Shepherds Grove News & Information
The original Shepherds Grove is a Small area of woodland to the south of Stanton village. This page however covers the wartime airfield under three different headings:
1. Shepherds Grove Park, a retirement park with some 200 park homes.
2. Shepherds Grove industrial Estate, comprising much of the old airfield.
3. The airfield and its history.
1.Shepherds Grove Park Homes Park
Is a quiet Retirement Park is situated in a superb woodland setting one mile from the village of Stanton. There are good shopping facilities in the village, together with sports and social clubs. A regular bus service goes from the Park to the surrounding villages and towns. Milk and newspapers are delivered to the Park and the Mobile Library and Hairdresser call regularly. Shepherds Grove Park has recently received its 7th David Bellamy Conservation Scheme Gold Award. All the new homes sited are fully furnished and have tiled roofs, mains gas central heating and double glazing.
Berkley Homes, Shepherds Grove Park
2.Shepherds Grove Industrial Estate
The Shepherds Grove Industrial Estate is situated midway between Bury St Edmunds and Diss off the A143 road. It is based on an old wartime airfield and still has a large area suitable for general employment awaiting development. The total area of the site is some 90 hectares.
General information on the Industrial estate
3. Shepherds Grove Airfield.
Shepherds Grove Airfield –a brief history.
During the war, Shepherds Grove was a base for Stirling bombers. It was, in fact, built for the USAAF in 1943, but it was assigned to the RAF's 3 Group as a satellite of Stradishall in April 1944.
At the end of 1944 Shepherds Grove was transferred to 38 Group.
In January 1945 numbers 196 and 299 Stirling transport squadrons moved in. These squadrons were involved in supply drops for Special operations and towed gliders from Shepherds Grove as part of the Rhine crossing. Stirlings continued to deliver mail and stores overseas until March 1946.
In May 1946 the station was taken over by 60 Group as a satellite of RAF Watton Radio Warfare Establishment and some Avro Ansons and Lancasters were positioned here.
In 1950 the station was put on 'Care and Maintenance'.
In 1951 it was loaned to the USAF and in August the 116th squadron of the 81st Fighter Interceptor Wing brought in F86A Sabres, the first in this country. The 92nd squadron joined them soon after.
In 1952 the 116th became the 78th Fighter Squadron, and in 1954 received F84F Thunderstreaks. The 78th moved to Woodbridge in December 1958.
In 1959 Shepherds Grove became a Thor Missile Base and a flight of 82 Squadron operated them until their removal in 1963.
The site then changed to agriculture with an ndustrial estate.
This item is copied from the St Edmundsbury Borough Council Web Site where further information on the history of the USAF in Europe can be found.