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Suffolk war memories to be preserved in US memorial

PUBLISHED: 15:26 26 March 2015 | UPDATED: 15:26 26 March 2015

local children enjoy  visits to Horham 95th Bomb Group

local children enjoy visits to Horham 95th Bomb Group

Archant

They are images that show how Suffolk children were entranced by an army of friendly invaders.

The delighted and curious children were captured on camera as they visited a US service personnel stationed at Horham and got to get in the cockpit of war planes and received treats from friendly and seemingly exotic Americans.

And now 70 years after the war it is hoped that some of the memories of those youngsters will be captured in a new permanent memorial in the United States to honour the Americans who were stationed in the region.

Members of the 95th Bomb Group Heritage Association, the Red Feather Club, are planning to interview and record the wartime memories of the villagers who lived in Horham near Eye and these recordings, named ‘The Children of Horham’, will be used as part of a new exhibit at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, which will commemorate the US Army based in Suffolk.

Mike Ager, Red Feather committee member, said: “I hope to start by interviewing people in Redlingfield who remember the 95th being at Horham airfield. I also plan to interview former villagers to record their memories.

“These Suffolk voices will form part of permanent exhibit in Arizona commemorating the men of the 95th.”

Horham Airfield, which sits between Eye and Stradbroke, was formally the home of the United States Army Air Forces’ 95th Bomb Group which was stationed in Suffolk from June 1943 until August 1945.

334 missions were flown from the Suffolk base during this period and the aircrews became the first bomb group to perform a daylight raid on Berlin.

The 95th, part of the ‘Mighty Eighth Air Force’, was made up of four squadrons the 334th, 335th, 336th and 412th and during the war they lost more than 600 men in action.

The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Bomb Group to receive the Distinguished Unit Citation - also known as the Presidential Unit Citation - three times.

The Red Feather Club, operated and managed by the 95th Bomb Group Heritage Association, is the official UK museum of the 95th Bomb Group and hopes that the memories will bring more understanding of the regions war effort.

Mr Ager said: “We hope these childhood recollections of the friendly invasion of the Second World War had on our little corner of Suffolk will help children understand the impact the arrival of the 95th on our doorstep and the war itself had on the people of the villages surrounding the base.”

Anyone with memories of the 95th’s time at Horham or those who know of someone that would be happy to record their recollections have been asked to contact Mike Ager on 01379 678835 or email mike@gn.apc.org

For more information about the 95th bomb group and up and coming events visit www.95thbg-horham.com

Do you have a Norfolk or Suffolk wartime story? Email michelle.finch@archant.co.uk


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