Pictures of Toome Airfield, N. Ireland.

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by jimi r, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. jimi r

    jimi r Junior Member

    I try to obtain some photo's of Toome Airfield, Northern Ireland during the time it was used by the USAF 1943-1944.
    Any would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Sorry to say I have no photos of Toome airfield but can offer this plan from around 1945, its taken from 'Action Stations' Vol.7 - Smith. The book gives a history of the airfield if you are interested? Hope its a help.


    Attached Files:

  3. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Skyhawk ( Robert) might be able to help out on this .
  4. jimi r

    jimi r Junior Member

    Thanks guys.
    Peter I remember reading "Action Stations" a few years ago, I must ask to borrow it of my friend again. If you go to Google Earth you get a great view of the area, a lot of the runway still exists and one or two hardstandings are still visible.
    I've set up a website Chimney Rock, Northern Ireland, Martin B-26 Marauder Crash Information. dedicated to the crew of a B26 Marauder that crashed in the Mourne, Mountains. It was stationed at Toome at the time of the Accident.
  5. skyhawk

    skyhawk Senior Member

    Hi guys.

    USAAF Station 236 Toome was a Medium Bombardment Combat Crew Replacement Centre. New crews came together and learned the skills off working together as a unit. On completing the course they were sent to operational squadrons to replace those crews lost in combat. It gave them a little time to gain some experience and training before being thrust into the battle torn sky over europe.

    Aircraft flown were B-17, B-24, B-26.

    Station 237 Greencastle was an Anti Aircraft Machine Gun School.
    Station 239 Maghaberry was Ferry Transport Command
    Station 238 Cluntoe was also a Combat Crew Replacement Centre
    Station 240 Mullaghmore also Combat Crew Replacement Centre

    The famous crew of the Memphis Belle visited Cluntoe and spent some time here passing on their experience to the trainee aircrew before returning to the States.

    The Headquarters of No 3 Combat Crew Replacement Centre Toome.


    Crew Training Room

  6. skyhawk

    skyhawk Senior Member

    Crew Account:-

    Our first realization that we were entering the war zone came in Iceland. We were awakened on the morning after our arrival by the sound of nearby anti‑aircraft guns conducting a practice drill, complete with live ammunition and a sleeve target. That same afternoon, we delivered our new B‑26 to a base depot in Scotland and departed soon thereafter for the large Army Air Force Replacement Center near Stone, England. After a few days of relative inactivity, we were flown to a former R.A.F. base near Toome, North Ireland for a short, intensive combat crew training course.
    The base at Toome was well dispersed in the manner of many British bases. The billeting areas, mess halls, class rooms, administrative office and flight operations section were widely separated and located in and about the several villages and farms. It was necessary to own a bicycle to pedal from one facility to another along the winding country roads. Most of us had never ridden English style bikes, which featured front and rear hand brakes and lacked the American style coaster brake with which we were familiar. Excessive speeds were no problem, however, and it was not an uncommon sight to see the brash, young Americans careening wildly off the road, desperately pedaling backwards and eventually crashing into the ever present stone walls or hedgerows.
    Although we had arrived believing that we were reasonably well prepared for combat operations, our training at Toome convinced us otherwise. Our classes included escape and evasion tactics, French language lessons, ditching procedures, more aircraft recognition, British air traffic and communications procedures and the operation of a radio navigation system, mysteriously known as "G". In the air, we practiced the specific formations procedures which had been established within the Ninth Air Force Bomb Groups.
    Our training at Toome was climaxed by an overnight pass to Belfast. This was our first experience in a large foreign city and we thoroughly enjoyed it—good hotel accommodations, good food and for some of us, an introduction to spirits, particularly the Irish variety!
    The next afternoon, we climbed on board a B‑17 which had been converted into a transport by the construction of unpainted wooden benches in the bomb bay. We were flown to the field in southern England near Stoney Cross where the 387th Bomb Group was based at that time. Our crew was assigned to the 558th Bomb Squadron, one of four such tactical squadrons attached to the 387th.
  7. skyhawk

    skyhawk Senior Member

    394 Bomb Group, 586 Bomb Squadron Northern Ireland

    Lt. Bruce Harris
    Our co-pilot
    Somewhere in N. Ireland


    Sgt. Marvin Robbin Kellman
    Somewhere in N. Ireland 10-1944
    Our Amorer-Tail-Gunner


