Airfield

About Hardwick the RAF and the USAAF


RAF Ensign
RAF Hardwick is a former World War II airfield in England. The field is located near the village of
Topcroft , 5 miles (8 km) west of Bungay in Norfolk and a similar distance from the A140 main road from Norwich to Ipswich. (See Maps page).

Hardwick Airfield was one of the early

USAAF 'Hap' Patch
heavy bomber airfields which were constructed for the RAF during 1941-42 in the East Anglian area. It was built by John Laing & Son Ltd., and required 4 miles (6 km) of surface drains, 13 miles (19 km) of drains, 13 miles (19 km) of roadways, 5 miles (8 km) of sewers and 7 (11 km) of water mains. A total of 4,750,000 bricks were used in construction of the camp. Three runways were constructed in concrete, each 50 yards (46m) wide, lengths 1,975 yards (1808m), 1,400 yards (1280m), and 1,400 yards (1280m). Total area of conrete in runways, perimeter track and aircraft dispersal points, 550,000 square yards, 113 acres (459870m2, 46 hectares). Cost: $4,400,000 in 1942. 

(WebMaster - that's roughly 63
football/soccer pitches)

(Conversion by Convert-Me.com)
 



Like other heavy bomber fields originally planned for RAF needs and begun at the same time, this airfield had three T-2 hangars grouped together on the administrative and technical site, in this case on the eastern side of the airfield. The technical site was adjacent to the hangars and bordered the country road running from Hempnall to Alburgh.


On the eastern side of this road lay the
major part of the camp with domestic sites hidden amongst woodland. One site was located at
Topcroft Street. All accommodation was of the temporary type, mostly Nissen huts. The bomb dump was situated off the north-west corner of the airfield in and adjacent to Spring Wood. 



(Much of this is an extract from a Wikipedia article, see the full Wikipedia article and more about the USAAF involement.)


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Hardwick Airfield
This picture is from Wikipedia.
 
The photo opposite show the main runways at Hardwick Airfield but not the accommodation area where the 93rd Bomb Group Museum is sited.   The accomodation area is to the right of the map along the road marked to Topcroft Street.  See also the Maps page.



Old map - new map - overlay
The 1942 aerial photo opposite overlayed
on a Mar 2012 Google map.
  Click to enlarge.

(WebMaste -
reminder to self, must do better on next overlay)



Hardwick airfield in the year 2012, it's still in use as an airfield.



Clic-on-a-pic to enlarge



Hardwick Nov 2012, GPS
Hardwick Nov 2011,
GPS


Hardwick Nov 2012, from the north
Hardwick Nov 2011,
from the north


Hardwick Nov 2012, from south-west
 Hardwick Nov 2011,
from the south-east

Hardwick Nov 2012, plan of runways
 Hardwick Nov 2011,
runway plan

 


There's some video of
take-off and landing on
runway '31' - '13'
on the gallery - airfield page.