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In the 1980s lists of United States Army Air Force Station Numbers appeared in various issues of Airfield Review, the journal of the Airfield Research Group.  Unfortunately these were incomplete and followed no logical order.  I put together this article to right this and it was published in Airfield Review No. 68 in April 1995.  It should hopefully explain how the numbering systems worked. Based on information available. it is believed that the later (September 1942 onwards) lists are comprehensive. Due to limitations of space no attempt has been made to describe the use or users of the individual stations. For example, a bomber airfield would have had in addition to its main group, numerous other separate units and detachments also on site such as Air Service Command technicians, Military Police, etc. and it would be impractical to include all this additional information. The original system of identifying USAAC/USAAF stations and bases in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) during World War Two used a letter and number combination. The prefix letters were:

     B = Bomber Airfields

     D = Rear Supply Depots

     O = Observation (Reconnaissance) Airfields

     P = Pursuit (Fighter) Airfields

     R = Repair and Rectification Depots

Station numbers

for 4 June 1942

of bases allocated

to the USAAF.

Fighter Bases

P- 1

?

P-2

Goxhill

P-3

Kirton

P-4

P-5

?

P-6

 ?

P- 7

Digby

P-8

Wellingore

P-9

Kingscliffe 

P-I0

Atcham

P-l1

High Ercall

Eglinton, Maydown, St.Angelo and Kirkiston were other airfields in the 4 June 1942 allocations. It is possible that P-4 could be identified as Hibaldstow.

Bomber Bases

B-1

Molesworth 

B-2

Grafton Underwood 

 B-3

Polebrook 

B-4

Thurleigh

B-5

Podington

B-6

Chelveston 

B- 7

 Kimbolton

B-8

Little Staughton 

B-9 

Stradishall

B-I0

Honington  

B-l1

East Wretham

B-12

Wattisham 

B-13

 Foulsham  

B-14

Wendling

B-15

Hardwick 

B-16

Hethel

B-17

Tibenham

B-18

Rattlesden

B-19

Horsham St. Faith 

B-20 

 Bungay

B-21

Chedburgh  

B-22

Shipdham

B-23

Earls Colne

 B-24 

Knettishall

B-25

Thorpe Abbotts

B-26

Ridgewell 

B-27

Market Harborough

B-28

Desborough

Repair Depots

R-I  

Warton

R-2  

Burtonwood

R-3 

Langford Lodge

Rear Supply Depots

D-I  

Haywood 

D-2 

Handforth

D-3 

Stafford 

D-4 

Quedgeley  

D-5

Poynton

Observation Bases

O-1  

Bovingdon

O-2 

Cheddington

   

Other bases were identified on I September 1942, as were further prefix letters.                                                                                   

Q = Quartermaster Depots.

T = Transport

Also OA and M which apparently stood for Observation and Maintenance respectively. OA in particular is odd as O was already the designated letter for Observation bases.

Fighter Bases

P-14 Bushey Hall (HQ)                    P-15 Westhampnett

Quartermaster Depots.

Q-101 Kettering                              Q-I02 Wellingborough

Bomber Bases

B-32 Alconbury                               B-33 Brampton Grange (HQ)

Repair Depot

R- 7 Melchbourne Park

Transport

T -I Ramsbury               T -2 Aldermaston               T-3 Greenham Common

Maintenance (?)

M-I Rushden                M-4 Thrapston

Observation (?)

OA-2 Membury

As the American build up continued many more airfields and bases would be required by the Army Air Forces and later on in September 1942 the familiar numerical system was introduced. The numerical blocks were to be allocated to Commands thus:

From 101 = Vlllth AF Bomber Command

From 231 = Vlllth AF Composite Command

From 341 = Vlllth AF Fighter Command

From 466 = Vlllth AF Ground Air Support Command                                                                                                     

From 571 onwards = Vlllth AF Service Command

Once a number had been allocated, whether to an airfield or non-flying establishment, it was rarely changed, therefore any change of unit or use on a particular site (such as a bombardment group replacing fighter group), meant that the system was soon in disarray with special regard to airfields. This was further complicated in the autumn of 1943 when the Ninth AAF was reconstituted in the UK and elements of the Eighth AAF, such as the four medium bomb groups, were transferred to this tactical air ann. The Ninth's maintenance and supply also meant that homes had to be found for the IX Service Command.

