9th USAAF, Ascot Station, Sunninghill, UK

Discussion in 'Ground Commands, Stations, & Bases' started by cranbourne, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. cranbourne

    cranbourne New Member

    hello - I am currently working on a project involving the 9th USAAF's time at Sunninghill Park, near Ascot, Berkshire, England, during the years 1942-44. The HQ was known as the Ascot Station or 'The Park'.

    I would be especially interested in any veteran's memories of their time spent at the Ascot Station - in fact, anything they would wish to talk about at all !

    As an aside, if there is anybody who knows of a way to connect with descendants of veterans who served here, then I would be very grateful to find out how to go about it. In particular (at the moment) I would like to contact anybody who knew or recalls John P Conley 32631943, originally from (Bridgeport?) Connecticut.

    All replies treated in the strictest confidence.

    many thanks
     
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  2. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

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  3. cranbourne

    cranbourne New Member

    hello Jaap, thank you for that - I'm a subscriber to Fold3, and have seen the images you refer to - very good they are, too! I've just spent the last three months going to places like the National Archives and others, checking out any leads or info that I've been able to uncover. Also read the Brereton diaries which give some very useful info. The desire to speak to any veterans is to try and lay a few myths and legends to rest - possibly! As for John P Conley, I have his dogtag in my possesion, retrieved from the mansion's lakebed in 1989. Would be nice to reunite it with his family, and maybe even get to see a picture of the man himself - there's very little by way of pictorial stuff from this era at Sunninghill.
     
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  4. NickP

    NickP New Member

     
  5. NickP

    NickP New Member

    Cranbourne - Good of you to post project details. Would appreciate any info./ photos esp. re. my grandfather Sgt. Nicholas J Pappas of Manchester NH, 9th USAAF- and met English girl, my grandmother. Have visited Smith's Lawn polo ground, Windsor where planes first landed.
     
  6. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Photos send,

    Jaap
     
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  7. NickP

    NickP New Member

    Thank you very much Jaap.
     
  8. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

  9. cranbourne

    cranbourne New Member

    Hi Nick P - thanks for the reply to my query, and thanks to Jaap for posting up a couple of images of part of the complex. I've actually completed the project (an overall history of Sunninghill Park) which generated this query.

    The research unearthed a lot of info about the camp, its layout, what went on there between the US personnel and the locals etc etc. A couple of surprising items turned up as well, such as a newspaper report of two aircraft parked on the lawn outside the big house. There's no runway on the base - nearest one was Smiths Lawn - so how did these planes get there, and what were they? A bigger question might be what happened to them at the point when the 9th moved HQ to France - we have a local legend that one of them (a Liberator, it was rumoured) ended up in pieces and dumped into the lake behind the house. We had the lake drained in 1988 but no plane turned up - did get a well-rusted Willys jeep though! We also found many dogtags on the lake bottom - all thrown into the water at one particular point - they're still there as far as we know. The airmen were also responsible for killing off all the trout in the lake - hand grenades were the weapon of choice!

    I am in contact with a 93-year old gentleman who lived on the base during the war (in the civilian huts placed alongside the house) - he has many memories of the 9th's time there. I also have a lot of the more general info I could pass on and would very much like to share it on here, and to those who would like to exchange info on a more personal level. The caveat is that the project was commissioned and paid for by the estate's current owners (the Crown Estate) and the resulting report is under their copyright. I shall have a word with the Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great Park and see what he thinks about making available to you any of the information I found. Please be advised, though, I doubt if there will be any earth-shattering revelations or individual's records (save a few which have been recorded in other UK publications).

    watch this space ...
     
  10. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

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