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Masters of the Air, coming soon


Apple TV+ has set Friday, January 26, for the premiere of its $275m World War II drama Masters of the Air. Austin Butler leads the cast of the nine-episode limited series, which is made by Band of Brothers and The Pacific producers Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and focuses on the bravery and sacrifices of the US Eighth Air Force in the East of England during WWII.

Masters of the Air will premiere with two episodes on January 26, followed by one new episode every Friday through to March 15.


The series arrives as its predecessors, the Emmy-winning Band of Brothers and The Pacific, are finding new global audiences on Netflix.

Stars include ‘Elvis’ Golden Globe and BAFTA Best Actor, Oscar-nominated Austin Butler, Barry ‘The Joker’ Keoghan, Callum Turner from Fantastic Beasts, Jude Law’s son Raff in his first major role and new Doctor Who Ncuti Gatwa, who’s also in the Barbie movie.

Masters of the Air will garner a huge amount of publicity and will encourage Screen Tourism visits to the region.

Visit East of England is planning a marketing campaign in the US to promote this huge opportunity as well as other activity.

This is a story entirely about the East of England, locations for the air bases and now memorials and museums.

This was a war story unlike any other. It had a huge cultural impact on the East of England. This was The Friendly Invasion, with the Yanks introducing the Limeys to chewing gum, peanut butter, nylons, Swing and Jazz. A monochrome world suddenly became technicolour through these young men who came from the sky like spacemen.

The series was shot in Oxfordshire in late 2021, with post-production completed in California, but the story is entirely about the East of England, locations for the air bases and now memorials and museums.

Masters of the Air will have broad appeal to both domestic and international visitors.

When Band of Brothers aired Normandy Tourism reported a 40% uplift in North American visitors to the D-Day Beaches, already a well-visited destination. The series is still being shown around the world, so Masters of the Air will have a long tail.

Highlights include:

  • Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk, home of the ‘Bloody 100th’ Bomb Group and focus of Masters of the Air
  • The American Air Museum at Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire
  • The American Cemetery, Madingley, Cambridgeshire
  • Old Buckenham, Norfolk, where Hollywood legend James Stewart was commander
  • Lavenham, Suffolk, the best preserved medieval village in England, home to the Airman’s Bar at The Swan Hotel
  • The American Library, Norwich, formerly the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library
  • Horham, Suffolk, home of the 95th Bomb Group and the Red Feather Club where Glenn Miller performed
  • Parham, Suffolk, home of the 390th Bomb Group and the British Resistance Organisation Museum
  • Rougham, Suffolk, home of the 94th Bomb Group
  • Seething, Suffolk, home of the  448th Bomb Group

Other East of England-USA links:

  • Harwich, Essex – where the Mayflower was built and the birthplace of its captain Christopher Jones
  • Otley Hall, Suffolk – home of Bartholomew Gosnold, founder of Jamestown. Also named Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard
  • Heacham, Norfolk – birthplace of John Rolfe, who created the original Special Relationship by marrying Native American Princess Pocahontas
  • Hingham, Norfolk – ancestral home of US President Abraham Lincoln
  • Thetford, Norfolk – birthplace of Founding Father Thomas Paine, whose writings helped save the American War of Independence

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The Friendly Invasion in the East of England