division.
541 Risley Bedfordshire 756 Chemical Depot - 763 Chemical Depot. V111 Air Force Service Command.
545 Earsham Norfolk 1916 Ordnance Ammunition Company Aviation. 2217 Quarter Master Truck Company Aviation.
549 Nascot Lodge Watford Hertfordshire Headquarters Combat Support Wing Provisional. 1584 Quartermasters Battalion Mobile Aviation.
550 William Strip Park Gloucestershire 2106 Ordnance Ammunition Battalion.
552 Huyton Lancashire (WW2) 1511 Quartermasters Truck Regiment - Air Service Command.
564 Egginton Derbyshire Headquarters 1519 Quarter Masters Battalion Mobile Aviation.
571 Poynton Cheshire Station Compliment Squadron - 2189 Quarter Masters Truck Company Aviation - 304 Gas Defence Attachment.
572 Melchbourne Park Bedfordshire Ordnance Auto Motive Depot - Base Air Depot Area.
581 Wortley Yorkshire 1912 Ordnance Ammunition Company - 2002 Ordnance Ammunition Company.
582 Warton Lancashire Base Air Depot 2 (BAD 2)
583 Sharnbrook Bedfordshire 2107 Ordnance Ammunition Battalion
587 Barnham (Warren Woods Site) Suffolk 2106 Ordnance Battalion Aviation - V111 Air Force Service Command
590 Burtonwood Lancashire Main Headquarters Base Air Depot 1 (BAD1)
592 Groveley Wood Wiltshire 1925 - 1927 - and 1929 Ordnance Company Aviation - Combat Wing
597 Langford Lodge County Antrim Northern Ireland Base Air Depot 3 (BAD 3)
802 Baverstock (Dinton) Wiltshire Base Air Depot 4 (BAD 4)
375 Honington Suffolk Advanced Depot
---------- Aintree Lancashire Detachment A, 1960 Ordnance Depot Company Aviation - Base Air Depot Area.
---------- Cardiff Docks Glamorgan Detachment D, Supply Division.
---------- Barry Docks Glamorgan Detachment Supply Division.
---------- Glasgow Docks Scotland Army Air Force Detachment G Maintenance Division - Detachment N Supply Division.
---------- St Morgan Cornwall Detachment N Supply Division

After WW2

After the defeat of Germany the USAAF started to clear the air base up ready to hand it back over to the RAF. The USAAF decided it would be cheaper to scrap all aircraft and spares on site rather than ship it all back to the United States.

Aircraft flew from bases all over the United Kingdom into Burtonwood to be scrapped in this way. This work was so big of a job that the USAAF were still at Burtonwood in 1946.

A cold grey misty day at RAF Burtonwood
at the end of the war in Europe.

B-17s awaiting scrapping photo.

B-17s being broken up for scrap.

The hangars and warehouses contained 16,187 tons of stock valued at $120,000,000 which was handed over to the British. On the the 25th of May 1946 BAD1 AAF Station 590 was the last airfield in the UK to be handed over to the RAF.

The Americans had left but would be back within 2 years.

In January 1946 No. 276 RAF Maintenance unit was formed even though the Americans cleaning up parties were still there.

RAF Burtonwood Plaque Displayed
at Warrington Town Hall.

The plaque was presented to the people of Warrington on
August the 18th 1945 to acknowledge the friendship
and hospitality to United States Military
Personnel during WWII

Burtonwood GI outside Burtons
market gate Warrington

Burtonwood Bridge Street

Seven Stars Pub on right

GI's outside about 1948/49

(by ray corcoran)

United States Air Force Vehicles from Burtonwood
Air Depot in Warrington town center during 1949

American Air Force serviceman From Burtonwood
Air Depot with his children crossing Horsmarket
Street in Warrington town center during 1949.

Off duty American Air Force servicemen From
Burtonwood Air Depot at the top of bridge
street Warrington town center during 1949.

Going back to the 1950s when the Americans
from RAF Burtonwood took part in the
Warrington Walking days.

This brilliant picture is from
Iris Graham, nee Finn.

