Located on the plateau of high ground immediately west of Smeatharpe and often referred to by that name locally, this airfield was officially known as RAF Upottery, as Smeatharpe lies within the overall Parish boundary of Upottery.
Built as a standard RAF Class ‘A’ bomber base, the site was one of those developed at a comparatively late date during the second world war and was originally selected as being suitable for use by the Americans under the "Bolero" scheme in the Autumn of 1942.
Operation Bolero the commonly used reference and the code name of the United States military troop build up in the United Kingdom during World War II, in preparation for the initial cross-channel invasion plan, originally known as Operation Roundup. Later to become Overlord.
Upottery was one of several airfield sites in western England which was earmarked to house a large force of Dakotas and Gliders for the forthcoming invasion.
RAF Upottery was officially opened on the 17th February 1944 and was known as USAAF 462 for security reasons during the war. It’s ID code was "UO".
It was used by the Royal Air Force, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) and United States Navy. During the war it was used primarily as a transport airfield and for antisubmarine patrols.
Prior to D-Day RAF Upottery was the departure point for 1357 Paratroopers of the U.S. 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment Airborne Division and on the 5th June 1944 and on the 7th June 1944 968 Glider Infantry Troops of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment 82nd. Leaving in 50 C-47 towing 30 Hora gliders and 20m Horsa gliders.
The airfield was closed in 1948, after the end of the war. Today the remains of the airfield are located on private property.
The cache is located near but NOT on the last remaining brick built Sentry box that guarded the approach by road to Upottery Field. Today it has been made into a lasting memorial for those lost in pursuit of our freedom on two missions on the 5th & 6th June 1944.
Wooden memorial crosses located inside the sentry box and a plate on the outside of the Sentry box commemorate those who lost their lives on the 5th,6th and 7th June 1944.
Upottery received much attention in 2001 when it appeared in the first episode of the television mini-series Band of Brothers as the departure field for Easy Company 101st Airborne.
RAF Upottery circa 1944 RAF Upottery circa 2018
The Memorial to those who served and never returned
***** PLEASE NOTE IMPORTANT *****
CACHES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE PLACED ON ACTUAL MEMORIALS OR WITHIN THE BOUNDARY OF SUCH
AT ALL TIMES PLEASE TREAT LOCATIONS OF MEMORIALS WITH RESPECT