Pooler in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Base Air Depot No. 2 Station 582 USAAF
BAD 2 Warton, England, was established under the 8th Air Force Service Command, September 5, 1942. Its mission: the modification and repair of military aircraft. War planes coming from the United States would be adapted to meet special requirements of the European Theater of Operations. Battle damaged aircraft would have to be repaired, perhaps whole sections rebuilt. A ferrying squadron was needed to get planes to Warton (from fields where they originally landed) and later delivered to combat units. By summer, 1944, there were 10,000 Americans at Warton, working around the clock.
Twenty nine " Wartoneers " gave their lives for their country.
On August 23, 1944, two recently repaired B-24 (Liberator) bombers were on test flights. Word came from Brig. Gen. Isaac Ott's headquarters of an impending storm. All planes were ordered to land immediately. The pilots attempted to, but the storm was of such intensity, it was impossible. Witnesses saw the plane piloted by Lt. John Bloemendal struck by lightning. It crashed into a school in the Village of Freckleton. Sixty one persons died, including 38 five-year-old children, trapped in the nursery classroom. The second plane was driven almost to the ground and flew ten miles at tree top level before getting out of the storm. Five children were pulled out
At that time, this was the second worst crash in aviation history.
To the memory of the following who died when an American B-24 Bomber crashed. Destroying Freckleton Church of England School on the 23rd August 1944
1st Lt. John Bloemendal • Pvt. Samuel A. Mezzacappa • Pvt. George C. Brown • Sgt. Theodore Edwin Nelson • Cpl. Herbert George Cross • T/Sgt. James Manuel Parr • Pvt. Minas Philip Glitsis • Cpl. Arthur James Rogney • Sgt. Gordon Wilber Kinney • Sgt. Frank L. Zugel
Jenny Hall • Louisa Hulme
The following is a list of Americans killed at Warton, in addition to those who died in the B-24 crash:
Lloyd Bingham • Max Reinhardt • Pliney R. Blodgett • Jay Sampson • William C. Clearwater • Nelson Scarborough • "Tex" Freeman • John Schneider • George R. King • Redene W. Simonson • Leonard D. Johnson, Jr. • H.W. Vallee • Charles J. Moeller • Kenneth Hubbard (409 BG) • Robert I. Nickerson • Norman E. Zuber (409 BG) • Burtie Orth
Erected by Mighty Eighth AF Museum.
Location. 32° 6.915′ N, 81° 14.233′ W. Marker is in Pooler, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker can be reached from 175 Bourne Ave.. Click for map. Adjacent to I-95, Georgia exit 102,US 80 east, Pooler Georgia,on grounds of The Mighty Eighth AF Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Pooler GA 31322, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Duchess (a few steps from this marker); Our Beloved Brothers (a few steps from this marker); Patsy Ann II (a few steps from this marker); 305th Bomb Group (H) (a few steps from this marker); 446th Bomb Group (a few steps from this marker); Lazy Daisy (a few steps from this marker); 36th BS RCM (a few steps from this marker); 904th Signal Co. Depot AVN (a few steps from this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Pooler.
Also see . . .
1. The Freckleton Disaster. More details and photo's
2. Wikipedia entry for the Freckleton Air Disaster. A total of 61 adults and children died in the disaster.
1. I was a child, living in Warton at the time of this accident.
I found your web page while researching about the U.S. Army Air Base set up in Warton during the WWll. I was a child, living in that village at the time. Our house faced the Warton School. I remember the crash well. My mother, sister and I had just left Freckleton when it happened. We were on a Ribble bus heading home to Warton.
My family made friends with some of the American servicemen. I remember some of their names: Carl Palm, Charlie Gray, Howard Short, and Arthur Klein. All of the Americans were really good to us kids. They gave us candy and chewing gum. They also had a Christmas party for us on the base. I believe it was held on Site 10. I was hurt at one of those parties; I was sliding across the polished floor and hit my head on the corner of one of the chairs. I was taken to the base hospital and had to have stitches put in the wound. I was taken home in an army Red Cross vehicle.
Does anyone out there remember the pub called the Clifton Arms? It later became The Pickwick Tavern.
Of course many of the men, serving there at that time, are probably now dead, but if there is anyone out there still who would like to email me, feel free to do so. I'd love to hear from you.
Kind regards, Lilian
Editor's Note: You may contact Ms. Bowen through a commentary on this page or an email to the editors.
2. My Grandfather served here 1942 to 1943
I recently got back in touch with my US Grandfather and have been finding out more about his time at BAD 2, he was stationed here as crew chief on B17s and B24s. His name is Carlton Howard Weaver. Thanks for this site and I hope to visit the area later this year to have a look around at some of my family's history.
