In Their Shadows

Podington and Rattlesden

Both are  north of London and former sites of airfields of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. Both my father and his younger brother piloted 35 missions in B17s, the Flying Fortress – from these airfields over 70 years ago. 

Old control tower at Podington.

The control towers remain – they are now homes. Little else is on public property.  My father was stationed at Podington for several months before and after D Day. He barely made it back to England on his 35th mission. On his first mission a member of his crew, Ed Faucet, was killed.  

 My uncle finished his 35th mission just days before the Germans surrendered.
 He was 20 years old on his first mission.

I wanted to see the airfields and stand in the middle of them. I did. 

Podington is now home to the Santa Pod drag strip.

The control tower at Rattlesden remains – it is now a house.  Little else is on public property.

Rattlesden is now only a small craft and glider field.
  Two of the three runways at both locations have been removed, the material used to pave local roads after the war.

In one day, in England, I walked in the shadows of both my father and my uncle.


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