    1st Lt. Harry W. Davis
    Our first pilot. Oct 1944
    Somewhere in N. Ireland

  8. skyhawk

    skyhawk Senior Member

    322 Bomb Group, 452 Bomb Squadron

    August 8, 1944 - Clark McKennian Northern Ireland

  9. skyhawk

    skyhawk Senior Member

    387th Bombardment Group (M), 556th bombardment Squadron Northern Ireland.

    North Ireland was taken 7 May, 1944

  10. skyhawk

    skyhawk Senior Member

    World War II Air Combat Diary of S/Sgt. David Castrellon
    9th Bombardment Division
    558th Bombardment Squadron
    387th Bombardment Group
    United States Army Air Force
    Date - July 11, 1944
    Time - 1 Hour 30 Minutes
    -Toome, North Ireland-

    Date - July 20, 1944
    Time - 2 Hours 30 Minutes
    Mission - Flight from Burtonwood, England to Toome, North Ireland.

    Remarks - Flew on a C-47-Slept all the way! Four crews including us was the cargo. Purpose -To attend pre-combat school and training purposes.

    -Toome, North Ireland-

    Date - August 7, 1944
    Time - 2 Hours 40 Minutes
    Mission - Routine training flight of 6 ships.

    Remarks - Graves didn’t fly today. Had a fire in the cockpit!!! Caused by careless handling of flare gun by our "radioman." - His blame?? He denies it. Had to cut transferring of fuel and later helped put fire out. Experience profitable.

    -Toome, North Ireland-

    Date - August 8, 1944
    Time - 2 Hours 15 Minutes
    Mission - Routine flight of 18 ships.

    Crew - Crumb, Castrellon, Steinhardt, Cavanaugh

    Remarks - Flew co-pilot and done a little pilotage. It was good experience.

    -Toome, North Ireland-

    Date - August 9, 1944
    Time - 1 Hour 30 Minutes
    Mission - Routine flight of 6 ships.

    Remarks - Graves and Britton didn’t fly. Broderick a good friend of Crumb flew co-pilot
  11. skyhawk

    skyhawk Senior Member

    oops. sorry about the double post.
    Peter Clare likes this.
  12. skyhawk

    skyhawk Senior Member

    RE:- wrong photo should be this one

    387th Bombardment Group (M), 556th bombardment Squadron

    North Ireland was taken 7 May, 1944

  13. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Great photos Robert - I bet when they left the local area was awash with bicycles.
  14. jimi r

    jimi r Junior Member

    Thanks Skyhawk for all the information and especially the photographs. I found some pictures of the interiors of certain buildings at Toome on It would be great if I could locate an image of a B26 Marauder at Toome.
    James S
    A local Author John Hughes wrote a book entitled "Toome's Wartime Airfield" in it he describes how all the surplus bicycles were scattered on the perimeter taxi way and destroyed by having vehicles driven over them.
  15. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    A local Author John Hughes wrote a book entitled "Toome's Wartime Airfield" in it he describes how all the surplus bicycles were scattered on the perimeter taxi way and destroyed by having vehicles driven over them.

    ....and chucked in a hole and it bulldozed in. My family comes from Duneane, only two miles or so away, and I asked about post-war remains - in connection with motorcycles, of course - decades ago. The demise of the bicycles at least was well-known locally - crushed to buggery...:mad:
  16. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    I heard similar tales about Killadeas , tools dumped into the Lough and valuable materials burnt on the hard standings - the order as to destroy so all was destroyed , a waste .......
  17. Stephen doherty

    Stephen doherty New Member

  18. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    This B-26 B Martin Marauder 41-17990 "Chickasaw Chief II" of Hq Squadron, 3rd Combat Crew Replacement Centre, 8th Air Force crashed during Take-Off at Toome on 28th March 1944.
    Stephen doherty and Tricky Dicky like this.

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