She remembers when the Americans based
at the Burtonwood airbase walked with
worshippers from Sacred Heart.

Ten servicemen are pictured with ten teenagers
from the church on the Town Hall lawn.

American servicemen getting ready
for the Warrington walking day.

Seen here behind the church in
the schoolyard with the Sacred
Heart worshippers in 1952

American servicemen from RAF Burtonwood
taking part in the Warrington walking day
in bridge street with Sacred Heart Church.

One of the girls from Sacred heart worked at
RAF Burtonwood and was asked to have
some work completed for the
Friday- the walking day.

She explained that she couldn't be in that
day because she'd be carrying the Statue
with a bunch of other girls on the walking day.

The Sergeant was so put out at the idea of young ladies
carrying a statue around town, that on the walking
day a dozen or more of the American Boys arrived
at Sacred Heart to save the girls having to carry it.

This became the tradition of 'The Yanks'
(as they were fondly called in Warrington)
to carry the statue on walking day.

Photo from Lynn Pickersgill of some of the
servicemen taking part in Warrington Walking Day.

It shows her mum Winifred and her sister Eileen
Laff outside the town hall golden gates in 1952.

They were walking with Sacred Heart and
were joined by members of the forces.

It is believed the servicemen had a chance
encounter with the priest at Sacred Heart
who explained about the history of
Warrington Walking Day and the
Americans asked if they could join.

American Soldiers from RAF Burtonwood at the
town walking day with St Albans in 1975.

Berlin Airlift

During the cold war, the Soviets union blocked the western allies railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control stoping supplies reaching the people of West Berlin.

RAF Burtonwood played an essential part in the Berlin airlift by carrying out 200-hour maintenance checks on 2 engined C-47s but mostly on C-54 Skymaster 4 engined transport aircraft of the USAF.

The Airlift flights started on 26 June 1948 and continued until September 1949.
The transport aircraft supplied over two million people of West Berlin with fuel, water, medicine, clothing, and food.

Allied aircraft took off or landed in west Berlin evry 30 Seconds, US aircrews made more than 189,000 flights totaling nearly 600, 000 Flying hours C-54 s alone exceeding 92 million miles

By the end of the airlift, the transport aircraft had flown 300,000 flights and delivered 2,300, 000 tons of supplies, as you can see this is why the 200-hour maintenance checks were so important.

1,571 Aircraft were processed at Burtonwood in the 18 month period totaling over 147,000 man hours.

When they arrived they went to Station 1, Receipt and Delivery. Here all loose equipment was removed and all radio equipment. Station 2 was the K type hangars on 'A' Site used as the wash rack for internal and external cleaning.

Then they moved to the C types on Mary Ann Site and hangars J & K on Tech Site. This was known as Station 3.

This was a pre-inspection shakedown, engine run-up, all systems pressure checked, oil drained, engine inspection, compression checked, engine repair, aircraft general, control cables, rigging, spark plus, electric systems. fuel system, hydraulic system, instruments and prop maintenance, undercarriage and tyre check.

If engine replacement needed, done here. Station 4 was a flight test or operation ramp servicing and engine run-up. Station 5 was the actual test flight and hand over to the crew to fly it back to Germany.
The USAF maintenance crews at Burtonwood during the Berlin airlift lived up to there name as the 8th airforce did during ww2 before them, with the MOTTO, KEEP EM FLYING.

Flight maintenance chart


Tonnage lifted to Berlin by British aircraft: RAF aircraft: 394,509 tons Civil aircraft: 147,727 tons TOTAL: 542,236 tons
Tonnage lifted to Berlin by USAF aircraft: 1,783,572.7 tons
Total combined British and American airlift tonnage: 2,325,508.7 tons
Tonnage by type:
Type  British  American  
Food 241,712.9 tons   296,303.1 tons
Coal 164,799.7 tons 1421,729.6 tons
Military 18,239.1 tons -
Liquid fuel 92,282.4 tons 54,540 tons
Miscellaneous    25,201.9 tons -
British tonnage exported from Berlin: 35,843.1 tons
Passengers lifted to and from Berlin:
Nationality    To From
British 36,281    131,436
American 24,216 36,584
Total 60,434 165,020
Highest daily combined British and American tonnage: 12,940.9 tons on 16 April 1949
Highest daily British tonnage: 2,314.5 tons on 5 July 1949
Highest daily RAF tonnage: 1,735.6 tons on 17 August 1948
Highest daily British civil tonnage: 1,009.6 tons on 22 May 1949

