Built Only For Battle

The story of Station 414 of the 9th Air Force, United States Army, the wartime advanced landing ground located at Winkton in Hampshire, United Kingdom

Set in the historical and beautiful valley of the River Avon below the western escarpment of the 900 year old New Forest, Winkton Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) was prepared for use in 1943 as a temporary aerodrome to support the planned Allied invasion of Europe. In the early summer of 1944 the ALG was opened with the arrival of the United States 9th Air Force's 404th Fighter Bomber Group. The 404th consisted of 506, 507 and 508 squadrons, all of which operated the P47 Thunderbolt fighter.The operational role of the 404th was to use the P47 as a tactical fighter primarily deployed for ground attack. This site contains information on the history of the 404th in England, of the Winkton ALG, memories of the people of the surrounding villages and background information on the historical, geographical and aviation environment within which Winkton ALG was built and the 404th operated.

   Down load the whole text of "Leap Off" the history of the 404th Fighter Group in World War 2

    Floyd Blair's photos of the tented camp at Winkton. click here

     Stephen Tueller's research on the DFC Citations for many 404th pilots. click here

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P47s of the 506th Squadron, 404th FG return to Winkton after a mission, May or early June 1944

(Photo courtesy of Stephen Tueller)


If you haven't visited this site before and aren't sure if its for you, but your thing is military aviation history, might I suggest you start with a  A Typical Winkton Mission . Take five minutes in the company of Major Hal Shook, C.O. of the 506th Fighter Squadron, and Captain Andy Wilson, 507th Squadron Intelligence officer to get a flavour of the hive of activity that was Winkton aerodrome and the 404th Fighter Group in the summer of 1944.


Just published, "Fighter Pilot Jazz", Hal Shook's wartime memories including the months he spent with the 404th Fighter Group as C.O. of the 506th Fighter Squadron. Published by Durban House Publishing Company in Dallas, it retails at $15.95. ISBN number 1-930754-64-7


Winkton Airfield Information Board

At last the Winkton airfield site has an information board up on site. The board was unveiled by Hal Shook, former C.O, of the 404th Fighter Group's 506th Squadron. The board was produced by local historian and author Alan Brown, and erected by the Friends of the New Forest Airfields. We're very grateful to Dan Tanner, the landowner and operator of Sopley Pick Your Own farm for permission to erect the board.

The board is about in the middle of the airfield, and is at the end of the public car park for the Pick Your Own Farm that now covers the centre of the old airfield. The Pick Your Own should be open each summer from early June.

The board after its unveiling on June 3rd Alan Brown, Hal Shook and Dan Tanner, just before the unveiling

404th Fighter Group presents Memorial Plaque to FONFA

On September 15th, a party of the 404th Fighter Group visited the New Forest. When they visited the New Forest Airfields' Memorial they presented a memorial plaque to Les White, Chairman of FONFA. The stainless steel plaque details the operation of the 404th Fighter Group from Winkton Advanced Landing Ground in 1944 and lists the names of the eight pilots who made their last flight from Winkton. The plaque is decorated with a line engraving of a P-47 and an enamelled colour Ninth Airforce badge.

left to right Bob Huddleston, Bob Bealle, Floyd Blair and Fred Varn from the 404th FG. On the extreme right is Les White from FONFA.

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and have also recently produced an exquisite solid silver P-47 that weighs 1lb (463 grams) and costs £845, about $1,344 or  €1,192 euros. click here for pictures

Are you a modeller who wants to build a 404th FG aircraft ?

During between 2002 and 2005, Superscale and Aeromaster released the following "after market" decals for Thunderbolts of the 404th.

Superscale sheets SS48-793 and SS72-810 228533 4K*V "Flak Valley Express"
Superscale SS72-886 and SS48-996 Y8*F 225893 "Joan (Freddyhopper)" and 4K*Y 228794 "Black Panther" in 1/48th., Black Panther also in 1/72 on sheet SS72886
Superscale sheet 48-808 433283 7J*P "Poles Vulgar Vulture/June"
Aeromaster Sheet 48-569 227234, Y8*E,"Elsie"; 433021 Y8*Y(with original Thunderbird emblem); 433579 4K*O "Pride ‘o Dogpatch.
Aeromaster Sheet 48-570 227257 4K*U "Maggie Zass"; 226046 Y8*W "Fightin’ Gator
Aeromaster Sheet 48-578
433085 4K*T "Mary Ann", 4K*J 225731 "The Blonde Angel"; 4K*R 226465 "Rae".
Aeromaster Sheet 48-579 433019 4K*X "Sallie 2"; 228871 Y8*D "Snortin’ Bull"; 433518 7J*Q "Sweet Music". (Note the Snortin’ Bull nose art, name, Squadron and aircraft codes can also be adapted for use for the pilot’s two previous P-47s.)

the aircraft decals in Bold all represent Winkton based aircraft, two razorbacks and one bubbletop, and are all in 1:48th scale.


Dan Hamblin has a download available for Winkton Advanced Landing Ground which you can find at


Dan also has some military airfields scenery/structures for download and a download of RAF Holmsley South Airfield  in 1944 at


This site remains under gradual development. This latest version dates from August 2012.   I hope you enjoy the site and learn something of interest from this short episode in our local history. If you have any information that would add to or correct the facts contained in this site, I positively encourage your input.

John Levesley.

Site design by John Levesley


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