Debach Airfield 493rd Bomb Group MuseumBack Grove Farm, Clopton, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP13 6QS
Debach was one of the last 8th Air Force heavy bomber stations to be occupied by the American 8th Army Air Force. Since 2000, volunteers have gradually been restoring the buildings on the site, which now house a museum dedicated to the 493rd Bomb Group.
- Year of construction
Debach airfield was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) of the US army during 1943-44, being one of the last 8th Air Force heavy bomber stations to be occupied. It followed the general pattern with a single 2,000 yard runway and two intersecting 1400 yard runways. Two T2 type hangars and 50 hard standings were erected for the USAAF requirements. Living sites for 2,900 men were in dispersed living huts to the South-West of the field and Thistledon Hall, actually on the airfield, was taken over as an additional billet.
After the US forces left, Debach was a POW camp and later for displaced persons before being abandoned in 1948. It was sold in 1963-64, the main north-south runway becoming the boundary between two adjoining farms. The western side includes the control tower (although now derelict but standing) and other original buildings. The northern end of the runway was sold in 1969 for the construction of a mushroom farm. Both hangars were dismantled.
Since 2000, volunteers have gradually been restoring the buildings on the site, which now house a museum dedicated to the 493rd Bomb Group.
Further details can be found at: http://www.493bgdebach.co.uk.