British aircraft consumed over 35 million gallons of aviation fuel, flew more than 30 million miles and spent more than 200,000 hours in the air flying to and from Berlin.

Original photo of one of the C-54
Skymasters engaged in the Berlin airlift.

The photo was taken at the United States Air
Force Base Burtonwood Warrington England.

On the back of the photo, it says:

"taken off from Tempelhof Berlin on the 6/5/ 1949 and landed
at Burtonwood 2 and a half hours ago for the 200-hour
inspection and maintenance procedure then was stripped
and checked within 72 hours ready to fly again."

The photo was taken just 2 and a
half hours into the strip down.

The airlift was not without its fatalities 101were recorded killed including 31 Americans during the operation mostly due to crashes.

One such crash happened on the 7th of January 1949 when C-54 Skymaster 45-543 of the14th TCS,61st, TCG, of the united states airforce, crashed at stake house fell in the forest of Bowland near Garstang.

The aircraft had taken off at 13.12 hours from the Rhein-main airforce base near Frankfurt, Germany en route to Burtonwood for its 200-hour scheduled maintenance service.

The aircraft was having poor radio communication and encounter poor weather conditions over the north of England, with low cloud and heavy rain.

The last contact with the Burtonwood control tower was at 16.30 hours,the pilot was flying blind estimating his position by using his instruments.

The C-54 Skymaster drifted off its intended course and struck the southern face of stake house fell.

The 4 crew and 2 passengers were all killed in the accident.   

Douglas C-54 Skymaster crash,
cowlings/ firewalls parts.

Douglas C-54 Skymaster
crash, landing gear part.

Royal air force Avro Yorks in West Germany awaiting there turn to taxi to
the end of the runway and take off photo credit by the imperial war museum.

Map of the occupation zones and the
air corridors during the Berlin airlift.

Unloading Douglas C-54 Skymasters in West Berlin during
the Airlift photo credit by the united states air force.

RAF Burtonwood group photo of maintenance
personnel during the Berlin airlift.


West Berliners watch
the airlift at west berlin.

West Berliners watching the airlift
at Tempelhof airport at west berlin.

C-47s AT Tempelhof airport
Berlin during the airlift in 1948.

West Berliners watch a Douglas C-54 Skymaster landing at West berlin.

left to right - Lynn Johnson 'Miss Finance', Joanne Gladdis, the new Queen and third place winner Joan Hunt 'Miss Port Facilities'. Joanne Gladdis also had a sister who won the title.

Joanne's sister Carol Gladdis became Miss Club 59 in July 1950 but didn't win Miss Burtonwood that year. The winner was Juanita Mullins, wife of Lt Bernie C Mullins. 

The final took place as part of the July 4, 1952 celebrations. 10,000 people attended the three-day weekend which included a 28-float parade. Over 14,000 hot dogs were sold over the weekend.

Immediately after the Baby Show, in which all contestants were unanimously awarded first-place blue ribbons, the 'Miss Burtonwood' of 1952 final took place. Joanne Gladdis won it for the second year running. The judges included a British Royal Navy Commander from Liverpool and three from 59th Air Depot Wing.


Main Entrance Gate 12 Burtonwood

This was at Site 2

After travelling from the USA this was the first port of call
for every US service personnel and their families.

The Badge of The United States Air Force

Site 1 During the USAF occupation (NOT the USAAF)

Site 1 was situated on the South Side of the M62 at
Burtonwood services (now demolished).

The main entrance was off Burtonwood Road.

As you can see on the photos below the sign shows that
this area was the dependants housing area.

Dependants in the USA call their children dependants.

