The Friends Of Leiston Airfield FAQ
Why were the 357th called the 'Yoxford Boys'?
The explanation given to me by Gus Clutten, who worked on the airfield during the war is as follows : Soon after their arrival at Leiston an area to the north of the airfield, Middleton Moor, was bombed and Lord Haw Haw, the German propagandist broadcast that 'we gave those Yoxford Boys a welcome tonight' indicating that the airfield had been attacked. And so the name the 'Yoxford Boys' was adopted.
Why is the caravan park called the 'Cakes & Ale'?
A book of the same name was written by the author Somerset Maughan and is much admired by the owner of the park.
Did the aircraft really use paper fuel tanks?
Yes. Originally it was intended that the aircraft would carry an extra aluminium fuel tank under the belly, but due to production delays, a tank used on the RAF's Hawker Hurricane, manufactured of a paper composite was modified. Later fitted on pylons under each wing, the 'paper' tanks enabled long range escorts to be flown. The benefit was not only speed of availability but when jettisoned it denied the enemy a supply of useful war material.
What were shuttle missions?
These were very long range escorts all the way to Russia with B-17's and B-24's bombing targets en route. The Mustangs then escorted the bombers to targets in Rumania before landing in Italy. The bombers and escorts then returned to UK via southern France and bombed targets en-route.
Does the 357th Fighter Group still exist in the USAF?
No, not exactly but after the war units of the Ohio Air National Guard were allocated the colours and the squadron numbers of the group.
The 362nd, became the 162nd Fighter Squadron, 178th Fighter Group
Today the units are known as:
162nd Fighter Squadron, 178th Fighter Wing. Equipped with F-16D Fighting Falcon flying from Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, Springfield, Ohio
164th Airlift Squadron, 179th Airlift Wing. Equipped with C-130 Hercules flying from Mansfield-Lahm Airport, Mansfield, Ohio.
166th Air Refueling Squadron, 121st Air Refueling Wing. Equipped with KC-135R Stratotanker flying from Rickenbacker International Airport, Columbus, Ohio.
The Mess Hall at Springfield Airport is called 'The Yoxford Boys' and has an exact replica of the Yoxford village signs outside. So the traditions and the memory of the 357th lives on.