• 25th Bomb Group 654th Bomb Squadron
  • The insignia of the 653rd Bomb Squadron, 25th Bomb Group (Reconnaissance).
  • A de Havilland DH98 Mosquito PR Mk XVI "L" NS710 of the 653rd Bomb Squadron 25th Bomb Group.
  • Military | Lieutenant | J/E Communications Operator | 25th Bomb Group

The 25th Bomb Group (RCN) in World War II

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Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 25th Bomb Group
Killed in Action (KIA). B-17. Believed to have ditched west of St. Eval due to mech failure. Allah weather flight disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean

Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 25th Bomb Group
Killed in Action (KIA). B-17. Believed to have ditched west of St. Eval due to mech failure. Allah weather flight disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean

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The 25th Bomb Group (RCN) in World War II ..

Built in 1939 as a medium bomber station with a grass airfield, Watton was occupied by the RAF until handed over to the Eighth Air Force in mid-1943. Improved initially with a single steel mat runway in 1943, plus 41 loop and 12 pan hardstandings, a single concrete runway was laid in 1944. The original four C hangars were supplemented by two B1, three T2 and three blister hangars. Expanded to become the 3rd Strategic Air Depot, responsible for overhaul and repair of the B-24s operated by the 2nd Air Division, the Air Depot complex was built in the village of Griston on the southern edge of Watton airfield, although was named officially Neaton. The 802nd Reconnaissance Group (Provisional), later the 25th Bomb Group (Reconnaissance), equipped with B-17s, B-24s and Mosquito XVIs, shared the airfield with the Air Depot from April 1944 to July 1945. Its three component squadrons conducted weather reconnaissance, weather scouting, photographic reconnaissance and other special duty missions in enemy air space. The Air Depot closed in July 1945 and the station was handed back to the RAF in September 1945. It became home to the Radio Warfare Establishment, later the Central Signals Establishment, and then one of the five units in the joint military/civil National Air Traffic Services Organisation. The airfield closed in the 1970s and the station was handed over to the British Army in the 1990s. The northern part of the site was sold in 1995 for development of a new housing estate, and most of the airfield was sold in 2012 to new private owners for return to agriculture and other development.