At first glance the method used in the allocation of the numbers may seem to rather haphazard. Many do not seem to follow in any logical order of either planning, construction, opening dates or dates of occupancy. Some planned airfields were never constructed but were nevertheless given a number (some reallocated later; see the 170 series range), while others never actually occupied by the USAAF still retained their numbers. And finally, some sites known to have been occupied by the US do not seem to have been numbered

An attempt was made to keep within the set parameters of the system and for the VIII GASC and VIII AFSC these worked both ways from the start points. Initially the earlier sites were renumbered. In the years that followed numbers were allocated from anywhere they were available within the particular ranges. Frequently batches of airfield names would be received from the British and these often show up as blocks in alphabetical order, e.g., 148 to 159 or 355 to 361. Note also the block 410 to 419 which are all ALGs. However, from 379 many of the numbers went to any type of station. In most instances depots on or adjacent to airfields were given different names and numbers. It is also interesting that a depot would take its name from a village on the opposite side of the airfield. For example, Hitcham - Wattisham.  The Hitcham depot was in Nedging.

The following numerical listing gives all known allocations of AAF Station numbers given to both flying and non-flying sites in the United Kingdom. Numbers marked with an X denote an airfield or other flying establishment and those marked * after the number denote an airfield that was not constructed. Only the "official" name is given for the sake of brevity. Counties are given as they were in World War Two.

Listed separately are non-UK sites allocated numbers. UK sites known to have had USAAF occupancy or were allocated but never taken up and to which no number is recorded have not been included in this article. Most of these were Military Police stations frequently located in private houses.   

