390th Bomb Group Memorial, Parham Airfield Museum, Suffolk

Housed within the control tower, this museum is largely devoted to the 390th Bomb Group, who referred to the base as Framlingham. As well as presenting displays relating to the Americans, this site is also home to the British Resistance Organisation Museum, telling of the secret auxiliary units trained to fight back should the Nazis succeed in occupying Britain.

390th Bomb Group, Parham, Suffolk

PARHAM AIRFIELD

This was among the first airfields to be built for the USAAF. In May, 1942, farmland was covered up by half a million tons of concrete. Four and a half million bricks were laid as three diagonal runways were created by a huge workforce.

390th Bomb Group, Parham, Suffolk

390TH BOMB GROUP

The 390th Bombardment Group moved in. At its peak, there were about 3,000 personnel on the site. Glenn Miller and the Band of the AEF played before an estimated 6,000 people in a hangar at the base in 1944.

390th Bomb Group, Parham, Suffolk

HUMANITARIAN MISSIONS

Their first mission was on August 12, 1943. Their final mission came in April, 1945, just before the European war ended, when they dropped food supplies to starving Dutch civilians.

ABOUT THE MUSEUM

The control tower was shut up and abandoned following a “riotous farewell party” in August, 1945. In 1976 a small band of dedicated enthusiasts began restoring the building at their own expense.

Five years later the museum was dedicated, and volunteers have established contacts with American veterans, friends and families.

Chairman Tim Brett told us about some new features for 2017: “We now have a touch screen computer which enables visitors to carry out their own research.
“A B17 propellor exhibit enables visitors to see the internal feathering mechanism at work and which is fitted with viewing ports and internal lighting. There are new exhibits in the Moller Building and a new range of clothing and souvenir items in the shop.”

390TH BOMB GROUP MUSEUM, PARHAM AIRFIELD

Parham, Framlingham, Suffolk, IP13 9AF

Tel: 01728 621373

Open Sundays and bank holidays from first Sunday in April to last Sunday in October 11am-5pm. Wednesdays, June to August, 11am to 4pm. Admission free. (please email during closed season)