Memorial mural to New Zealand bomber crews unveiled at Wellington pub in Feltwell, Norfolk
- Credit: Elizabeth Mason
A 60ft memorial mural has been unveiled to wartime bomber crews.
The artwork, on an outside wall at the Wellington pub in Feltwell, near Brandon, was painted by Oxburgh-based artist and gallery owner Colin Mason.
It is dedicated to the Wellington Bomber aircraft and crews of 75 Squadron of the New Zealand airforce, who flew from nearby RAF Feltwell.
Work started on the wall in June. The pub, on the village High Street, was packed for the unveiling on Saturday.
'We had an absolutely roaring success of a day,' said co-landlord Chris Samuels. 'We had over 65 people attend including two Wellington crew members.
'We had Ivan Potter, who used to be a Wellington wireless operator and gunner and we had Richard Dixon who trained on Wellingtons and was one of the last people to fly one.'
Representatives from the Royal New Zealand Air Force, RAF and US air force also attended the event.
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The pub is dedicated to all the crews who flew the Wellington Bombers who operated from the station, and to all those who supported them on the ground during the war.
No 75 Sqn was formed in 1937. It was continually in action from 1940 until 1945 and flew more missions than any other squadron. It also suffered the second-highest number of losses of any heavy bomber suqadron during the 1939 - 45 conflict.
Mr Mason's atmospheric painting shows crew members waiting beside their twin-engined bomber whilst it is being prepared for a bombing mission. Many of ther young men who took off on night bombing missions did not return.
Mr Mason, 69, who spent 22 years as a pilot in the RAF, said: 'It has been an absolute privilege to have been asked to add to this magnificent collection of aviation artefacts at the pub, by producing a series of full colour paintings depicting various scenes from that long lost time.
'It would be nice to think that in the future, the Wellington Wall could become part of a heritage trail as there is so much to see.'
The Wellington is not only frequented by locals but also US service personnel from nearby Lakenheath and Mildenhall, who still ask questions about the Second World War airfields and the people that worked from them.