Bomber squadron museum release unseen war era photos
- Credit: The 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum
A Norfolk Museum dedicated to the 100th bomb group from the Second World War have revealed photos unseen by the public for 75 years.
The 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, in Dickleburgh, have digitised a selection of photo negatives originally created during the Second World War.
The group of nine photographs show a variety of airmen and activities taking place at Thorpe Abbotts during the American ‘friendly invasion’.
Richard Gibson, trustee at 100th Bomb Group Memorial said: “It was many years ago that these negatives came to us, along with several other photographs associated with the 350th Sqdn.
“This was long before digitisation was available to us.
“And as we couldn’t handle these odd sized negatives, they kept being put back in the package.
“Three weeks ago, the negs came to the surface again, and now our thinking was different, and technology has changed.
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“I contacted a Norwich company called Each Moment and four days later these great images arrived. They really are quite special.”
The USAAF 100th Bomb Group flew their first combat mission on June 25, 1943 and its last on April 20, 1945.
During those 22 months they were credited with 306 missions with the loss of 785 airmen and 177 aircraft, as well as 894 airmen captured as prisoners of war.
The 100th Bomb Group gained the reputation as the "Bloody Hundredth" due to the heavy losses they suffered. On their first mission alone the 100th Bomb Group lost three planes and thirty men.
The group would go several months without any casualties and then on one mission might lose half the group.
The museum functions as both a place for learning as well as reflection on the hardships faced by those stationed at Thorpe Abbotts.
Their displays are housed in the original World War Two control tower and surrounding buildings which include an extensive bomber jacket collection, mechanical equipment, safety equipment, as well as artefacts found on base and personal items of those associated with the 100th Bomb Group which tell individual stories.
Due to Covid-19 the museum is currently closed but they hope to reopen with ticketed entry via Eventbrite on July 1.