101 Camp Lynn, High Wycombe, Bucks

102 X Alconbury, Hunts.

103 Brampton Grange, Hunts

104 X Hardwick, Norfolk

105 X Chelveston, Northants

106 X Grafton Underwood, Northants

107 X Molesworth, Hunts

108 Old Catton, Norwich, Norfolk   

109 X Podington, Beds

110 X Polebrook, Northants

111 X Thurleigh, Beds

112 X Bovingdon, Herts

113 X Cheddington, Bucks

114 X Hethel, Norfolk

115 X Shipdham, Norfolk

116 Elvedon Hall, Brandon, Suffolk  

117 X Kimbolton. Hunts

118 X Wendling. Norfolk

119 X Horham. Suffolk

120 X Attlct>rrdgc,-Norfolk

121 X Bassingbourn. Cambs

122 X Steeple Morden, Cambs

123 X Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk    

124 X Tibbenham, Norfolk

125 X Bungay, Norfolk

126 X Rattlesden, Suffolk

127 X Little Staughton, Hunts

128 X Deenethorpe, Northants

129 X St. Eval, Cornwall

130 X Glatton, Hunts

131 X Nuthampstead, Herts

132 X Beccles, Suffolk

133 X East Wretham, Norfolk

134 X Eye, Suffolk

135 X Hepworth, Suffolk (Note a)   

136 X Knettishall, Suffolk

137 X Lavenham, Suffolk

138 X Snetterton Heath Norfolk

139 X Thorpe Abbotts, Suffolk

140 X Winfarthing, Suffolk (Note b)

141 X Bodney, Norfolk

142 X Deopham Green, Norfolk

143 X North Pickenham , Norfolk

144 X Old Buckenham, Norfolk      

145 X Rackheath, Norfolk

146 X Seething, Norfolk

147 Ketteringham Hall, Wymondham, Suffolk

148 * Beaumont, Essex

149 X Birch, Essex

150 X Boxted, Essex

151 X Butley, Suffolk (Note c)          

152 X Debach, Suffolk

153 X Framlingham, Suffolk             

154 X Gosfield, Essex

155 X Great Ashfield, Suffolk          

156 X Mendlesham, Suffolk

157 X Raydon, Suffolk

158 Sudbury, Staffs

159 X Wormingford, Essex

160 Marks Hall, Essex

161 X Boreham, Essex

162 X Chipping Ongar, Essex          

163 * Cold Norton, Essex

164 X Great Dunmow, Essex

165 to 537

165 X Little Walden, Essex

166 X Matching, Essex

167 X Ridgewell, Essex

168 X Rivenhall, Essex

169 X Stansted, Essex

170 X Wethersfield, Essex

171 Stisted Hall, Essex

172 Snettisham, Norfolk

173 * Southminster, Essex

173 X Dunkeswell, Devon

174 X Sudbury, Suffolk

175 Mousehole, Cornwall

176  Narborough, Norfolk

177 * High Roding, Essex

177 X Ludham, Norfolk

178 X Matlask, Norfolk

179 X Harrington, Northants

180 to 185. Continental sites.

186 to 190. Not known.

191 and 192. Non-UK sites.

193 Marchington Hall, Derbyshire          

194 to 196. Non-UK sites.

197 to 230. Not known.

231 Kirkcassock House, Co Down   

232 X Long Kesh, Co Down

233 Victoria Barracks, Belfast          

234 X Mount Farm, Oxon

235 X Nutts Comer, Co Antrim

236 X Toome, Co Atrim

237 X Greencastle, Co Down

238 X Cluntoe, Co Tyrone

239 X Maghaberry, Co Antrim

240 X Mullaghmore, Londonderry    

241 to 340. Not known.

341 Bushey Hall, Herts

342 X Atcham, Salop

343 X Biggin Hill, Kent

344 X Eglinton, Londonderry

345 X Goxhill, Lincs

346 X High Ercall, Salop

347 X Ibsley, Hants

348 X Kenley, Surrey

34 X Kirton in Lindsey, Lincs

350 Lurgan, Co Armagh

351 X Manston, Kent

352 X Westhampnett, Sussex

353 X Colerne, Wilts

354 Non-UK. (Iceland) (Note d)      

355 X Coltishall, Norfolk

356 X Debden, Essex

357 X Duxford, Cambs

358 X Earls Colne, Essex

359 X Great Sampford, Essex

360 X Ouston, Co Durham

361 X Snailwell, Suffolk

362 X Ford, Sussex

363 X Tangmere, Sussex

364 Gloucester, Glos

365 X Halesworth, Suffolk

366 X Metfield, Suffolk

367 X Kingscliffe, Northants

368 X Wittering, Northants

369 X Martlesham Heath, Suffolk     

370 Saffron Walden, Essex

371 Sawston, Cambs

372 Wallcott Hall, Lincs

373 X Leiston, Suffolk

374 X Bottisham, Cambs

375 X Honington, Suffolk

376 X Watton, Norfolk

377 X Wattisham, Suffolk

378 X Fowlmere, Cambs

379 Non-UK site.

380 Bath, Somerset

381 Non-UK site.

382 Sudbury, Suffolk

383 to 386 Non-UK sites.

387 X Northolt, Middx

388 and 389 Non-UK sites.

390 Bryanston Square, London        

391 Not known

392 to 400 Non-UK sites.

