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Narrative:North American P-51-10-NT Mustang Mk. III: Ex-USAAF 44-10962 (MSN 111-29090) to RAF as Mustang III KH537. Issued to 118 Squadron, RAF at Bentwaters, Woodbridge, Suffolk
|Date:||Thursday 10 January 1946|
North American P-51C-10-NT Mustang Mk III
|Owner/operator:||118 Sqn RAF|
|MSN:|| MSN 111-29090|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1|
|Aircraft damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||RAF Attlebridge, Weston Longville, Norfolk, England -
|Departure airport:||RAF Bentwaters, Woodbridge, Suffolk|
|Destination airport:||RAF Attlebridge, West Longville, Norfolk|
Written off (destroyed) January 10, 1946 when crashed while avoiding buildings during overshot forced landing following engine failure, RAF Attlebridge, 8 miles North-West of Norwich, Norfolk. The aircraft was low flying when the engine failed. The pilot was able to pull the Mustang up to an altitude of approximately 300 feet, and then attempted to make a landing on the airfield at RAF Attlebridge, 8 miles North West of Norwich, Norfolk, which was immediately below him.
However, the Mustang overran the runway at RAF Attlebridge, and crashed in an attempt to avoid farm buildings near the end of the runway.
Despite being wrecked (written off as "destroyed") the pilot survived with only minor injuries.
After the war, RAF Attlebridge was placed in "care and maintenance" status for a few years, eventually being closed in 1950). It was sold during 1959-62 and was chosen as a site for extensive poultry rearing operations.
Today, rows of turkey houses line the runways, isolated from each other because this is an important requirement in escaping the infectious diseases to which turkeys are prone. The runways, perimeter track, and a few of the hardstands remain as does the control tower, now extensively renovated and used as offices by the owners of the airfield site. The briefing room and HQ block still exist, the latter being used as a private house.
The T-2 hangars have long since gone but a few of the old Nissen huts and other structures remain on some of the dispersed sites, used for a variety of purposes. The runways and perimeter track are clearly still visible from the air. Additionally, while the airfield was called "RAF Attlebridge", the map shows that the airfield was nearer the village of Weston Longville (1.3 miles) than Attlebridge itself (3.3 miles)
1. Halley, James (1999). Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.27 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Final Landings: A Summary of RAF Aircraft and Combat Losses 1946 to 1949 by Colin Cummings p.30
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft KA100-KZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain)
4. 118 Squadron ORB (Operations Record Book) (Air Ministry Form AM/F.540) for the period 1/6/1945 to 31/3/1946: National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 27/908/35 at https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8387046
5. "RAF Write-offs 1946": Air Britain Aeromilitaria 1979 p.94: https://air-britain.com/pdfs/aeromilitaria/Aeromilitaria_1979.pdf
RAF Attlebridge, Norfolk: air to ground photo 16 April 1946
||Dr. John Smith
||Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]|