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East Anglia to have starring role in Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s HBO series Masters of the Air

PUBLISHED: 11:54 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:00 22 February 2017

Photo from the archives of the 100th Bomb Group who were based at Thorpe Abbotts with their B17 Flying Fortress aircraft.
 Photo supplied by 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum.

Photo from the archives of the 100th Bomb Group who were based at Thorpe Abbotts with their B17 Flying Fortress aircraft. Photo supplied by 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum.

Archant Norfolk Copyright

East Anglia may benefit from a boost in US visitors following the announcement that Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s HBO miniseries, Masters of the Air, will focus on The 100th Bomb Group.

Photo from the archives of the 100th Bomb Group who were based at Thorpe Abbotts with their B17 Flying Fortress aircraft.
Photo supplied by 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum.Photo from the archives of the 100th Bomb Group who were based at Thorpe Abbotts with their B17 Flying Fortress aircraft. Photo supplied by 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum.

As such, the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum in Thorpe Abbotts, near Diss, is being visited by production crew from HBO on Wednesday, February 22 for research purposes.

Also known as the Bloody Hundredth, the 100th Bomb Group, a unit of American servicemen, were assigned to the Eighth Air Force and arrived at RAF Thorpe Abbotts in November 1943.

These servicemen flew B-17s and were tasked with bombing strategic targets such as airfields, bridges and enemy ground defences.

Sophie Towne, a museum trustee, said: “We’ve been preserving and promoting the stories of the men and women who served at Thorpe Abbotts for four decades so it will be amazing to share the heroic tales of the 100th Bomb Group with a much wider audience through the HBO series.

“We’ve known for 40 years that the stories were worth telling and remembering and we hope that Masters of the Air will invigorate new generations of Americans and British people to find out more about this momentous period of history.”

The 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum is also hoping to become a part of the ‘Friendly Invasion’ a campaign launched by East Anglian tourism organisations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of these USAAF servicemen in the region, which will involve a range of East of England experiences in 3, 5 and 7-day tours.

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