The site was selected in 1938 as a result of a decision made in 1936 to construct Aircraft Repair Depots.
Construction was started in 1938 and the ASU opened as No 37 Maintenance Unit Squadron Leader Stibbs arrived from No 24 Maintenance Unit at RAF Tern Hill, as the first commanding officer.
The first aircraft movement logged was on 19 April 1940 when an Oxford force landed after becoming lost. The runways were still officially not operational, and the Oxford took off on the same day.
A Bus Service from Warrington to the base was inaugurated, and Telephones were complete.
One Thousand gallons of paint were used to camouflage the runways.
The first aircraft to arrive flew in on 26 May 1940 they were as follows: Four Handley Page Hampdens, new from the manufacturers English Electric at Preston. They were immediately dispersed to G Site and an armed guard placed on them.
BRD Site was erected in 1939 and occupied in 1940, under the control of the Air Ministry but not the RAF.
It was taken over by the Ministry of Aircraft Production (MAP) upon its formation in May 1940.
On 14 April 1942 the first B-17c arrived at BRD, This was the first of twenty offered to Britain.
On 11 June 1942 the first US Units arrived.
736th Ordnance Company, 193rd Chemical Platoon, 890th Military Police Company. A total of eight officers and 153 enlisted men.
At the time of the first Americans arriving, No 37 MU was holding the following aircraft, which was being worked on as fast as possible in order to fly them out: 2 Beaufort 1, 18 Beaufort 11, 5 Halifax 11, 6 Hampden 1, 1 Hampden TB, 1 Lysander 1 (TT), 1 Lysander 111, 18 Magister, 1 Oxford 1, 6 Oxford 11, 2 Spitfire 1a, 1 Spitfire 11a, 4 Spitfire Va, 45 Spitfire Vb, 3 Wellington 1a, 30 Wellington 111, Total 102.
During the period 21 October to 31 December 1943, work continued at top speed on the perimeter track around the airfield.
Construction work was started on a series of six hangars to be used as warehouse, with a total of 734,000 sq feet of floor space.
A battalion of American aviation engineers, approximately 800 men, arrived and began work on an additional aircraft parking area at a cost of approximately $2M.
It was thought that 10,000 Personnel worked at the base , this was discarded and found that it was 18,500.
During the period from 1 November to 31 December 1943 the following living quarters were built:
Site 1, 22 Nissen huts to make a total of 91 Nissen and 25 Gerrard huts.
Site 2, 52 Nissen huts and 10 Gerrard huts for a total of 132 Nissen and 10 Gerrard.
Site3, 28 Nissen huts and 22 Gerrard huts for a total of 103 Nissen and 22 Gerrard.
Site 4, 72 Nissen huts for a total of 146 Nissen huts.
Site 5, 72 Nissen huts for a total of 146 Nissen huts.
Many American soldiers were shipped into BAD No 1 in August 1943, and the complement of the station reached nearly 7,000 by September.
The Service technicians were here for 17 months and approximately 45 of them married, half of these marriages taking place in late 1943 and January 1944, just prior to their return and in almost every case their new wives accompanied them back to the States.
The first celebrity to hit Burtonwood in April was film actor James Cagney.
Bing Crosby and Bob Hope visited Burtonwood several times, for one of Bing Crosby's shows the stage was built out of engine cases, with engines still in them. He commented that "This was the most valuable stage he had ever used"
Maintenance Division kept ahead of the increasing demand for more engines, at the fighting front by ringing up another record for engines overhauled and passing test with a score of 1,300 against 1,228 in March, and the February record of 724. ( In June 1942 the figure stood at 40 engines per week!)
In the third week of July airframe production reached a new high with 199aircraft made ready for delivery, the previous being 181. In the last week of the month airframe production rose to 269.
493 aircraft on the field during early August.
1019 aircraft were modified, assembled or repaired in August including: 4,234 B-17, 122B-26, 29 C-47, 80 P-38, 313 P-47, and 13 P-61.
In the engine section the output rose to 2,048 comprising of three types of radial.
By the end of the third week 128 B-17's had arrived in five days and four hangars were working flat out to modify them.
27 war weary B-17's were requisitioned for fuel haulage each one had two 400 gallon bomb bay tanks installed.
On 5th May 1946 It was handed back to the RAF.
In 1948 the Americans returned to RAF Burtonwood to open up Burtonwood for the Berlin Airlift.
Ten years of continued development had made Burtonwood the largest military base outside the US.
The airfield was then passed back to the RAF in June 1965.
De Gaulle quit NATO and the Americans were ordered out of France, in 1967.
In February 1967 the US Army took control of RAF Burtonwood until July 1993, when it closed down for good.
These Facts and Figures have been taken out of the book "Burtonwood" the Eighth Air Force Air Depot, by Permission of Mr. Aldon P Ferguson.