Thorpe Abbotts airfield

The United States Army Air Force’s 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy) were based here, equipped with B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. The Group flew three missions on D-Day. In common with much of the Allied air forces based in the UK, the Group also flew many more missions before and after the Normandy landings, that contributed to Allied success on and after D-Day.

The Group consisted of 349th, 350th, 351st and 418th Bombardment Squadrons and was known as ‘The Bloody Hundredth’ due to their high combat losses.

Personnel and aircraft from the United States Army Air Force began arriving in Britain in early 1942, soon after the United States entered the war. American bombers, flying from bases in East Anglia, joined RAF Bomber Command in attacking industrial targets in Germany, which helped to wear down German military production prior to the D-Day operations. The US bombers were accompanied by long-range fighter aircraft, which engaged the German Air Force’s defending fighters. These battles led to a gradual reduction of the strength of the German fighter aircraft forces, which contributed to the Allied air superiority on 6 June 1944. Closer to D-Day, American bombers also took part in raids on transportation targets in Normandy in order to disrupt the German Army’s ability to move reinforcements, and also attacked enemy coastal defences on and near the landing beaches.

AddressThorpe Abbotts, Diss, Norfolk IP21 4HY, UK
CountyNorfolk
Location typeAirfield
AccessPrivate
Site Ownership and Access InformationThe control tower was restored in 1977 and is now the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum.
Contact detailsSee 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum website

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