What do we know about Spielberg and Hanks' war series set in Norfolk?

Tom Hanks attending The Post European Premiere at The Odeon Leicester Square, London.

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks will collaborate as executive producers on WWII TV mini-series Masters of the Air. - Credit: Ian West/PA Images

A Second World War TV mini-series produced by Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks will see Norfolk take centre stage, following the American bomber pilots of the US Eighth Air Force. 

Based on Donald L Miller’s book, Masters of the Air, the air-themed war series follows on from the success of the Emmy award-winning Band of Brothers and The Pacific. 

Tom Hanks attending The Post European Premiere at The Odeon Leicester Square, London.

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks will collaborate as executive producers on WWII TV mini-series Masters of the Air. - Credit: Ian West/PA Images

Here is everything we know so far:  

Who are the "Mighty Eighth" or "Bloody 100th"? 

The story will follow the "bomber boys" of the American Eighth Air Force and their battles against Nazi Germany. 

During the Second World War between 1942 and 1945, it is estimated that there was around 50,000 personnel serving on 18 airbases, occupied by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF), within Norfolk - the “friendly invasion”. 

The U.S. Eighth Air Force occupied bases throughout the county, including Attlebridge, Bodney, Deopham Green, East Wretham, Hardwick, Hethel, Horsham St Faith, North Pickenham, Old Buckenham, Rackheath, Seething, Shipdham, Snetterton Heath, Thorpe Abbotts, Tibenham, Watton and Wendling. 

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The Mighty Eighth suffered more killed in action during the Second World War than the Marine Corps and risked flying at 25,000ft - in daylight - to take the fight to Hitler’s doorstep. 

It is reported that they unleashed 697,000 tonnes of bombs. 

They were also known as the Eighth Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group, or the Bloody 100th, so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews. 

Where is it being filmed?  

Despite being set in Norfolk, the series is not being filmed in the county.

Filming is currently taking place in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.  

The set was recently spotted in the village of in Bledlow, which had been made to look like a Norfolk village in the 1940s

It was also reported by the Daily Mail that an air base set has been erected on the site of a disused university and hotel in Chalfont St Giles. 

An old Norfolk signpost showing Norfolk villages spotted in Buckinghamshire.

An old Norfolk signpost showing Norfolk villages spotted in Buckinghamshire where filming for mini TV series Master of the Air is underway. - Credit: Nigel Peters

The cast so far

Anthony Boyle, as seen in Derry Girls, is set to co-star opposite Austin Butler and Callum Turner.

  • Anthony Boyle as Major Crosby  

  • Austin Butler as Major Gale Cleven  

  • Rafferty Law as Sgt Ken Lemmons  

  • Nate Mann as Major Rosie Rosenthal  

  • Callum Turner as Major John Egan  

  • James Murray as Colonel Chic Harding 

Anthony Boyle attending the UK premiere of Tolkien held at Curzon Mayfair, London

Anthony Boyle is set to star in Masters of the Air, a WWII TV mini-series.  - Credit: Ian West/PA Images

Where and when will it be aired? 

The show was announced last October and will stream on Apple TV+. It will be released between mid-2022 and early 2023.

Pictures taken of the film site in Buckinghamshire for the mini TV series Master of the Air.

Pictures taken of the film site in Buckinghamshire for the mini TV series Master of the Air, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. - Credit: Nigel Peters

Pictures taken of the film site in Buckinghamshire for the mini TV series Master of the Air.

Pictures taken of the film site in Buckinghamshire for the mini TV series Master of the Air, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. - Credit: Nigel Peters


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