memorial is on the site of the old R.A.F. base and is in the form of
a dedicated memorial site with memorial and seats, built of stone blocks
with metal tablets, estimated size being 3m high by 2m square. The memorial
was constructed by Sep Neave and Mr. S Weave (Builder). It was originally
dedicated 9 September 1984 attended by Revd E Barrie Leah, Revd Peter
Webster, Mr John M Vrabel, Mr William F. Junck, Mr John M. Vrabel, Mr
Alexander G. Lajoie USAAF EX Servicemen and further rededicated in 1992
by Local Clergy/Dignitaries.
memorial construction is a propeller blade from a P38 lightning aircraft
mounted on a rough hewn stone plinth, surrounded by a low curving stone
wall. The plinth has several plaques affixed on faces 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The top plaque made of cast bronze on face 1 (Fighting scouts), has
badges of the 8th US Army Air Force at the top corners, the lower plaque
on face 1, along with the inscription, has an etched relief of a P38
Lightning aircraft flanked by 8th US Army Air Force badges, below it
is an etched relief of two hands clasped in friendship. Builders plaque
on face 2 has a hammer, trowel, bell, and anchor engraved in each corner.
All plaques apart from the top one on face 1 are etched and picked out
in white. Behind the memorial and over the wall in the field there is
a small brick built shrine with a flower holder and a plaque mounted
on a small stone slab commemorating one of the airmen, the plaque is
incised and picked out in white. Either side of the memorial there are
bench seats with small brass plaques on, placed to commemorate VJ day.
Adjacent to the memorial is a detailed history of RAF Goxhill mounted
on a border with a nowy headed metal top, erected by Northern Lincolnshire
Goxhill was the first British airfield to be taken over by the American
Air Force after the RAF struggled to find a use for the site.
work began in October 1940 and the airfield first opened in June 1941
as a 1 Group Bomber Command station. Although the site had been considered
as a Royal Flying Corps Relief Landing Ground during World War One.
it was never used.
Command's 1 Group Target Towing Flight (TTF) was the first unit to make
use of the site, although its stay was only brief. The unit was formed
at Goxhill in September 1941, flying the Westland Lysander, and moved
to RAF Binbrook in November 1941.
Group TTF departed, the station was transferred to 12 Group Fighter
Command and was used to disperse Spitfires from RAF Kirton in Lindsey.
Later the Airspeed Oxfords and Ansons from RAF Kirmington used the site
for 'circuits and bumps' - a training exercise where aircraft would
land, circle and take off from an airfield.
served no further use to Fighter Command and the site's future was to
be with the United States of America Air force (USAAF).
first American planes arrived here in June 1942 - the twin-engined P-38
Lightning fighters of 71st Fighter Squadron (1st Fighter Group) with
their distinctive 'twinboom' design.
The airfield known
as Station F-345 and acted as a staging base. Units arrived at Goxhill
direct from America and were trained and familiarised with European
conditions before moving on to combat bases.
The 496th Fighter
Training Group was the only American unit to be formed here at Goxhill.
The group was under the command of Colonel Harry W. McGee and was divided
into two squadrons. The 554 Sqn trained P-38 Lightning pilots for the
8th and 9th Air Forces while 555 Sqn trained pilots to use the P-51
Mustang. During their time at Goxhill the two squadrons posted 2434
One American unit
- the 52nd Fighter Group - flew the only operational fighter of WW2
from Goxhill. The fighter group flew 83 operational sorties across the
plaques are listed below:
THE FIGHTING SCOUTS
OF THE 8th AIR FORCE
WHO TRAINED AT GOXHILL AIRFIELD 1944-1945
These bomber and fighter pilots formed the 1st, 2nd and 3rd
Scouting Forces. They led the bombers to every taget from
September 1944 through April 1945, through all weather,
scouting all targets and often defending the Bomber Stream.
In memory of Robert Bennett and Charles Hess
who gave their lives at Goxhill
by the Scouting Force Association - 1998
1 middle plaque:
SHARED A PLACE AND TIME IN HISTORY"
1 bottom plaque:
ARMY AIR FORCE
NO. 345 BASE GOXHILL
FIGHTER TRAINING GROUP
JUNE 1942 - FEBRUARY 1945
BUT NOT FORGOTTEN" #
2 top plaque:
memory of the 353rd Fighter Group and Support
Units who trained on this field, June to August 1943,
in memory of those lost during their stay
at Medfield and Raydon
"We will remember them"
2 lower plaque:
PROPELLER BLADE ON THIS TRIBUTE
IS FROM A P38 LOCKHEED LIGHTNING
WHICH FLEW FROM THIS AIRBASE AND
CRASHED ON THE 26TH MAY 1944
IN THE PARISH OF GOXHILL
THE PILOT 2nd LT L. A. FERRARA WAS KILLED
IT REPRESENTS THE HIGH PRICE
OUR COUNTRIES PAID FOR FREEDOM
3 left plaque:
A lifelong Goxhill resident and crafstman
who was commisioned by the
Airfield Tribute Committee
to build this memorial Face 3 right plaque: In honour of
Goxhill born & bred "local yokel" Historian & Co-ordinator
Goxhill airfield tribute
Which he looked after & cared for since it was built
4 top plaque:
HONOUR OF THE 78TH FIGHTER GROUP
82nd 83rd 84th Fighter Squadrons
Of the 8th Air Force, USAAF
Who trained at Goxhill Airfield. December 1942-April 1943
Operational at Duxford April 1943-October 1945
In memory of Fighter Pilots who lost their lives
Total of 116 Lost in action
May their memory live forever
Presented on behalf of the 78th FG Association 1999
4 bottom plaque:
TRIBUTE WAS ORGANISED AND
CONSTRUCTED BY THE RESIDENTS OF GOXHILL
WITH THE HELP OF THEIR FRIENDS
ON BEHALF OF THE USAAF SERVICEMEN
WHO SERVED ON THIS AIRBASE
IT WAS UNVEILED ON HE 9TH SEPTEMBER 1984
MR WILLIAM F. JUNCK. MR JOHN M. VRABEL
MR ALEXANDER G. LAJOIE USAAF EX SERVICEMEN
behind memorial wall:
of a dearly loved
John Michael Vrabel
Who passed away
30 April 1995
John served at 345 Base Goxhill as a TEC/SGT
with the US Eighth Air Force Right hand seat plaque: To commemorate
50th Anniversary of
15th August 1995
Airfield Tribute Group Left hand seat plaque: To commemorate the
50th Anniversary of
15th August 1995
Airfield Tribute Group