24 Jul 1941

United Kingdom
4 Jun 1942

United Kingdom
  • The Royal Air Force aerodrome at Thurleigh was formally assigned for use by the United States Army Air Forces. The USAAF designated the base as Station AAF-111. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
7 Sep 1942

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) began landing their B-17 Fortress bombers at RAF Thurleigh as their new base in Britain. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
9 Oct 1942

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group launched their first bombing mission from RAF Thurleigh. The group sent 24 B-17 Fortresses to join other B-17s and B-24s to form the first US 100-plane raid of the war. The target was Lille, France. The 306th lost no planes. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
13 Nov 1942

United Kingdom Photo(s) dated 13 Nov 1942
King George VI of the United Kingdom (center) on a tour of RAF Thurleigh in Bedfordshire, England, 13 Nov 1942. He is hearing from USAAF Lt Robert Riordan (left) about how his B-17 Fortress was damaged on a mission.
8 Feb 1943

United Kingdom
  • Colonel Frank Armstrong, commander of the 306th Bomb Group and the base at RAF Thurleigh, was promoted to Brigadier General. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
17 Feb 1943

United Kingdom
  • The 306th Bomb Group and the air base at RAF Thurleigh had a change of command with Lieutenant Colonel Claude Putnam relieving General Frank Armstrong. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
20 Jun 1943

United Kingdom
  • The 306th Bomb Group and the air base at RAF Thurleigh had a change of command with Lieutenant Colonel George Robinson relieving Colonel Claude Putnam. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
15 Jul 1943

United Kingdom
  • Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, Lt. General Jacob Devers, commander of US Army Air Forces in Europe, Maj. General Ira Eaker, commander of the Eighth Air Force, and several Brigadier generals visited RAF Thurleigh. Secretary Stimson personally present the Congressional Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Maynard “Snuffy” Smith for his heroic actions on 1 May 1943. ww2dbase [Jacob Devers | RAF Thurleigh | Maynard Smith | Ira Eaker | Henry Stimson | Thurleigh, England | DS]
Photo(s) dated 15 Jul 1943
US Secretary of War Henry Stimson presenting the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Maynard H. Smith, at RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom, 15 Jul 1943. Photo 2 of 4.US Secretary of War Henry Stimson presenting the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Maynard H. Smith, at RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom, 15 Jul 1943. Photo 1 of 4.US Secretary of War Henry Stimson presenting the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Maynard H. Smith, at RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom, 15 Jul 1943. Photo 3 of 4.Staff Sergeant Maynard H. Smith of the 306th Bomb Group saluting the colors after being awarded the Medal of Honor at RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom, 15 Jul 1943.
See all photos dated 15 Jul 1943
17 Jul 1943

United Kingdom
2 Sep 1943

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against the German airfields in France but turned back over the English Channel due to bad weather. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
20 Oct 1943

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against Duren, Germany but aborted half way to the target due to bad weather. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
5 Dec 1943

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against La Rochelle, France but aborted over the French coast due to weather. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
3 Mar 1944

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against Erkner, Germany but aborted due to weather. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
4 Mar 1944

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against Erkner, Germany but aborted due to weather. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
20 Mar 1944

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against dock facilities at Frankfurt, Germany but turned back because of weather. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
27 Apr 1944

United Kingdom
1 May 1944

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a raid against rocket launching sites in the Pas-de-Calais region of France but turned back due to the weather. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
4 May 1944

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against Berlin, Germany but were recalled due to bad weather. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
28 May 1944

United Kingdom
11 Jun 1944

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against targets in northern France but turned back due to bad weather. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
6 Jul 1944

Photo(s) dated 6 Jul 1944
LtGen Jimmy Doolittle speaking with Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom during a Royal visit to RAF Thurleigh, home of the USAAF 306th Bomb Group, 6 Jul 1944.Princess Elizabeth, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom and LtGen Jimmy Doolittle beside the B-17G ‘Rose of York’ after the bomber’s christening in honor of the Princess, RAF Thurleigh, 6 Jul 1944Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom christening the B-17G Fortress ‘Rose of York’ by breaking a bottle of English cider against the nose at RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England, 6 Jul 1944.The United Kingdom’s Princess Elizabeth of York holding onto her hat against the wind at RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England, 6 Jul 1944. She is standing with Col. George Robinson, base commanding officer.
See all photos dated 6 Jul 1944
6 Aug 1944

Photo(s) dated 6 Aug 1944
An empty spot in the airfield where a bomb storage hut used to be, RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England, 8 Aug 1944.
23 Sep 1944

United Kingdom
  • The 306th Bomb Group and the air base at RAF Thurleigh had a change of command with Lieutenant Colonel James Sutton relieving Colonel George Robinson. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
22 Oct 1944

Photo(s) dated 22 Oct 1944
Photograph taken moments after a mid-air collision between two B-17 Fortress bombers over the airfield at RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England, 22 Oct 1944.
12 Apr 1945

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group based at RAF Thurleigh scrubbed their mission for this day on receiving the news of President Roosevelt's death. A memorial service was held in the officers' mess. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
29 Apr 1945

United Kingdom
30 Apr 1945

United Kingdom
2 May 1945

United Kingdom
3 May 1945

United Kingdom
6 May 1945

United Kingdom
7 May 1945

United Kingdom
8 May 1945

United Kingdom
9 May 1945

United Kingdom
10 May 1945

United Kingdom
11 May 1945

United Kingdom
12 May 1945

United Kingdom
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh sent 25 aircraft on observation flights to Western Germany. These tours were organized in order to show ground personnel throughout the United Kingdom some of the bomb damage done to the Reich. All flights were completed without incident. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
10 Aug 1945

Photo(s) dated 10 Aug 1945
USAAF aerial photograph of RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom, 10 Aug 1945.
6 Sep 1945

United Kingdom

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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