Inside One of the Dependants Classrooms on Site 1 in the
1950's During the USAF occupation (NOT the USAAF)

Air Forces European Exchange Main Burtonwood
Shopping Center (Location Unknown?)

USAF Engine Technicians Working on a Radial Engine in the 1950's.

With the advent of the cold war the Unites States Air Force (USAF) needed a presence in Europe and Burtonwood was an obvious choice. In 1948 the USAF took over control of the air base in time to take part in the overhaul and maintenance of C54 skymasters taking part in the Berlin airlift.

Each servicing taking over 700 man hours. In 1949 when the soviet union backed down over the Berlin airlift the USAF used Burtonwood as a primary stores and equipment base for its European operations.

On the 1st of September 1953 the airbase was renamed Northern Air Material Area (NAMA) and their mission was to supply supplies to the USAF, Navy & Army.

Also (MATS) Military Air Transport Services were responsible for all operations involved with flying. Further building works were started in 1951 with the extension to runway 09/27 the main runway to 9,000 feet and 250 feet wide.

The 2 existing runways 22/04 and 15/33 from the WW2 days were used for parking the WB 50 weather aircraft on and as additional hardstandings. In 1953 an additional apron was constructed between the south taxi way and runway 04/22.

Also constructed was a new control tower and passenger terminal.

North of Mary Ann Site a new crash fire station was built next to the main runway. On site 8 a new warehouse was constructed in January 1953 and opened August the 16th 1954. This was to become known as header house. The warehouse was the largest in Europe being 1 mile long and over 3,000,000 square feet and even had its own private railway line connected to the main Manchester to Liverpool main line.

The total cost to build this site was $12,000,000 and took 20 months to build.

The airbase was known as the gateway to Europe to the American Military personnel and their families. The base was so large that it was nicknamed Lancashire's Detroit and little America by the personnel stationed there. After 10 years of continuous building works Burtonwood was the biggest military base outside of the USA.

By 1959 the USAF had left Burtonwood forever although the USAF had several units there until 1965 and on the 18th of June 1965 control was returned to the RAF.

The RAF built a 'V' Bomber dispersal parking hardstanding and was located next to the downwind end of the main runway (runway 27).

4 'V' bombers would have been at full readiness at the dispersals in the event of a Nuclear War. These dispersals were built at many airfields across the UK & known as 'scatter bases'.

The 'V' bombers would disperse and operate between these dispersals making them small disperse targets.

De Gaulle had quit NATO and told the United States to leave France. The US Army's huge stockpiles in its stores in France had therefore to be transferred elsewhere, and Header house at Burtonwood was the ideal place to transfer it to.

Burtonwood Header House
Site 8 - US Army Storage Depot

On January the 2nd 1967 the Americans (the United States Army NOT the USAF) were back at Burtonwood and renamed it 'Burtonwood Army Depot UK'.

On the 4th of January 1982 the depot was again renamed HQ47 Area Support Group UK.

At the end of the cold war Burtonwoods Army Depot UK was declared Access to NATO requirements & was officially closed in 1994.

The US Army had no real use for the airfield, but at first they used 'Mary Ann' site & 'G' site to store vehicles and 'Tech' site to store some helicopters there for a while, but later concentrated on Header house at site '8'.

The last fixed wing aircraft to use the airfield were the gliders of 635 Gliding School Air Training Corps. The gliding school opened in November 1959 & they used Kirby Cadet MK3 & Sedbergh Gliders launched by stationery winches.

The 'K' type hangar on 'Tech' site was used to store the gliders & their equipment.

When 'Tech' site was demolished the gliding school was stood down on the 25th of September 1983.

At the end of the cold war, the US Army left Burtonwood & the Americans left this time forever & demolition work soon started & was completed in 2008.

  635 Gliding School 1959

635 Gliding School was formed at RAF Burtonwood for the Air Training Corps in November of 1959.

The Gliding School used Kirby Cadet MK 3 and Sedbergh gliders launched by stationery winches. The School was located at the technical site of the airfield using the K -Type hangar there to store there Gliders and equipment there.

