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TOPIC: 8th AF: Forward Ammunition Depot

8th AF: Forward Ammunition Depot 10 May 2017 06:29 #1

  • Bures
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Where was the FAD that supplied the 8th AF in Suffolk and Norfolk ?
I see there were Depots at Barnham and Earsham, but they seem to have been allocated to the RAF.

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8th AF: Forward Ammunition Depot 10 May 2017 09:22 #2

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There was a main depot at at warren Woods. The forward depots were Barnham (shared with RAF) and Earsham (never RAF). Evidently the first black US personnel to arrive in the UK went to Barnham.

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Plan A is always more effective when the problem you are working on understands that Plan B will involve the use of dynamite :twisted:.

8th AF: Forward Ammunition Depot 10 May 2017 09:43 #3

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The answer lies in the dates, that is the chronology.

The supply of USAAF munitions (Aviation Ordnance) was the responsibility of the United States Army SOS (Services of Supply) the logistics arm of the service and the 8th Air Force Service Command. The first shipment of US munitions into the UK is recorded as 12 May 1942 and went into temporary storage at the RAF Lords Bridge FAD. It was not until around August 1943 that the responsibility for aviation ordnance was transferred to USAAF control. Some of the depots then under control SOS were given to 8th AF some new depots were built for the 8th AF. In some case the SOs occupied depots owned and used by the RAF and there is no doubt that in the fast moving changes that all three RAF, SOS and USAAF had units at the same depots.

I am currently researching this thinking that it would be relatively straight forward but it is not, even the US Army records and histories conflict.

To answer your query, RAF Barnham FAD was a purpose built depot but expanded to include many sub-sites with field storage. Great Ashfield, Warren Wood and Mendelsham sub-sites were given over to the USAAF supposedly in 1942 yet formal responsibility for the control of aviation ordnance was not made until Aug/Sep 1943. Earsham although being built by the British (Air Ministry) was intended for the USAAF and required by June 1943 but not estimated for completion until November 1943 according to one document I read. Earsham subsequently supported USAAF airfields within a 50 mile radius.

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Last Edit: by PETERTHEEATER. Reason: Finger trouble

8th AF: Forward Ammunition Depot 11 May 2017 05:45 #4

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Many thanks to both of you, very interesting.
I didnt know about the SOS

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8th AF: Forward Ammunition Depot 11 May 2017 09:10 #5

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PETERTHEEATER wrote: To answer your query, RAF Barnham FAD was a purpose built depot but expanded to include many sub-sites with field storage. Great Ashfield, Warren Wood and Mendelsham sub-sites were given over to the USAAF supposedly in 1942....

Great Ashfield and Mendlesham were USAAF operational airfields throughout WWII which the RAF took over after the Americans had vacated to be used as 94 MU Barnham sub-sites. They were designated in May 1945, but nothing happened until October that year.

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Plan A is always more effective when the problem you are working on understands that Plan B will involve the use of dynamite :twisted:.

8th AF: Forward Ammunition Depot 11 May 2017 09:44 #6

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Many US official records use different terms for the same thing and it can be difficult to interpret.

Relating to Air Force use, ammunition means everything from bombs, components, incendiaries, pyrotechnics and Chemical air dropped bombs and gun ammunition for aircraft use.

What is worth knowing is that the US Army had a department responsible for the procurement, storing and distribution of all Army materiel. This was the Services of Supply (SOS) Within SOS was an Ordnance Division. Recognising the unique requirement of aviation ordnance and ammunition, within the Ordnance Division was the Aviation Ordnance branch so it was this branch initially who were responsible for the import, handling, storing and issue of aviation ammunition) to the 8th Air Force (which we tend to call USAAF (United States Army Air Force) Depots manned and run by Aviation Ordnance issued ammuntion

On arrival into the UK the SOS set up ordnance depots via their Ordnance Division, Aviation Ordnance.

The 8th Air Force had their own Air Force Service Command (AFSC) which administered all AF support materiel including an aviation ordnance branch responsible for defining stock levels and line items and consumption figures and so they directly liaised with SOS Aviation Ordnance to control and handle their ammunition requirements.. Initially this resulted in multiple handling which delayed shipments. More of that anon.

When we (as interested individuals or researchers) see or use the term USAAF (United States Army Air Force) in relation to ordnance storage we are referring to the 8th Air Force when in fact depots were run by SOS Aviation Ordnance until a change of policy in June 1943 when the SOS relinquished 'their' depots to the AFSC.

Confused? Welcome to the club.

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