Earls Colne Airfield

Back Earls Colne Airfield

Earls Colne was one of the first airfields built by the US army in Britain, becoming operational in may 1943 with the 94th Bomb group flying B-17s. The RAF took over in September 1944 with Halifax and Horsa gliders for Operation varsity. In 1946 the airfield was put on care and maintenance.

Earls Colne was one of the first airfields built by the US army in Britain, becoming opernational in may 1943 with the 94th Bomb group flying B-17s. The RAF took over in September 1944 with Halifax and Horsa gliders for Operation varsity. In 1946 the airfield was put on care and maintenance. 


The airfield was equipped with three runways linked by a perimeter track, with 36 frying pan dispersals and 15 loops. Two T-2 hangars were built at opposite sides of the aifield; TL8552 2680; TL8436 2667 both of which were in industrial use. The control tower stands at TL8479 2660 (type 12799/41, 343/43) and the main technical site was built south west around Honeywood farm. Bomb stores were built around the edge of 'Witch Wood' (TL857 254) and fragmentary evidence remains. Fusing sheds were positioned along the connecting track (TL852 259) . SHQ/Ops was built at TL8414 2645 but this and the other main site have been destroyed and the site became woodland. The dispersed sites were located south west but all trace has been removed through forestation.


Of the airfield site, one runway is in use for light aircraft while the other runway and perimeter track remain at reduced width. All the dispersals have gone but a cluster of 6 frying-pan types show as vegetation marks in Thrift Wood (TL8468 2617). The Control Tower and hangars remain as does one runway layout. The site has already been substantially developed which suggests limited further alteration in the short term.

A fine group of air raid shelters, and a war memorial, are accessible via the Marks Hall Estate which is open to the public. 

Air raid shelter at Marks Farm

Air raid shelter at Marks Farm

Air raid shelter at Marks Farm

Air raid shelter at Marks Farm

Inside air raid shelter at Marks Farm

Inside air raid shelter at Marks Farm

Detail inside shelter

Detail inside shelter

War Memorial at Marks Farm

War Memorial at Marks Farm

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