IX Engineer Command

Messages for and about the IX Engineer Command and its constituent units.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:16 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Harlow, Essex,England
The former airfield of Chipping Ongar/Willingale still bears testiment to the Engineers of the 831st .
Built in 1943, Station 162 has reverted to agriculture like so many of the airfields built by the US aviation battalions. But take a walk around the peaceful English countryside here and echoes of the past still remain, although much the runways, perimeter tracks and hardstands have been lifted for the hardcore market, there can be seen large sections of concrete that remain in excellent condition. On the western side of the airfield the perimeter track is still at it's full width and one or two examples of the loop style aircraft hardstands where the B-26 Marauders of the 387thBG(M) stood awaiting their missions still remain, one has had a small hangar for modern microlight aircraft built upon it and the base of these hardstands still contain the picket points for securing the aircraft embedded into them.
The main No1 Runway is non existant, but small sections of the no3 and No2 runways can be found along with the Operations block, the Norden bomb sight store and the radar workshop. the original blister hangar that was used as a gunnery school sits on the north eastern side of the airfield.
The Bulk aviation fuel store with it's attendant pump house can be seen too. The airfield was built using hardcore from bombed housing in london, and a large pile of this hardcore that was never used still remains on the northern side of the airfield, a small fir tree plantation has grown over and among the heap, you can still find painted plaster and pieces of light switches from the houses in the pile.
There can still be seen some of the many Nissen huts that served as accomodation for the various ground and aircrew, these are in some of the fifteen seperate dispersed sites around the eastern side of the airfield, some are still in use today as storage buildings. The sewerage works that was built to serve the airfield has been modified slightly but now serves some of the small clusters of outlying housing!.
Do any of the Engineers recall Doug Moore?, Doug was one of the engineers that helped build the airfield, Mr Ellis who farms the land recalls that Doug was a very homesick man. One day Doug walked into one of the small copse woods, he sat down with his back to a tree and died where he sat, such was his longing for his homeland that he paid with his life. He was buried at the American Cemetary at Maddingley Cambridge.

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Denis Sharp
EU? No Thanks!


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