Boxted Airfield Historical Group

Group History

The group based in Colchester Essex was formed in the year 2000 by Richard Turner. Richard has researched the history of Boxted airfield since 1995 and has staged exhibitions with the material collected since January 1999.

There was a lot of local interest and so he decided that if this project was going to continue, more help was needed. So after a meeting of enthusiasts, the first committee was formed in February 2000.

Membership now stands at over 100 worldwide, including airfield veterans, both American servicemen and RAF personnel, who were based at Boxted. The group holds regular meetings with guest speakers, film evenings, etc. Full details can be found on the “Group Events” page on this web site.

We would welcome your comments on the layout and information contained in this site - please use the form on the "Contact Us" page.

If you would like to become a member of our group, please go to our "Group Membership" page for details. We also offer free life membership to any personnel who served at Boxted, whether it was with the US Army Air Corps or the RAF.

Refurbishment of airfield memorial

During 2007, a grant was given to Langham Parish Council to repair the village war memorial. Included in the application was a request for money to refurbish the airfield memorial. Our group was asked if we would like to be involved in the design process and, after some deliberation, we suggested a wall should be built about 5 feet high around the present monument, which was agreed by the Parish Council. Carved into the granite are the names of the American units and the dates that they were stationed at Boxted, and also details of the RAF use of the field. The refurbishment was completed in April 2008.

Annual Report by the Committee for year ending 28 February 2020

Committee: The committee met 7 times during the year to carry out the business of the Group.

Number of members: Total of 113 including 4 honorary members and one veteran, compared to a total of 106 in the previous year.

Club nights: There were 10 club nights, one of which was preceded by the AGM in April.

Social: The annual Christmas meal was held at the Garrison Officers’ Club on 11 December and raised £ 32 for Group funds via a raffle etc.

Museum: The museum had a good season with the usual 8 regular openings on the last Sunday of the month from March to October. In addition, there were a number of private visits by various local clubs and organisations. The museum again participated in the Heritage Open Days on 14th and 15th September which were attended by about 90 visitors. Whilst these days were admission free, the museum benefited by sales of refreshments , souvenirs and donations.

We were delighted to welcome a number of visitors from the USA, whose relatives had either served at Boxted or at other nearby US airfields. In particular, a return visit was made in August by the Garvin family. The Marshall family visited for the first time –their father Lenice was a bombardier with the 386th BG. Tully Mc.Intyre, whose father was also a bombardier with the 386th BG, made a return visit and donated some manuals and dead reckoning computers which will feature in our expanded Marauder display. From France we were delighted to receive a visit from a French family Beaudoin. They had researched the crash site of a P 47 Thunderbolt and erected a memorial to the pilot Alfred Evans.

Our “Buildings Then and Now” photo exhibition financed by a HLF grant, proved popular on open days.

The DVD is continuing to sell well with 17 sales.

During the Winter closure, work has been proceeding in the third building on a new expanded Marauder display, including a number of uniforms. In this connection, the Group has been running a fund raising appeal for special display showcases and conservation equipment.

Work is continuing in marking and entering all exhibits in an Accessions Register.

Publicity /website : The Museum continues to receive regular publicity in the local press and on BBC Radio Essex and through the distribution of flyers and posters to other museums and libraries. The website plays a valuable role in raising the profile of the museum and the Group’s activities and a copy of this report will be placed on the website. The website has had 5275 hits in the past 12 months. Additionally, the museum has been publicised on Google Earth .

Work with other organisations: The Group continues to work with the American Museum database at the IWM Duxford, inputting additional information from its own archive.

Future plans :

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Group, a special event has been organised for members on 30th May but due to the coronavirus pandemic this is now postponed.

During the coming year, work will continue on the new exhibits in the Marauder display in the new building.

The long awaited book on the history of the airfield is expected to be published in 2020.