Cheddington 1944

Station 113 Cheddington 1944


BACK ROW - Left to Right

Lt. Edwin Larson, Navigator, Lt. Warren Paul, Co-Pilot, S/Sgt. Hardy Sandsmark, Radio Operator,

Capt. Eugene Mould, Pilot, Lt. Marshall Binn, Bombardier

FRONT ROW - Left to Right

Sgt. Kenneth Bailey, Gunner, Sgt. David Charter, Ball Gunner, Sgt. Wesley Hill, Tail Gunner

T/Sgt. Thomas Thompson, Engineer/Gunner, Sgt. Harry Glaser, Gunner


I was a young man of 20 when I arrived at Station 113 at Cheddington, England on March 4, 1944 with the United States Army Air Corp. I was assigned to the 406th Bomb Squadron as an Engineer/Gunner. While at Cheddington I flew 13 missions in B-17 Flying Fortress and 32 missions in B-24 Liberator bombers.

The 406th Bomb Squadron was a "Night Leaflet Squadron" and was considered a "Secret Squadron of the 8th Air Force". Our missions were to drop propaganda leaflets at night over enemy occupied Europe in hopes of shortening the war.

My stay at Cheddington was quite short as on February 19, 1945 I was transferred to Station 179 at Harrington, England where I flew an additional 9 missions. While at Station 113 I had the occasion to visit and meet many friendly people in Cheddington, Tring, Leighton Buzzard and other nearby towns. My radio operator and I made many "missions" on our bicycles into Cheddington. I have tried to remember one pub in particular as the lady that operated the bar always bought us, the Yanks, the first drink. My memory tells me that the pub had the name "Lion" on the sign but other than that, my memory fails me. The drink had to be gin and orange as that was her drink. After that it was "mild and bitters". I also remember taking canned fruit to an Inn located on a canal in exchange for an English cooked breakfast.

I felt quite at home there, perhaps because I am of English heritage. My great Grandfather was born in Appleby, England!

The only time that I have been back to Cheddington was in May 1978. I was on a trip back from Kuwait and my wife met me in London. We took a few days and spent them in England. On one day we drove to Cheddington and it brought back a lot of good memories when I saw the old airfield. We have had hopes of returning for a longer visit but the lack of funds in our old age has prevented it.

Thomas D. Thompson

Formerly of the USAAF

You can e-mail Tom Thompson at


Information about US undercover operations during World War II can be found in the book The Bedford Triangle: US Undercover Operations from Britain in World War 2 by Martin W Bowman

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