401 Haseley Court, axon

402 Arborfield Cross, Berks

403 X Kingston Bagpuize, Berks      

404 X Chilbolton, Hants

405 Hampstead Borough, London    

406 X Andover, Hants

407 X Thruxton, Hants

408 X Beaulieu, Hants

409 Uxbridge, Middx

410 X Lashenden, Kent

411 X High Halden, Kent

412 X Headcorn, Kent

413 X Staplehurst, Kent

414 X Winkton, Hants

415 X Bisterne, Hants

416 X Christchurch, Hants

417 X Ashford, Kent

418 X Kingsnorth, Kent

419 X Woodchurch, Kent

420 Popham, Hants

421 Chapel Row, Sussex

422 Great Barrington, Glos

423 Cokethorpe, Northants

424 Sole Common, Berks

425 X Scorton, Yorks

426 Stanlake Park, Berks

427 Langton, Dorset

428 X Coleby Grange, Lincs

429 Crookham Common, Berks       

430 X Drem, East Lothian

431 Dering Wood, Kent

432 Charborough Park, Hants

433 Bishopstrow, Wilts

434 Chisledon, Wilts

435 Erlestoke, Wilts

436 Bois Hall, Essex

437 Norman Court, Hants

438 Brenzett, Kent

439 X Aldergrove, Co Atrim

440 Breamore, Hants

441 Bruern Abbey, Northants

442 Totton, Hants

443 St. Marys Hall, Glamorgan         

444 Stallinton Grange, Staffs           

445 Stiffkey, Norfolk

446 Taunton, Somerset

447 X Weston Zoyland, Somerset    

448 Start Point, Devon

449 X Middle Wallop, Hants

450 X Zeals, Wilts

451 Rudloe Manor, Wilts

452 X Stoney Cross, Hants

453 X Tarrant Rushton, Dorset

454 X Warm well, Dorset

455 X Holmsley South, Hants

456 Eastcote, Middx

457 X Fairford, Glos

458 X Down Ampney, Wilts

459 X Blakehill Farm, Wilts

460 X Wink leigh, Devon

461 X Church Stanton, Somerset      

462 X Upottery, Devon

463 X Exeter, Devon

464 X Merryfield, Somerset

465 X Chalgrove. Oxon

466 X Membury, Berks

467 X Aldermaston. Berks

468 X Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk    

469 X Ramsbury, Wilts

470 Hitcham, Suffolk (Note e)         

471 X Keevil, Wilts

472 Sunninghill Park, Berks

473 Bristol, Glos

474 X Welford, Berks

475 Medmenham, Bucks

476 Aldermaston Court, Berks        

477 X North Luffenham, Rutland     

478 X Woolfox Lodge, Rutland

479 X North Witham, Lincs

480 St. Vincents Lodge, Lincs         

481 X Bottesford, Leics

482 X Balderton, Notts

483 X Barkston Heath, Lincs

484 X Folkingham, Lincs

485 X Andrews Field, Essex

486 X Greenham Common, Berks   487 X Charmy Down, Somerset

488 X Fulbeck, Lincs

489 X Cottesmore, Rutland

490 X Langar, Notts

491 Bray Court, Berks

492 X Hurn, Hants

493 X Spanhoe, Northants

494 Phyliss Court, Oxon

495 Knightshayes Court, Devon       

496 and 497 Non-UK sites

498 Ebrington Manor, Glos

499 Higham Heath, Suffolk

500 X Prestwick, Ayrshire

501 Stowmarket, Suffolk

502 Tostock Park, Suffolk

503 Stanbridge Earls, Hants

504 X Portreath, Cornwall

505 Neaton, Norfolk

506 X Twinwood Farm, Beds

507 Perham Down, Wilts

508 Hurst Park, Surrey

509 Duncan Hall, Stone, Staffs (Note f)

510 X Heston, Middx

511 Moulsford Manor, Berks

512 X St. Mawgan, Cornwall

513 Kirby House, Liverpool

514 Kirkby, Lancs

515 Wapley Common, Glos

516 St. Mellons, Monmouth

517 Little Heath, Norfolk

518 Beatty Hall, Staffs

519 X Grove, Berks

520 Melton Mowbray, Leics

521 Braybrooke, Northants

522 Smethwick, Staffs

523 Coombe House, Dorset

524 Sunnyside Hotel, Lancs

525 Cranford, Middx

526 Wakes Colne, Essex

527 Leicester, Leics

528 Nether Wallop, Hants

529 Westonbirt, Glos

530 Haydock, Lancs

531 Chris hall Grange, Cambs

532 Ringshall, Suffolk

533 Dunham New Park, Cheshire    

534 Cuddington, Cheshire

535 Hale, Cheshire

536 Keele Hall, Staffs

537 Trowbridge, Wilts

538 to 925 and non-United Kingdom

581 Penistone (Wortley), Yorks

582 X Warton, Lancs

583 Sharnbrook, Beds

584 Thrapston, Northants

585 Hull, Lincs

586 Bushey Park, Surrey

588 Warren Wood, Norfolk

589 Burton on Trent, Staffs

590 X Burtonwood, Lancs

591 Washington Hall, Lancs

592 Groveley Wood, Wilts'"

593 Burton Rough, Sussex, "

594 Jef(erson Hall, Stone, Staffs

595 Troston, Suffolk

596 Goghton Park, Northants

597 Langford Lodge, Co Antrim

598 Lichfield Barracks, Staffs

599 Lords Bridge, Cambs

600 to 800 Not known.

