RAF Lymington ALG (Advanced Landing Ground) was constructed in the summer of 1943 in preparation for the invasion of mainland Europe. However, it was not occupied until April 1944 when three US squadrons of the 50th Fighter Group arrived. These squadrons were equipped with Thunderbolt fighters and flew numerous missions over the D-Day period, before they departed to an airfield in France on June 24th. After that only a small holding party remained at the airfield and little flying took place before the site was broken down in spring 1945. There is some suggestion that the airfield was a prototype for construction methods for the airfields that would be built in France, but this is not confirmed.
ALGs were not designed as anything more than temporary airfields. The landing strip was made of steel mesh pinned to the ground with large stakes that could be removed when the airfield was closed. As such they leave little evidence of their past on the ground. At Lymington, this evidence takes the form of a crop mark of one of the perimeter tracks, and a blister hanger that is still in use as a farm store.
A number of APs (Aerial Photographs) of sites in the New Forest, taken during or just after WWII, have become available (from English Heritage) via the American Air Museum website. We are adding these to the online archive as they become available. We have had to reduce the size of some of them, to see them at full resolution visit www.americanairmuseum.com.
Lymington ALG has had a new Interpretation Panel installed as part of the New Forest Remembers Project. You can find out more: Here
You can find out more about the New Forest’s vital role in D-Day from Mulberry Harbour, to holding camps, road widening, advanced landing grounds, PLUTO and Embarkation by visiting our main page on D-Day in the New Forest.
The Other New Forest Advanced Landing Grounds