The last fixed-wing aircraft to use the airfield was the Gliders of 635 Gliding School. The Gliding School closed during 1984 after 25 years at Burtonwood and then being relocated to BAE Samlesbury,  and stayed there for 24 years and then being reformed at Topcliffe North Yorkshire.

The Gliders of 635 Gliding School were-Kirby Cadet MK 1- WE991 / Kirby Cadet MK 3-WT870/WT871/WT872/XN199 /XN244/XN245/XN248/XE791/XE801/XA282/XA302/XA306

Sedbergh - WB941/WB981/XM185/WT981/XN185/XN157/WB942.

   Kirby Cadet at Burtonwood
(credit to Kevin Hughes for photo)

Kirby Cadet XE791 at Burtonwood
(credit to Kevin Hughes for photo)
Gliders at their launch site at RAF Burtonwood
at the side of Mary ann site during 1977

(photo credit by kind permission of Steven Dowds)
Sedbergh XN185  and one of the C-type hangars can
be seen in the background at Mary ann site
at RAF Burtonwood during 1977

(photo credit by kind permission of Steven Dowds)
Sedbergh XN185 in-flight at RAF Burtonwood during 1977
(photo credit by kind permission of Steven Dowds)
Sedbergh XN185 in-flight at RAF Burtonwood during 1977
(photo credit by kind permission of Steven Dowds)

Originally on the right of the Road (below) a tall unclimable
fence was constructed to seperate the communal areas from the air side.

In the background to the left of the Road was the site of
the recreation sports ground & the baseball pitch.

When the sports facilities became disused
they were later relocated to site 8.

In the background is the new hangar style building
currently being used by the post office.

The building stands on the former
workshop warehouse on 'G' site

This is post WW2 Electrical & Mechanical Plynth near Mary Ann sites

Armed Forces Public Open Days

The United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force held public open days at RAF Burtonwood, with both USAF and RAF Airframes on public display at Mary Ann site.

The open days were held on Mary Ann site and the aircraft were displayed on the apron in front of the 3 'C' type hangars.

Below is a plan (from out of the programme) of Armed
Forces Day on Mary Ann Site on the 17th of May 1958.

The first open day was held on the 15th of May 1954 with a public attendance of 100,000.

Thereafter, the following open days were held:

19th of May 1956 with an attendance of 50,000.

18th of May 1957 with an attendance of 20,000.

17th May 1958 with an attendance of over 75,000.

This was the last USAF public open day to be held at RAF Burtonwood.

The USAF left Burtonwood in early 1959, and the US Army arrived on the 2nd of January 1967.

On the 20th of May 1967, the Burtonwood US Army depot held there first public open day.

The next US Army public open days were held on Independence day celebrations, on the 2nd of July 1972.

The Royal Air Force Diamond Jubilee show was held on the 21st and the 22nd of July 1978.

The US Army's last open day was held on Saturday the 3rd and Sunday the 4th of July 1989.

The US Army left Burtonwood for the last time on the 2nd of June 1993.

RAF Burtonwood public open day during the 1950s,
Douglas C- 47D Number 43-49250, USAFon the Mary Ann site Apron
In the background is one of the Depot Warehouse Workshops building 225.

Each of these types of buildings was 300 feet wide and 700 feet
long with a floor area of 210,000 square feet.

The Air Ministry Drawing Number for this type of building is 7073/43. 

Blackburn Beverly C.1.XB268 D47 Squadron May
19 1956 on the open day at Burtonwood

Gloucester Javelin FAW, 4, XA731 18 sq 18 may 1957

Note: There were 3 'C' type hangars on Mary Ann
Site & here you can see 1 of them in the background.

FTS Vampire T.11 XK584 66 17th of  May 1958 open day.

Note: In the background you can see the crash
fire station located close to the main runway 09/27

A Close up of the Crash Fire Station Situated in Front
of Mary Ann Site Next to the Main Runway 09/27

53rd Weather

Also resident at Burtonwood were the 53rd Weather reconnaissance squadron, arriving there in November 1953 flying their long range Boeing B29 & WB50 Super Fortresses collecting weather data for military air transport services.