801 Boumemouth, Hants

802 Baverstock, Wilts

803 X Filton, Glos

804 to 924 Not known

925 Remenham, Berks


Non-UK AAF Station Numbers    

180 X Villacoublay (A-20) France

181 X Chievres (A.84) France

182 X Merville (B-53) France

183 Barisey Ie Cote, France

184 X Charleroi (A-87) Belgium

185 Wittem, Holland

191 Ollencourt, France

192 X Beauvais-Tille (A-61) France

194 Martigues, France

195 Camillon, France

196 X Istres (Y.17) France

354 X Reykjavik, Iceland (Note d)

379 St. Germaine-en-Laye, France   

381 45 Sharron, Paris, France

383 X Bolleville (A-25C) France

384 X Toussus-le-Noble(A-46) France


385 X Le Bourget (A-54C) France

386 I Rue de Tillsit, Paris, France

388 Marseilles, France

389 Compeigne, France

392 Bois de Boulogne. France

393 X Verdun (A-82) France

394 Le Francport, France

395 Rouen, France

396 Fontenay, France

397 Pierrefonds, France

398 Montdidier, France

399 Fignieres, France

400 X Virton (Y-7l) Belgium

496 Granville, France

497 X Querqueville (A-23C) France

559 Poltava, Ukraine, Russia

560 Pirytin, Ukraine, Russia

561 Mirgorod, Ukraine, Russia


Notes to listings

(a) Hepworth 135 became Shepherds Grove 555

(b) Winfarthing 140 became Fersfield 554

(c) Butley 151 became Bentwaters

(d) Records do not specify which of the airfields in Iceland used by the USAAF is 354. The US constructed Meeks and Patterson Fields at Reykjavik and also Kassos Field on the north side of the island. The main tactical airfield of Reykjavik was under the jurisdiction of the RAF and only used occasionally by the USAAF.

(e) 470 had been associated with Wattisham, 377 prior to the movement of the 4th SAD to Hitcham in April 1944.

(f) 509. Also listed as Kidderminster, Worcs.


538 X Saltby, Leics

539 Tilshead, Wilts

540 Lydiard Tregoze, Wilts

541 Riseley, Beds

542 Crewe, Cheshire

543 Kingham, axon

544 Ashdown Park, Berks

545 Earsham, Norfolk

546 Potters Hill, Yorks

547 Abbotts Ripton, Hunts

548 Eccles, Norfolk

549 Nascot Lodge, Herts

550 Williamsstrip Park, Glos

551 X Lymington, Hants

552 Huyton, Lancs

553 Brigg, Lincs

554 X Fersfield, Norfolk (Note b)

555 X Shepherds Grove, Suffolk (Note a)

556 Aylesfield House, Hants

557 Pangboume House, Berks

558 Walhampton House, Hants

559 to 561. Non-UK sites.

562 Spetchley Park, Worcs

563 Furzedown House, Worcs

564 Eggington, Derbys

565 Preston, Rutland

566 Keythorpe Hall, Leics

567 Eynsham Hall, axon

568 X Valley, Anglesey

569 Adams Hall, Lancs

570 X Ayr, Ayrshire

571 Poynton, Cheshire

572 Melchboume Park, Beds

573 X Stomoway, Hebrides

574 X Heathrow, Middx

575 X Hendon, Middx

576 20 North Audley St., London WI

577 Maghull, Lancs

578 Bellvue Park, Lancs

579 Padgate, Leics

580 Wellingborough, Northants

John V. Nicholls, 1995 and 2003

Sources and acknowledgements:

Army Air Force Stations by Capt. Barry J. Anderson, USAF. (1985 US Air Force Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, USA.)

The Mighty Eighth and The Mighty Eighth War Manual by Roger A. Freeman, to whom credit is due for information relating to the early numbering system and corrected my unfounded assumptions about the later allocations.

Thanks also to Terry Gladwell for assistance.