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Memories of the USAAF Great Eighth
Memories in the USAAF Mighty Eighth
For any individual interested in the history of the Second World War, especially the conflict in the air, I can heartily advise a special publication through Flypast magazine, which issues itself with aviation heritage. The Grand Eighth is a heavily illustrated 98-page listing of every British airbase used by the usa Army Air Force after the arrival from the first flying Yanks about 12 May 1942. It’s a fascinating reminder of just how many USAAF personnel were stationed here – the listing runs alphabetically from Alconbury to Wyton. Both happen to be inside Cambridgeshire, but the bases counseled me over the south regarding England and the Midlands and there were even a couple of in Northern Ireland in europe. The US Eighth Atmosphere Force was the primary command group, but the Ninth was also crucial with the Twelfth enjoying only a small component in the UK.
On the protect is Lt Al Keeler with a 95th Bomb Group Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (and a very desirable A2 flying jacket) at Horham airbase in Suffolk in 1944. (Photo courtesy of Ing Keeler via Warren Thompson).
My own connection and curiosity with this period comes from my personal mother, Louisa Fitzpatrick, who was within the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) during WW2. My own childhood was full of stories of the times she had as a young twentysomething stationed on airfields inside Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. Born within 1921, she is now 80 and her big pile of war time photos have approved to me.
These agreed upon postcards were sent by my mom to her then-boyfriend, John Davies, who had been captured at Dunkirk and was a offender of war until finally 1945. On his come back they married but the privations he had suffered being a PoW had vulnerable him and he passed on too young noisy . 1950s. My mummy married my father within 1954. Theses postcards keep on the back the press of the German get away Harry was in back then he received these people via the good office buildings of the Red Cross.
Personal ephemera like this tends to make history come alive for me personally. It is amazing to mirror that we can still speak to men and women who survived those extraordinary occasions, although I guess which in about 20 years there’ll be virtually no one living who saw active service during WW2.
Apart from the pictures of my mother, my favourite from the period of time is this poignant line-up of the crew of a Boeing B-17 Hurtling Fortress bomber. If 10 men can remain shoulder to glenohumeral joint and still not be as long as one wing, it offers a superior some idea of the immense size of these bombers. Over a sartorial note, it is fascinating to see that the clothing were not, in fact, really uniform. I wonder if any of these guys are nevertheless with us.
In the Gemstone Jubilee year of the woman’s coronation, it is interesting to make note of that HM The Full was busy in official duties a long time before she was crowned. Because of Flypast’s Mighty Eighth newspaper, I now know that your 18-year-old Princess Elizabeth frequented the 306th Bomb Class at Thurleigh, near Bedford throughout July 1944 to name any B-17 G Flying Citadel Rose of York. A carefully engulfed bottle of Bubbly was smashed towards a panel coupled to the chin turret guns. (Picture courtesy of 306th Bomb Group Museum). On a raid in order to Berlin on February Several, 1945, Rose of York was hit by flak and didn’t help it become back to base. The idea crashed Stone Island Hoodie In Red into the Uk Channel, killing almost all 10 crew. Half of the U.Ersus. Army Air Force’s cutbacks in World War II have been suffered by the Great Eighth, which endured over 47,Thousand casualties, including a lot more than 26,000 useless, before it travelled its last war time mission on 25 April 1945.
Another curiosity in my mom’s box of wartime memories is this selection from RAF Sutton Link in south-east Lincolnshire for Christmas dinner 1944. This Stone Island Hoodie In Red is the last Christmas associated with World War II.
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