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RAF Bassingbourn in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- RAF Bassingbourn during the Second World War -

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RAF Bassingbourn

   Built as an operational R.A.F. Bomber Command Station in 1938, Bassingbourn was home to the Wellingtons of, 35, 98, 104, 108 and 215 squadrons.

In October 1942 the station transferred to 8th U.S.A.A.F. Command, known as station 121. The 91st B.G. commanded by Colonel Stanley Wray moved here from Kimbolton on the 14th Oct 1942. Bassingbourn found fame as the base of the B-17 'Memphis Belle' and was immortalised in the wartime film of the same name with many scenes shot on site. (Although the 1990 remake was shot at Binbrook). The 91st BG 'The Ragged Irregulars' flew 340 B-17 combat missions from Bassingbourne between 07th November 42 and 25th April 1945.

The RAF resumed command of the station after the war and it became home to 231 OCU, flying Canberras until the airfield was closed in May 1969. Since then the site has been used as an Army barracks. Most of the buildings are still in use by the military, the tower being used as a museum.

Squadrons stationed at Bassingbourne during World War Two

  • 35 Squadron. Dec 1939 to Feb 1940
  • 98 Squadron.
  • 104 Squadron.
  • 108 Squadron.
  • 215 Squadron.
  • 91st Bonb Group.


December 1939 Re-equipped and relocated

15th Mar 1945 214 Squadron Fortress lost

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served at

RAF Bassingbourn

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Green Frederick George. Flt.Sgt. (d.27th Sep 1942)
  • Marquis William. (d.1945/11/08)
  • Prouse George John.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

William Marquis 227 Squadron / 102 Squadron (d.1945/11/08)

I have been researching my family history and have obtained the personnel records for my half-brother William Marquis.

The record shows that he was assigned to 227 Squadron on 12th April 1945 after discharge and appointment to RAF VR. There is a further entry for 227 Squadron dated 18th June 1945 which is some 10 days after 227 Squadron either moved from RAF Strubby or was disbanded. The next entry is at RAF Snaith dated 17th September 1945 followed by what seems to be an entry for 102 Squadron dated 20th or possibly 26th September 1945. He was with 102 Squadron based at RAF Bassingbourn when he was killed on active service at Abington Piggotts on 08/11/1945 when his plane crashed shortly after take off.

I know it is a long shot but any information anyone may have on William would be appreciated.

Keith Marquis

George John "Bill" Prouse

My father, George Prouse, nicknamed Bill, served on the ground crew as a radio technician. He was also an artist and did a number of watercolour paintings of life at RAF Bassingbourne. At one time he was approached while painting, by the millitary police who though maybe he was a spy as he was painting Wellingtons on dispersal. I still have the painting.

Chris Prouse

Flt.Sgt. Frederick George Green 138 Squadron (d.27th Sep 1942)

Fred Green joined the R.A.F in August 1938. After training as a Wireless Operator he joined 38 Squadron at RAF Marham, he completed two operational tours before being posted to No 11 O.T.U at RAF Bassingbourne. On the 21st April 1942 he started his third tour with No 138 (Special Duty) Squadron based at RAF Tempsford.

On the 27th September 1942 while carrying out an S.O.E mission (code named Incomparable 1) to Belgium his aircraft which had been damaged by FLAK, crashed in a field in Northern France, sadly Fred and two other crew members, David Harrison Freeland the pilot, and Edmond George Hayhoe C/O pilot were killed in the crash.

Peter Green

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.

Bomber Bases of World War 2, Airfields of 1st Air Division (USAAF) Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire

Martin Bowman

Covers the units who flew the legendary B-17 Flying Fortress. This book looks at the history and personalities associated with each base, what remains and explores the favourite local wartime haunts where aircrew and ground crew would have gone. It covers museums and places that are relevant.


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