The 53rd WRS left in April 1959 for re-assignment to Alconbury in Cambridge.

Boeing Super Fortress WB50 of the 53rd Weather
Reconnaissance Squadron USAF on Mary Ann Site (1950's)

Boeing Super Fortress WB50 of the 53rd Weather
Reconnaissance Squadron USAF on Mary Ann Site (1950's)

53rd Weather Reconnaissance Loading Mailbags of Children's
Christmas Cards to be Dropped at the North Pole for Santa Claus.  

B36 Peacemaker

Convair B-36H-52-1363 Peacemaker of the
Strategic Air Command on final approach
to Burtonwood in October 1956.

The largest aircraft to use Burtonwood was Convair B36 Peacemakers of the 11th Bomb wing Strategic Air Command (SAC).

The aircraft had 10 engines, with 6 propellers and 4 jet engines. 16 of these bombers landed at Burtonwood between the 18th & 20th of October 1956. This size of aircraft were able to land and take off at Burtonwood because of the lengthening of the main runway.

The people of Warrington could hear the sound of the engines of these B36's for miles and although they didn't make any formal complaints regarding the noise they weren't really pleased about it.

Douglas C-117D (DC-3S) - USA - Navy

Aviation Photo #1722395: Douglas C-117D (DC-3S) - USA - Navy

US Navy R4D-8 of Fasron 200 communications squadron based at RAF Hendon on finals to RAF Burtonwood, Lancashire in 1956. It had been converted to 'Super Dakota' standard from R4D-5 c/n 12340. - Photo was taken at Burtonwood in England, the United Kingdom in October 1956.


There was talk at the time (1980's) of trying to save 1 of the 2 control towers on Tech site and some of the hangars on 'A' site and 'E' site, but nothing was really done to save them and they were later demolished.

Burtonwood Air Base, once the largest USAAF base in Europe and home to 1,000's of American Service Personnel and their families is no more.

The demolition contractors have destroyed all trace of this mighty base, but they cannot destroy the memories of the 1,000's of personnel and their families who worked and lived there.

Even today (2015) one can still see, with a trained eye, rusting perimeter fences, some bases of buildings, the odd blast shelter on sites 2 and 4, and also the East/West Road to Tech site and site 6 and 'G' site.

Photo Dated August 1987 - Main Route/Road
Across The Airfield Looking West

(Note the street lighting still in position)

At the end of this road is a t junction and turning left leads to Gate 6
(Barrows Hall Lane) & Turning right leads to 'G' Site, Site 6 & Technical Site.

Turning left in the foreground eventually leads to the Main entrance Gate 12.

Site 2 is the Largest Communal Site on the Airfield.

Site 2 is on the Left of this Photo (The green grassed area) and
Stretched all the way over to Barrows Hall Lane Gate 6.

Photo (Below) Taken 2014

Even Now, One of The Lamp Posts is Still There
(The 2nd One Along in The Above Photo)

Updated Photo Dated August 2014 - Main Route/Road Across The Airfield Looking West

At the end of this road is a t junction and turning left leads to Gate 6
(Barrows Hall Lane) & Turning right leads to 'G' Site, Site 6 & Technical Site.

Turning left in the foreground eventually leads to the Main entrance Gate 12.

To the left of the Road near the bushes was the USAF bus station site 2 during the 1950s

This is the USAAF Bus Station/Interchange as it was.

A fleet of 35 single decker buses with a capacity of 29 passengers each
provided transport on a regular timetable to all the airfield and dispersed sites.

Opposite the bus station to the right of the road is where
the site of building 225 stood on Mary Anne site.

We turned 180 Degrees and took this photo (below).

The view of this photo is the same road as the above photo
looking the opposite way (East) This lead to a road junction.

Turning left lead Northwards towards Mary Ann Site.

We are now at the other end of the long road looking East
towards Mary Ann Site & the Main Gate.

Site 2 is on the right.

