Camp Griffiss / Widewing
Group From 1942 To 1965
WW2 US military base in Bushy Park named after the first American aviator killed in Europe in WW2.
Four blocks of temporary buildings were constructed in 60 acres in the north-east section of Bushy Park, blocks A, B, C, and D. It’s said that their original purpose was to house businesses escaping from the London Blitz but when the US 8th Air Force, a strategic bombing force, arrived in February 1942 these blocks were reallocated to the Yanks.
The camp went on to serve as the European Headquarters for USAAF July 1942 - December 1944, and as Eisenhower's SHAEF January 1944 - c.April 1944. Camp Griffiss was housed in numerous permanent and temporary buildings and under canvas.
There was also an air-strip in Bushy Park, further south near the Royal Paddocks. At its peak some 4000 personnel were working, and some of them also living, in the Park. The picture source gives more details. All demolished in the 1960’s.
The command of WW2 was, as one might expect, complicated. Our researches into how this camp was used led us into a morass of dates and acronyms, confusing and contradictory. Suffice it to say Camp Griffiss was an important site for the Americans and the overall command.
The picture source also has a photo of some US graffiti cut into a brick at the nearby "ice house in Home Park, next to Hampton Court and near to the Kingston gate".