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Kimbolton

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History
Army Air Force Station 117 was located about 50 miles north of London in Huntingdonshire, England near the village of Kimbolton.  Prior to the arrival of the Americans, its population was about 750 people. 

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    Kimbolton was initially and briefly occupation by the 91st Bomb Group in September 1942 but the airfield was determined to be unsuitable for operations with the heavy US bombers and that group was relocated to Bassingbourn. 

The airfield was originally constructed as a base for RAF aircraft  in 1941 with a 1340 yard long main runway.   After the airfield was taken over by the 8th AF, the runway was strengthened and extended to 2000 yds.  At the same time, the number of hardstands was increased from 30 to 50.  New crew quarters were built on the south side of the airfield close to the adjacent town of Kimbolton.  Hanger accomodations consisted of two standard T2 disperesed on the western and southern sides of the airfield

      Following upgrades, Kimbolton became the home of the 379th BG on 29 May 1943 which operated from there exclusively until it departed England on 12 June 1945.

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     In this often published photograph, the "Lost Angel", B-17G 42-38183 is seen conducting a belly landing at Kimbolton after the plane had returned from a mission with landing gear problems.  The ball turret had been jettisoned to avoid the yoke breaking the fuselage.  Other than some damage to the propellers and undersurface skins,

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the plane was repaired and flew combat again.  In fact, Fred Acomb later flew two missions in this same aircraft.
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