RAF Fersfield. A Walk Around a Top Secret Wartime Airfield. Operation Aphrodite.

In this video, I head off for a walk around a local and forgotten wartime airfield – the highly top secret and experimental RAF Fersfield. From these old crumbling runways and buildings, a new approach to striking at the heart of Nazi invasion was prepared.

Operation Aphrodite, launched by the USAAF and Operation Anvil, the US Navy equivalent was a high tech idea involving remotely guiding drone aircraft into key Nazi targets – V1 and V2 bomb launch sites and submarine pens. Battle damaged heavy bombers were used as the drone or robot aircraft, patched up, stripped down and packed full of explosives and guided into their targets by ‘control’ aircraft.

The operation did not have much success however, with not a single hit on target and sadly several crews were lost during the highly dangerous operations including Joseph Kennedy Jr, brother of the future US president JF Kennedy.

The airfield was evenly returned to the RAF, who used it as a base and launching airfield for a low level, high speed raid on the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. Mosquito aircraft were used for the mission, a fast but long range medium bomber. Sadly, one of the leading aircraft hit a bridge as it approached the target and crashed into a School. The following squadrons of Mosquitos, mistaking the explosion for the target, released their payload of bombs with their normal pinpoint accuracy and the school was completely destroyed.

Many wartime buildings still survive today including one of the T2 hangers, workshops, Nissen huts, the old cinema and several other buildings. Also surviving is the perimeter track and all three runways (albeit narrower than they were during the war).

I hope you enjoy this walk around the airfield. I am no historian, but living close by, I have an interest in the wartime history of the area, I also believe strongly in keeping the stories of the past alive.

Thanks for watching!

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Music With Shot and Shell by United States Marine Band
Big Swing Band by Audionautix

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