The former home of the Bloody Hundreth celebrates two landmark anniversairies
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A museum which commemorates one of the darkest periods of East Anglia's History is celebrating two landmark anniversaries this year.
The 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, in Thorpe Abbotts, is appealing to members of the public to help it celebrate the 40th anniversary of the restoration of the control tower and 75th anniversary of the airfield itself. September 3, 2017 will mark the 40 years since plans were first made to preserve the memory of the 100th Bomb group and create a testament to the sacrifice the American airmen who flew from and worked on the airfield during the war. Home to the 100th Bomb group from June 1943 – June 1945, bombers took off on more than 8,600 daylight sorties over Germany from the airfield. Many of these missions involved heavy casualties, with the loss of 732 airmen and 177 aircraft leading to the bomb group earning the name the Bloody Hundredth.
Thorpe Abbots was one of 71 American bases spread across East Anglia, which were established in 1943 after Japan attacked the US fleet at Pearl Harbour and Uncle Sam entered the war. During the period the airfield was active American air force men influenced not only the outcome of the war but also the lives of people living in the vicinity of the airfield. The museum will be hosting a remembering the past event, featuring speakers who have first hand memories of the airfield when it was active. John Deller, a volunteer said: 'The main aim of the celebration is to remember the past, it's very important to remember the war and the people that lived here during those years.' 'Modern history isn't taught as much in schools as pre-war history, so its important children understand and bring the events of the Second World War into context.' 'We're hoping that the event will bring more youngsters to the museum, the history of the place should be remembered because it effects the children of this generation.' Ahead of the celebrations the museum is appealing for anyone who has memories of living around the airfield to come forward and share their stories. The museum is also keen to hear from anyone who lived in the Nissen Huts following the closure of the airfield or has any photos or any other relevant information about the site. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org