The road on the right (running South) in the
foreground leads to Gate 6 (Barrows Hall Lane entrance)

The road on the left (running North) in the
foreground leads to 'G' Site, Site 6 & Technical Site &
eventually leads to the North Road linking 'E' Site & 'A' Site.

The Post Office is out of view on the Left now as well.

This is another view of the junction above.

Behind the trees or bushes is the Post Office building.

(Note: Where the Post Office building now stands was the location of
one of the large workshop warehouses that became part of 'G' Site)

Looking North From Gate 6 towards the Junction (above)

Turning 180 Degrees Looking South from the previous
junction towards Gate 6, Barrows Hall Lane Entrance.

From Gate 6 Barrow Hall
Lane Looking North.

(Note: The Post Office Building Can Clearly
be Seen on What Was Originally 'G' Site)

In the woods on the right (above) is a gate
that was the entrance gate 6 (below)

(We Found These in 2014)

WW2 Wright Cyclone Aircraft Engine Cylinder Head
Valve Rocker Covers (Around 50 of them)

B17G Undergoing Maintenance on Either 'Technical' Site or 'A' Site

 P38 Lockheed Lightning Undergoing Maintenance
on Either 'Technical' Site or 'A' Site

RAF Mustang I AG411 at RAF Burtonwood England

North Dispersals Area 2014

Record Site Plan of North Dispersals

North Dispersals Area 1972 (Below image) North of the M62
(Note the M62 Services are Being Built)

These were common place at Aircraft Service Unit Airfields throughout
the United Kingdom & were used for Aircraft Storage Areas.

The Ministry of Aircraft Production (MAP) airfields
were simply airfields with factory facilities.

This type of dispersal was also constructed for the
Ministry of Aircraft Production Depots (MAP).

The layout of these dispersals are known as,
'finger' or 'y' because of their appearance.

You can just see the 'y' shapes on the image below in 1972

A Perimeter Track Linked the North Dispersal Area (on the North side
of the M62) to Site 1 Dispersals (on the South side of the M62)

The North Dispersals in 1945 Showing
Rows of B17's Waiting to be Scrapped

Rows of A20's at the North Dispersals in
the Process of Scrapping at the End of WW2.

(Note the Robin Hangar in the Background. Also note the chimney's that are on the
Robin Hangar roof....these were to give the Appearance of a House to enemy Aircraft)

This is (almost) the Exact Spot Where The A20's Were
Being Scrapped (as above photo) at the End of Hostilities.

The Actual Concrete Dispersal That You Can See in The Above Photo (Taken in 1945)
Was Where The Bushes (and Undergrowth) on The Left is on This 2014 Photo.

The Robin Hangar Was in the Background, Centre of the Tall Tree & in Front of it.

Below is an Aerial Photo of The North Dispersal Area (as above) but Taken
From The Opposite End During WW2 and also it Has B24 Liberators on it.

In the Centre of the Photo You Can See a Line of B24 Liberators Opposite
The Robin Hangar. This is the Exact Spot (as above photo) Where
The A20's are Being Scrapped at the End of Hostilities.

This is What Remains of Part of the Perimeter Fence.
This is Behind Where The Robin Hangar Stood.

This is the Main Entrance to the North
Dispersals Area looking North.

This Squared off Fenced Area is on the South Perimeter of the North Dispersals.

Its Purpose is Unknown? It is Not Shown on WW2
Aerial Photos Anywhere (that we know of).

This is Unusual Because the North Dispersals Area Was Not Used After WW2.

This black and white photo was taken in 1972 and shows a building on it along
with at least 4 concrete bases where buildings (possibly?) once stood.

You cannot see the entrance or gate on this photo but there is
an entrance opening at the top right hand corner of the fencing

This colour photo was taken in 2014 (facing North West).

This colour photo was taken in 1987 (facing East) and you
can see the old Parkside Colliery in the background.

This is a Photo taken in 2014 of
Within the Squared Off Fenced Area.

The Photo is Showing Banked up Earth with
Excavated Concrete & Pierced Steel Planking.