3. My Father Was Stationed At BAD 2
My father was Joe Barger, 1st Sgt at BAD 2. He often told me of the terrible accident at the school. It is interesting to read more about it here.
4. Base Air Depot No. 2 at Warton
My father in law, Lieutenant Charles Michael Carroll, was stationed at Base Air Depot No. 2 at Warton. He was an intelligence officer. That far from the action, it wasn't cloak and dagger sort of work. He helped supervise base security,
One of his favorite tasks was updating the huge map that allowed everyone stationed at Warton to follow the progress of the war across France, Belgium Holland and Germany. He admired the mechanics at Warton who worked so hard to get planes ready for combat. He remembers that there were two planes without serial numbers. The mechanics called them "Spare Parts One" and "Spare Parts Two."
He remembers that many of the barracks were a long distance from the shops and runway, in case German Bombers ever got that far north. He remembers that some of the gliders used in Overlord and Market Garden were assembled at Warton. He remembers flying over southern England, seeing all the gliders on the runways and knowing that the invasion of France would be soon.
He does remember the Clifton Arms, mentioned by Lilian Bowen. When he got leave, he would sometimes visit a wonderful family, Fred and Mummy Chandler and their children at Lytham Saint Annes. When Paris was liberated, one of his buddies woke him up and said "We're taking a plane to Paris. Want to go?" Of course he did. They didn't make it to DeGaulle's speech at Notre Dame, but while he was speaking, they were wandering around Paris in the midst of a celebration he will never forget. It seemed like every Frenchman had a bottle of something they wanted share with a soldier.
5. Additional Information
Hi! I'm Lilian Bowen, back again with a little more information about Freckleton, and the area in general. Like I said, in my earlier submission, my family and I were living in Warton, the next village north of Freckleton, when this disaster happened. My sister and I were frequent viewers at the Astro Cinema, a movie theater for the servicemen, between Warton and Freckleton on Lytham Road. It's still there, but is now owned by Roy Mapple and is a car showroom.
I remember Site 9 and Site 10 the most, but I'm sure there were others. Both of those are now part of British Aerospace, before that known as British Aircraft Corporation, and before that English Electric. The P1 and Canberra jet aircraft were tested there. British Aircraft also had a hand the building, and testing of the Concord, although I believe it was built in France.
Do any of you servicemen remember the "chippy" (fish and chip shop) in Freckleton. It is still there. Plus the Ship Inn (pub), on the river, is still there.
I believe I said earlier that I used to play on the swings and the slides in the playground you guys built. The village of Freckleton, downtown, looks pretty much like it did back when you were there, but there is now a by-pass road, for through traffic, around the village. Other than that, it's still the sleepy
Well, that's it for this time. If I'm able to, I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about the area.
I would like to say a big "thank you" to all you servicemen who came and did your part, and who also helped make life a little more exciting for us kids--especially at Christmas. Two of the U.S. servicemen who used to come to our house, Arthur Klein, and Howard Short, have already passed on, but I'll remember them, and all of you, always. God bless you all, and Happy Thanksgiving.
6. Freckleton air disaster
My father was First Sergeant Jesse H. Wynne and rescued two children, Horace Firth, and Willam Yates. I have often wondered what became of them. There was I believe at the time some controversy over what would be done with monies collected for a memorial to those who died, whether to spend it on a full sized memorial plynth, or to use the funds to purchase land as a playing field for children, and dedicate the land to the memory of those who lost their lives.
I would be interested to hear from anyone who either knew my father, the children mentioned above, or could provide any information on the playing field/memorial debate.
My father moved back to the UK in the late 50s, which is why I live here now!
7. Aircraft Repairman
I was stationed at BAD2 in 1943 and 44 ’till we did not need to repair them any more because they were building them so fast here that it wasn't useful for us to fix them, so they made me a guard. I was sent to Germany to guard German prisoners, then Okinawa to guard Japanese prisoners.
8. Looking for a veteran stationed at Warton
My family lived in Blackpool and we came to know an airman, Ed/Eddie Ellis from New Jersey. Ed spent every liberty with us, calling my parents Mom and Pop and was like a brother to me and my brother. I married a US airman in 1953 and came to live in Tennessee. After my father's death in 1972 my mother came to live with us here-she died in 1993. I have tried with no success to locate Ed for many years.He kept in touch with us regularly after he was sent to France in September 1945 and I have the last letter he wrote to my parents in December 1945 as he was getting ready to go home to the USA. He told us he would keep in touch, but back then there were so many adjustments they had to make in getting back to civilian life. I always told my Mother that if I could ever locate him, I would. If he is still living, I imagine he would be close to 90 - I was just 14 in 1945. If you can give me any help with this I would be so grateful.I do have pictures of him when he was with my family. Here's hoping I am in the right place this time to get some help.
