8th USAAF Airfields in East Anglia

A massive logistical operation from 1942 to 1945 saw arable land converted for military use. After the end of the Second World War many of the bases were returned to agricultural use, although some were kept on for the British RAF and Army. In many cases, the infrastructure is gone, covered up or put to other uses. In some places, though, teams of volunteers have restored and conserved the remaining buildings and created memorial museums to the American presence.

Although many of the airfields are gone, their memory lives on in roadside markers and memorials in churchyards and buildings.

100TH BOMB GROUP MEMORIAL MUSEUM, THORPE ABBOTTS, NORFOLK

Since the 1970s this volunteer-run, fully accredited museum has been a star
attraction in Norfolk. A Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks produced television mini-series is due to feature the exploits of the 100th. Masters of the Air is based on historian Donald L Miller’s book.

FIND OUT MORE

THE RED FEATHER CLUB, 95TH BOMB GROUP MEMORIAL MUSEUM, HORHAM

The 95th was the first bomb group to carry out a daylight raid on Berlin. The museum is on the site of the former NCOs’ club called the Red Feather Club.

It features many personal stories and other artefacts within the museum, with original air raid shelters outside. There are two murals, along with the faithfully restored Brad’s Bar, which is used for club socials.

FIND OUT MORE

390TH BOMB GROUP, 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.

FIND OUT MORE

390th Bomb Group, Parham, Suffolk

453RD BOMB GROUP MUSEUM, OLD BUCKENHAM, NORFOLK

Hollywood star James ‘Jimmy’ Stewart was the first operations officer here, and is remembered with great affection in Norfolk. The museum is a recent addition, located on the still active airfield at Old Buckenham.

It tells the story of the 453rd, which flew B-24 Liberators here from 1943-45. Outside you can see other military artefacts from both the Second World War and the Cold War.

FIND OUT MORE

Jimmy Stewart, The Friendly Invasion