American son of second world war airman returns to Tibenham airfield
17:44 04 July 2012
The son of an American second world war airman has made a pilgrimage to Norfolk ahead of this weekend’s
Tibenham Heritage Air Festival.
Scott Culver, a teacher from New Jersey, USA, visited the former US bomber base at Tibenham airfield on Saturday.
Mr Culver is the son of Staff Sgt Henry “Hank” J Culver Senior, who flew 30 missions in B24 Liberators from Tibenham from 1943 to 1944.
The airman was a ball turret/waist gunner in the 703rd Bomb Squadron under Squadron Commander Major James Stewart, the film star, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his services.
On one particular mission his aircraft, “Nine Yanks and a Jerk”, was hit by an 88mm shell which passed through the bomb bay and exited just behind the pilot without exploding.
His son presented the Norfolk Gliding Club, the owner of Tibenham airfield, with a limited edition print of a painting portraying the incident.
The Tibenham Heritage Air Festival will take place on Sunday, July 8 and will feature more than two hours of flying displays from a host of vintage aircraft.
The famous B17 Sally B, which, together with an escort of two P51 Mustangs, will provide a memorable sight, in the air and on the ground for the air festival.
The former Liberator base will also welcome the Hardwick War Birds Collection with two P51s, the Harvard, Stearman and the Auster.
The Aerostars, with their six Yak 50s, will provide a display. Other acts include a Douglas DC3, both in the air and on static display along with the Grace Spitfire, Bucker, Glider and tug, Pitts, model aircraft flying and lots of other historic and aerobatic aircraft.
On the ground, there will be displays of Lotus historic F1 racing cars, military vehicles, police dog handling, model aircraft display, vintage and classic cars, aviation artefacts, trade stands, food and refreshments.
Organisers have pledged to give 20pc of profits to local charity Care for Life at Home to help Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norwich.
The air festival will be open from 10.30am to 7pm. Tickets are £10 in advance for adults, £5 for under 16s, and children under 6 get in for free.
For more information, visit www.airshow.norfolkglidingclub.com