RAF
UPOTTERY
(Smeatharpe)
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Lat/Long N50.53.02/W03.09.10.IDENT: UO, USAAF Station No.462

RUNWAYS:Concrete. 15/33 4200 ft,09/27 6000ft,02/20 4200ft.

RAF Upottery , a 1944 overhead view.
The airfield site today.

Construction of the airfield started in the summer of 1943 and , when complete provided three runways, 50 loop type hardstandings and two T-2 hangars. In addition there was dispersed accommodation for 2,500 personel in Nissen huts on seven dispersed sites to the north-east of the field.
The field opened for business onFebruary 17 1944 and was occupied by the 439th Troop Carrier Group, USAAF on the 25th April.The 439th was involved in glider towing operations during the D-Day invasion and transferred to Juvincourt in France on Sept 8th 1944.
The airfiel reverted to RAF control but the next occupants were the U S Navy who arrived on 7th November and satyed until June 1945.
Thereafter the airfield reverted once again to RAF control and was used by Maintenance Command for storage of surplus materials by until the end of 1948.
In November 1948 the RAF left and the site was derequisitioned.

The Airfield became famous postwar following the publication of the book 'Band of Brothers' by Stephen Ambrose. Smeatharpe was the airfield from which Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division 'Screaming Eagles' flew to Normandy on D-Day.

The airfield site is now in use by the UPOTTERY TOWING CLUB - a hang gliding and paragliding club.

The C-47 seen above at Upottery in 2008 was originally a 92TCS aircraft based there in 1944. (photo by Mac Hawkins)

Arrived Unit Departed Aircraft type
26 April 1944 439 Troop Carrier Group/50TCW/9TCC. 8th Sept 1944 C-47/C-53 Comprised 91/92/93/94 TC Squadrons.Codes were L4/J8/3B/D8
November 1944 VPB-103/FAW-7 Early June 1945 Liberator PB4Y-1/Privateer PB4Y-2 From Dunkeswell
31 May 44 A & E Companies ,506 Para Regt,101st Airborne Division 6th June 44 .
Feb 1945 VPB-107 June 1945? PB4Y-2 Patrol ops.
15 february 1945 VPB-112 1st June 1945 PB4Y-2 Privateer Patrol ops.

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