Somewhere in the Midlands: A History of U.S.A.A.F.Station 522, Smethwick

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Army Force Station 522, at Beakes Road, Smethwick, Staffordshire, was created on 25th August 1943 in order to meet the increasing demands of the United States Army Air Force in the European Theatre of Operations. Situated at least 50 miles from the nearest USA Air Force base, its Midlands location was appropriate for the movement of equipment throughout the country. Also, its distance from the airfields gave the depot a degree of security and it was not bombed during its American occupation. The base was in use until October 1945 as a storage, supply, and repair depot for Air Force equipment. It was responsible for supplying all the radio and radar equipment for the American air bases around the country. After D-Day a contingent of men from Smethwick was sent to the continent where they carried out similar duties. This title chronicles the day-to-day running of USAAF Station 522, and recounts the experiences of the men of the 879th, 892nd and 908th Signal Depot Companies that were based there. It also looks at the sociological effects that the American unit had on the locality of Smethwick and Bearwood, one of these being the numerous Anglo-American weddings.