P51 Mustangs on 'E' Site in the
Process of Being Scrapped 1945

North American P51B42- 106902-LHO Arriving at Burtonwood
Air Depot at the end of world war 2 to be scrapped.

WW2 Tree carvings East of
the North Dispersal area.

It looks like the name is 'W Yates'
& the date looks like it says '1944'

Tree carvings dating back to
WW2 can be found today (2015)

The carvings look like it says
'USAAF' & '1944' & Baron

This tree is on Site 5

More tree carvings on Site 5.

Difficult to tell what is carved on this
tree, but it looks like it has 1942(?)

Farm girl collecting hay next to B17s next
to the North dispersals looking North.

Colour photo of B17s on the North dispersals
taken from a landing aircraft, looking North.

The farm girl in this photo would
have been on the bottom left.

The Robin hangar can be seen
on the top left of the photo.

Photo from the National Archive,
Slide Archive Reference 342-c-k-2418.

B 17s on the North dispersals looking South.

The farm girl in this photo would have been at the
top left of the photo where the hay field can be seen.

The Robin hangar is at the bottom right out of the picture.

Photo from Warrington Worldwide. Co.UK

B17s on the North dispersals looking North.

The Robin hanger can be seen in the background.

Photo by Getty Images.

Haydock Park Racecourse

Haydock Park racecourse is located 6 miles north from the town of Warrington and opened as a racecourse during 1890 and was referred to as the Ascot of the north. 
During world war 2 the racecourse was closed and used for military purposes.
Between 1940 to 1942 Polish and Czech soldiers plus free French sailors and marines were stationed there.
During the middle of 1943, the 76th infantry division of the united states army arrived at Haydock Park in the preparation for the D-Day landings.
On the 13,11,1944 detachment L supply division of the united states, army air force arrived at Haydock with a complement of 165 personal and 5 officers and used Haydock as a subsite to the nearby USAAF station at Burtonwood.
At this period of time Haydock Park was officially called Haydock Park United States Army Air Force station 530 storage, supply and equipment depot, the USAAF left on the 3,10,1945 when the site closed.
After the end of the war on the day of the first race meeting in 1946, it was reported that the racecourse was still packed with gliders and vehicles.
Nissen hut in the Eastern wooded area.
WW II buildings and Nissen huts next
to the grandstands, looking northwest.
Packing cases, storage.
Nissen hut accommodation located
at the eastern wooded area.
Looking North.
View of the grandstands looking
west WW2 buildings to the right.
Looking North.
The racecourse today.
USAAF bar and mess room.
Area map.

The crash landing of P38 Lightning
Moss Bank Village Billinge St Helens.

The crash landing of P38 Lightning
43-28738 Production block number J-15-LO.

Lt. John E. Austin made a normal take-off from RAF
Burtonwood for a local test flight, b
ut he was soon
having propeller feathering and engine problems,

He was only 5 -minutes from RAF Burtonwood,
but was forced to belly land near Moss bank Village.

Crash site at Billinge

Offical United States Army
Air Force Accident Report.

Burtonwood Test Flight of Republic P-47
Thunderbolt 42-75584 January 1944.

On 9th January 1944, Lieutenant Jay Frederick Simpson was test-flying a Republic Thunderbolt P-47 over Moreton on the Wirral. On trying to perform an emergency landing, the aircraft flipped over and burst into flames in a field in Saughall Massie.

The P-47 Thunderbolt
Crash Site

Having taken off from the USAAF Burtonwood Airbase in Lancashire, Lieutenant Simpson had flown over Hoylake reporting that the plane was on fire. 

A commemorative plaque was placed on the new by-pass bridge in 2005 by the Warplane Wreck Investigation Group (WWIG), based at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton, Wirral. 

Lieutenant Simpsons
Commemorative Plaque

WWIG recovered the engine from the plane in September 1973 and it is on display at the Fort Perch Rock Museum.

The recovered Pratt & Whitney R-2800
Double Wasp 18 Cylinder Air Cooled
Radial Engine of the P-47.

RIP Mr. Simpson, from all friends of Burtonwood.

Pilot Lieutenant Simpson

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