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Adapted from the entry in D.P. Mortlock, The Guide to Suffolk Churches, Lutterworth Press, 2009, pp. 387 & 388, and from 'A Walk round St Mary's Church Raydon', a booklet by Denzil Reeves, late Churchwarden of Raydon
Group markings were black, yellow, black, yellow spinners, with a 48-inch black and yellow check band around the cowling to the end of the exhaust stubs. In October 1944, the group converted to the P-51 "Mustang".
Brett Vale Golf Club is located to the west of the village.
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Raydon is one of the more complete Second World War USAAF airfield (bases) in East Anglia that was not used by the United States Air Force during the Cold War.
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At RAF Raydon the group's mission was to attack enemy communications and fly escort missions with the light bomb groups of the 9th AF. On 13 April 1944 the 358th was transferred to RAF High Halden.
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After the Americans left, Raydon was transferred back to RAF Fighter Command on 20 December 1945. The airfield remained under RAF control but was not used for any flying units. In 1952, a small part of the airfield was sold for agricultural use, and the station was closed on 8 August 1958.
Replacing the 9th AF 358th FG was the 353rd Fighter Group, moving in from RAF Metfeld in April 1944. The 353d was assigned to the 66th Fighter Wing, at Sawston Hall, Cambridge. The 353rd arrived at a very dirty Raydon airfield as the 358th had not cleaned after leaving.
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Unfortunately the control tower and much of the concrete parts of the airfield was removed in the 1960s, being used to construct the A12 highway. Today RAF Raydon retains many of the buildings of the old technical site, including two T-2 hangars in very good condition (one used by the farmer and the other used for car storage).
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Raydon is based along part of the B1070 named The Street (runs north-south) and St Mary's church is close to the T junction with Woodlands Road in the north of the village.
The local fire brigade used the airfield from 1965 for a short period to practice fire extinguishing.[clarification needed]
The 353d flew combat missions until the end of April 1945. After the end of hostilities, the group trained and prepared for transfer to the Pacific Theater. After the end of World War II, in September, the group left Raydon and transferred back to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey where it was inactivated on 18 October 1945.
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When the group arrived at Raydon, it was assigned as part of the Ninth Air Force. On 19 December the group received their first fighter, a single North American P-51B.
The first American occupants of Raydon was the 357th Fighter Group, moving in from Casper AAF, Wyoming on 30 November 1943.
Raydon Mill dates from some time after the Mediaeval period located over a mile west of the village above Lower Raydon. It held some German POWs during the war. It's now residential, but the turbine and two pairs of stones remain.
With the end of military control Raydon was converted into Notley Industrial Park. The buildings that remain are largely unaltered in appearance.
Raydon has also been the scene of some paranormal incidents, one being the sighting of an American MP with his dog, still patrolling the airfield.
Donald Kammer was a fighter pilot in the P51 Mustangs at Raydon.
However some of the taxiways and part of the main runway is still intact. The firing Butts are also still intact but are covered by a large growth of foliage.
During 1960/62 the Air Ministry sold the remaining airfield parts of RAF Raydon to agricultural interests, retaining most of the technical site for storage of emergency vehicles by the Home Office. They were given up and sold in the 1980s.
Raydon is a village and civil parish in Suffolk, England. Located around two miles south-east of Hadleigh, it is part of Babergh district. The parish also includes the hamlets of Lower Raydon (west) and The Woodlands (east). It was recorded in Domesday as "Reindune" or "Reinduna" and appears on John Speed's 1610 map as "Roydon".
The south and west of the parish, including Lower Raydon, is part of the Dedham Vale AONB. The northern part of the parish contains several nature reserves; Raydon Great Wood, Long Wood, Squares Grove and Tom's Wood, all of which are Ancient Woodland. The abandoned Hadleigh Railway previously ran through the Great Wood, with a station at Raydon Wood. The line is now also a nature reserve.
One pilot with the 357th was a Lt. Charles ‘Chuck’ Yeager.
Royal Air Force Station Raydon or more simply RAF Raydon is a former Royal Air Force station located just to the northeast of the village of Raydon, about 6 miles (9.7 km) from Ipswich, England.
A B-24H Liberator of the 34th Bomb Group also made an emergency landing at Raydon on the 26th of June 1944.
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Two pubs in the village have closed for many years, Chequers (formerly Horseshoes) and the Fox.
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