American Activities

In August 1944, the 36th Bomb Squadron was formed and came to Cheddington/Marsworth Airfield.

It started its wartime activities which involved radar jamming and misleading the enemy by planting false information. This flashback covers some of their extra mural activities which had an impact on our communities.

There are references to the pleasures of ‘the Pub adjacent to the barge canal’ and references elsewhere to the Ship Inn seem to indicate that this was its title. It is reported that the landlord of the pub was a source of gossip, ‘he could tell you anything that was happening or about to be happening on the base’. This apparently included troop movements, bombing runs, and ‘base scuttlebutt’. The airmen were never sure whether he was a psychic, a professional spy or had a hotline connection to the base!

There are a number of references in the book to the ‘Liberty Run’ which, as far as can be ascertained from the text, is the American wartime equivalent of a pub crawl. There is a memorable account of the activities of an airman called Tom who became an expert at darts and became even better as he drank more alcohol. His mates would take him to all the pubs and encourage him to ‘play the Limeys’ for a pint of ‘Mild and Bitters’. At one pub Tom challenged the local champion and major bets were made by both sides. Tom emerged supreme and the locals said that they have never seen anything like him. The airmen apparently won £20, equivalent to over a thousand pounds now.

This flashback comes from ‘Squadron of Deception’ by Stephen Hutton; further information from this well researched book can be found on via an article headed ‘How the Squadron of Deception came to see us’.

Further information on the ‘Ship Inn’ during that period would be appreciated, please contact

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