PoW Camp 273 Debach Airfield

Entrance to former Debach Airfield. The former PoW Camp is within the trees in the background

Location

Church Yard Farm, Debatch Airfield, Ipswitch, Suffolk

Description

Site Visits

May 2019

Material

DSLR Drone Photos
UK Foreign Office Inspection Report
Debatch PoW Artifacts

I happened to visit this site on an open day in which the 493 Bomb Group Museum was holding an open day complete with reenactors and USAAF Vehicles.

The museum is located in the former ATC Control tower and has a tearoom / visitor Centre along with a museum housed within a Nissen Hut and several smaller buildings. The Visitor centre includes an airfield map along with an information poster on Thistleton Hall that formed the PoW Camp and was demolished post war. The museums also contain extensive WWII displays including that of toys and other items produced by and associated with the PoWs.

Debach is a typical War Time Airfield, in that I mean that the technical and domestic sites are built from prefab buildings and are scattered away in multiple locations away from the runways.

Debach in being used for PoWs was typical of a number of other airfields in that one or more of the scattered domestic sites was converted to be used as a PoW Camp. In talking to the museum staff, reenactors and reading the various articles and information posters at the visitor centre and at one of the dispersed sites it is evident that the Main PoW Camp was at the Thistleton Hall location.

This site of the PoW Camp its self is now a small woodland a few hundred metres from the Control Tower and is shown in the Aerial Panoramic image bottom left. The site can also be seen in the background of the primary images a line of trees behind the Nissen Huts


Camera and Images of the site of former PoW Camp 273 Debach Airfield


Extracts from UK Foreign Office Inspection Report from UK National Archives Kew:

FO 1120/183 PoW Camp List 20Feb47 inc PoW Camp 273
PoW Artifacts from Museum