398th Bomb Group

The First Days in the History of AAF Station 131
May 1943 thru November 1943

by Malcolm "Ozzie" Osborn

F/Lt. C. True, Indent Officer and 13 airmen from Steeple Morden to Nuthampstead daily to receive equipment furniture etc.

C & M Party under command of Sq/Ldr. J.S. Ellard arrived from Steeple Morden.

Opening up commenced – Allocated to 1st Wing, VIIIth. Bomber Command, but pending transfer to 8th A.A.F. is administered by R.A.F substitution Unit, 1st Bombardment Wing.

General J.C.M Lee and General Moare U.S Army visit to inspect progress.

Lt/Col. J.A. Johnson arrived plus Major C. Klein from 1st Bombardment Wing. Lt/Col. J.A. Johnson assumed command of all U.S. personnel.

Number 1 Field Cookery Course assembled

Number 1 Field Cookery Class dispersed

Number 2 Field Cookery Class assembled

Number 2 Field Cookery Class dispersed

Number 3 Field Cookery Class assembled

Note; All accommodated on Site #5, Huts 35, 36, & 37 (Barracks) Hut 34 as Lecture Room. Due to temporary unserviceability of Sewage Dispersal Plant, the water borne lavatories must not be used, and airmen using the wash house must not tip water down the drain, but must carry it outside and throw it on the ground.

Number 3 Field Cookery Class dispersed

Number 4 Field Cookery Class assembled

Number 4 Field Cookery Class dispersed

55th Fighter Group arrived. C/O. Lt/Col. F.B. James. HQ Detachment, 38th Fighter Squadron, 338th Fighter Squadron, and 343rd Fighter Squadron

1029 Signalling Company USAAF arrived

HQ and HQ Squadron 97 Servicing Group arrived. 55th Station Complement Squadron arrived

315th Servicing Squadron arrived. 1st P-38 arrived, others arrived during this month

Station handed over to Lt.Col.F.B.James C.O of 55th Fighter Group by Sq/Ldr. M.P. Kempner. Ceremony took place at Admin Site where R.A.F Ensign was flying on the mast with two R.A.F Corporals and two USAAF Corporals either side. After deeds were handed over, the R.A.F Band from Henlow played the National Anthem as Ensign was hauled down. The Stars and Stripes was then hoisted, the band playing The Star Spangled Banner. The U.S Guard of Honour marched past the Salutory Base where Sq/Ldr. Kempner and Lt/Col. James, Col. J.C. Stanley and Col. M.C. Woodbury took salute. The ceremony ended with the band playing the R.A.F March Past.

Editor's Note: The dates are English style (day, month, year).

Originally created and written by Malcolm "Ozzie" Osborn of the Nuthampstead Airfield Research Society in November 1978 from micro-filmed 398th 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.

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