Thank you and God Bless,
Audrey (Mather) Batson
9. Eli Ziegler, US Army Air Corps
My father was stationed at Base Air Depot No. 2 during WWII. I am unsure of the dates of his service but a water color sketch of my father is marked Base Air Depot No 2 and dated January 1944. Throughout his life, my father praised the sacrifice of the British people and his fellow airmen.
10. Ross Wise Hanger Chief Bad 2-Hanger 1
My father, Ross Wise from Akron, Ohio, was stationed at Warton from 43 to 45 and was Hanger Chief at Hanger 1 during that time. He was a Master Sergeant. He died 2 years ago. He told me of the disaster at Freckleton as he was dispatched there to help with the rescue. Even after all those years, his eyes would tear up remembering.
Hi Audrey Batson.
Have you tried finding your American G.I. using Facebook?
I used to go dancing during the years 1953 until 1958 at the Tower and Winter Gardens ballroom in Blackpool. I then lived in Warton, but now live in Thomasville, Georgia.
Good luck with your search.
Lilian Bowen (nee Bastock)
Hi Michael Howard Winn.
To answer your question about whether land was bought for a playground. Yes, it was, and I used to swing on the swings and slide down the slide when I was a kid. As I've said, in earlier submissions, I lived in Warton from being three until I was ten. After five years in Australia, I and my family came back to Warton and the playground was still there at that time. After I married, and had my son, I would take him there to play also. That was back in the early 1960's. I now live in the U.S. But if the playground is still there, and you want to visit it, just drive to Freckleston, and look for the entrance to it off the circle in the village. When I was last there, there was a pub to the left of the entrance, and a green grocer shop to the right. Maybe you could take some pictures and send them to be displayed on this site.
Lilian Bowen, Thomasville, Georgia
13. base air depot 2
My Dad's name Is Hugh Sutton as was stationed at Warton for most of the war. He was there when the Freckleton crash happened. I would someday like to visit Warton. Is there any kind of reunion or gathering?
14. Nearby pub
I am reading my cousin's letters he wrote while stationed at BAD#2. He talks fondly of Sam who ran the within walking distance of base pub. Sam raised prized pigs. does anyone know the name/location of this pub? I am planning a trip England and would like to visit my cousin's favorite spots.
Thanks. W.C. culp
15. The pub close tothe base
I have been writing as Lilian M. Bowen, but married again last year and am now Lilian M. Brown.
I would like to call attention to the name of the pub close to the base gates. At the time the Americans were there it was called The Clifton Arms. It is now called The Pickwick Tavern. As I said in earlier comments I, as a child, lived in Warton just a stones throw from the pub. I hope this helps the person who is planning to visit Warton. Warton isn't the tiny village it was when I lived there. I hardly recognize it any more.
The area that was once the base (I knew them as site 8, 9, & 10) is now all part of British Airospace Company.
Best wishes to you all,
16. The Plough pub in Freckleton
After posting earlier this evening, I remembered I hadn't mentioned about the pub in Freckleton. It is called The Plough and is right in the center of the village. There was another pub in Freckleton. That one sat on the edge of the river. It's name was The Ship Inn.
Hope this helps,
17. BAD 2 Warton, England
I've been re-typing my father's memoirs (he died in 1996) and remembering the details he left about his service at Warton. He (James Raydon Nelson)was raised in Louisiana, USA and was stationed at BAD during the war. His memoirs recall life in Lytham-St Anne, Blackpool and the surrounding area. He met my mother in the Ballroom of the Tower in March of 1944. They were engaged in August of 1945. After the war, my mother (Muriel Hickton, of Blackpool) went to Texas, married my father, and lived there until her passing some 3 years ago. My uncle, mother's brother, still lives in Blackpool; Dennis Hickton. He served in the British Army during the war. It is my opinion that there will never be another generation such as that one. We should never forget what they all, service men and women as well as civilians, went through.
Categories. • Air & Space • Disasters • War, World II •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 6,112 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 2. submitted on , by Lilian Maud Brown of Thomasville, Georgia, U.S.A.. 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 7. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 8. submitted on , by Lilian Maud Brown of Thomasville, Georgia, U.S.A.. 9. submitted on , by Lilian Maud Brown of Thomasville, Georgia, U.S.A.. 10. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 11. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.