398th Bomb Group

History of the 1142nd Military Police Company
(Aviation) Detachment ‘A

April 1944 thru April 1945

by Malcolm "Ozzie" Osborn

Duties of 1142nd Military Police Company (Aviation)
The duties of this MP Company on this Station consist of those duties incident to any police organisation. One of the most important, especially in war time, is of preserving internal security. This is done by military policemen being posted on all gates and entrances and a check made of all persons military or civilian entering or leaving. Any suspicious persons loitering on the base without authority are apprehended and questioned.

Any aircraft that may crash is guarded by a member of this organisation whether it be on the Station itself or adjacent to the base.

A Military escort is provided for any notable or important person that may visit the Station.

Bicycles are registered and a record of all bicycles on the Station is kept. Any lost or stolen bicycles are picked up and returned to their rightful owner.

Investigations are conducted when any crime is committed by a member of the U.S. Army. If a civilian is implicated the Military Police work in conjunction with the civilian police. Regulation and control of all traffic is maintained by a constant motorcycle patrol. Investigations are made of all traffic incidents/accidents. Absentees whether voluntary or involuntary, are returned to their proper organisations and a record is kept of all violations and offences.

Prisoner guards are furnished to guard all types of prisoners.

A Town Patrol is on duty each night to patrol the nearby Villages and Towns that are frequented by soldiers of this Station while off duty.

Guards are posted on the perimeter upon the return of each mission. Two men are posted at each briefing and interrogation.

The duties of the MP Company and any other MP Company are to enforce the Law of the United States Army and to preserve law and order and to help any soldier that may be in distress.

At 1000 hours on the morning of 16th April 1944, orders were telephoned to the 1142nd MP. CO. (Avn.) at AAF Station 167, (Ridgewell) by the Provost Marshall at 1st Bombardment Division, calling for a detachment of men to depart for a new base at AAF Station 131.

  • 1st Lt. Frank Guiner – C.O.
  • 1st Lt. Louis E.Pachter – Assistant
  • plus 55 Enlisted Men.

The detachment commander arrived at 131 and was told by the sentry on gate duty that the adjutant wished to speak with him immediately. A call from Gen. Beamer, 1st Bomb. Division HQ. had come through ordering the detachment back to Sta. 167 to greet some visiting dignitaries.

Once again, on Thursday 20th April 1944, the detachment set out for it’s new base and arrived to find a provisional company of MP’s. under Sgt. Dubbee of the 325th Station Complement Squadron in charge.

The detachment was billeted in Site 6, huts 23, 24, 26 thro 28, but there were no Officers quarters. The officers decided on hut 23 and moved into one half, using the other half for an Orderly Supply room, the men moving into the rest of the huts.

Cleaning parties started and there was a mad scramble for beds and biscuits. Finally the Barracks were in order and then started a search for stoves and other necessaries.

Sgt. Earnest Seale was the first Sgt. Of the Guard, and his Corporal was Andrew Lane. They started work at 0800 the 21st April 1944. The former Chaplains office was finally used as a guard house, pending use of the old fire departments building.

The first guard duties were perimeter and base patrols and gate sentries. The other men were out to work cleaning the area, setting up the supply room, making trips to the Quartermaster for material and trying to secure more transportation from Motor Pool.

On Saturday 22nd April 1944, personnel started to arrive in large numbers, and several planes flew in to fill the empty hardstands.

The Bomb Dump and Gas Pool required night guard, and all driving needed careful attention as most of the new men were fresh from the States and did not know what left hand driving meant.

On the night of the 23rd April 1944, a town patrol was inaugurated with Sgt. Kent and Pfc. Birch, acting as shepherds of the wayward.

Many extra duties were added to the regular military police demand and 22 men were promised the detachment. Transportation remained a problem but nothing could be done about it as the base proper did not have any vehicles. New men were attached to the detachment and Sgt. Kent and Pfc. Bronaugh were designated instructors giving lectures and demonstrations until they were ready for military duty.

6th May 1944
The first mission flew from the base and the detachment was called on for briefing and handling traffic on the perimeter during take-off and landing.

30th June 1944
Col. Hunter advised Lt. Guiner a visiting General would be on the base 4th July 1944 and an Honor Guard would be necessary. A roster of the guard was made up and these were schooled in the manual of arms and close and extended order drill.

1st July 1944
Preparation for the visiting General.

2 July 1944
Drilling and manual of arms for the visiting General.

4th July 1944
Brigadier General Hayes of the British Army arrived on the base and an Honor Guard was held for him before Station HQ. Lt. Col. Berryhill and Lt. Guiner were present at the inspection and the honors were carried off smartly (photo below). Many compliments were paid the detachment for this honor guard.

20th July 1944
Detachment men were called out to guard a large area that was used this day for a demonstration of the training given the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers of the British Army. The area was sown with mines and they were exploded during the demonstration to show their effect.

Remaining dates to be checked on the microfilm at a later date – mostly staff movements.

15th April 1945
Detachment ‘A’ 1142nd MP. CO. (Avn.) which was stationed at AAF Station 131 was also disbanded and incorporated into the 426th Headquarters and Base Serivce Squadron, Air Service Group. This under Section 1, General Order 52, HQ. 8th AF, 12th April 1945.

Originally created and written by Malcolm "Ozzie" Osborn of the Nuthampstead Airfield Research Society in the late 1970s from micro-filmed unit records.

Later transcribed to electronic text for the 398th Web Pages by Malcolm ‘Ozzie’ Osborn in October 2004.

The Nuthampstead Airfield Research Society was the predecessor organization to the English Friends of The 398th.

Brigadier General Hayes inspecting Station 131 Honor Guard

On 4 July 1944, Brigadier General Hayes of the British Army arrived at Nuthampstead AAB Station 131 for a visit. The 1142nd MP provided and Honor Guard.

Inspecting the Honor Guard at Station 131 - 4 July 1944

Brigadier General Hayes centre, Lt. Col. Berryhill (on the viewer's right), and Lt. Guiner on the left of the 3 man party in the centre of the Honor Guard. The Quonset hut on the left is just standing, but only just.

Malcolm "Ozzie" Osborn
October 2004

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