Museums

American Air Museum (Duxford)

 

American Air Museum (Duxford)

The American Air Museum forms part of the Imperial War Museum near Duxford in Cambridgeshire. This historic airfield tells the stories of those who lived, fought and died in conflict from the First World War to 1969. Amongst its large collection of aircraft, the museum has expertly restored examples of all the major aircraft used by the USAAF in the European theatre during the Second World War.

Website: www.americanairmuseum.com

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum (Thorpe Abbotts)

 

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum (Thorpe Abbotts)

Housed in the original airfield control tower and surrounding buildings, the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum is a moving testament to the Americans who were stationed in Thorpe Abbotts during the Second World War. This museum not only tells the stories of the personnel stationed at Thorpe Abbotts, but also what life was like on airfields within East Anglia during the Second World War. Since the 1970s, this volunteer run museum has been a star attraction in Norfolk.

Website: www.100bgmus.org.uk

306th Bomb Group Museum (Thurleigh)

 

306th Bomb Group Museum (Thurleigh)

During the Second World War, RAF Thurleigh was home to the 306th Bomb Group. On the 27th January 1943, the B-17s of the 306th was one of the groups involved in the first penetration into Germany. This bomb group flew 344 missions from the airfield between October 1942 and May 1945. Now privately owned, the site houses a museum dedicated to the 306th Bomb Group.

Website: www.306bg.co.uk

389th Bomb Group Memorial Exhibition (Hethel)

 

389th Bomb Group Memorial Exhibition (Hethel)

Housed in the airfield’s original Chapel, this exhibition commemorates the contribution of the 389th Heavy Bombardment Group to the Allied victory. The exhibition includes uniforms, photographs, combat records and memorabilia. Alongside the displays survives a mural of Christ on the cross. Next door to this spectacular painting, a map of Europe can still be seen on the wall of the Chaplin’s quarters.

Website: www.hethel389th.wordpress.com

453rd Bomb Group Museum (Old Buckenham)

 

453rd Bomb Group Museum (Old Buckenham)

The museum of the 453rd Bomb Group is located on the still active airfield of Old Buckenham. Outside the museum is a collection of military artefacts from both the Second World War and the Cold War. Whilst the inside displays tell the stories of the crews of the B-24s who flew from the airfield between 1943 and 1945.

Website: www.453museum.com/

493rd Bomb Group Museum (Debach)

 

493rd Bomb Group Museum (Debach)

On the 10th May 1944, aircraft of the 8th Air Force first arrived at RAF Debach. In total, the B-24s and B-17s based here flew 161 missions. Within the restored control tower are displays which show how it would have looked in 1944. There are also exhibitions on the medical facilities and life on the home front.

Website: www.493bgdebach.co.uk

95th Bomb Group Museum (Horham)

 

95th Bomb Group Museum (Horham)

Located on the site of the former NCO’s ‘Red Feathers Club’, the 95th Bomb Group Museum comprises of a series of interconnected rooms with a separate guardroom and prison cell. Within the museum are two stunning murals and the faithfully restored ‘Brad’s Bar’. Immediately outside of the museum survives one of the airfield’s original air raid shelters.

Website: www.95thbg-horham.com

Bottisham Airfield Museum

 

Bottisham Airfield Museum

Based around the sites of the original dispersal buildings, the displays in the Bottisham Airfield Museum tell the story of this Second World War airfield. During the war, this airfield was home to the 361st Fighter Group, as such the museum explores the important contribution this group made to the 8th Air Force’s bombing offensive.

Website: www.bottishamairfieldmuseum.org.uk

Boxted Airfield Museum

 

Boxted Airfield Museum

Although RAF Boxted is best known for its association with the 56th ‘Zemke’s Wolfpack’ Fighter Group, the airfield was also home to P-47s of the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron, P-51s of the 354th Fighter Group, and B-26s of the 386th Bomb Group (Medium). Visitors to the museum can learn about the rich history of this airfield through the objects on display.

Website: www.boxted-airfield.com

City of Norwich Aviation Museum

 

City of Norwich Aviation Museum

Now home to Norwich Airport, during the Second World War RAF Horsham St Faith was base to various USAAF units including the 56th Fighter Group, the 458th Bombardment Group and the headquarters of the 96th Combat Wing. Through displays and exhibits, the museum tells the story of this airfield as well as RAF Sculthorpe and RAF Coltishall.

Website: www.cnam.org.uk

Martlesham Heath Control Tower Museum

 

Martlesham Heath Control Tower Museum

Following the American entry into the Second World War, RAF Martlesham Heath was made available to the USAAF’s 356th Fighter Group. Within the restored control tower are a number of displays which tell the fascinating story of the airfield from its establishment to the 1960s.

Website: www.mhas.org.uk

Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum (Flixton)

 

Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum (Flixton)

The Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum is located near to the site of the former 446th Bomb Group base at Bungay. Within this museum, visitors can see a wide range of unique artefacts and personal items belonging to USAAF personnel stationed in the area. There is also a building dedicated to the 446th Bomb Group as well as murals from the 353rd Fighter Group base at Raydon.

Website: www.aviationmuseum.net

Nuthampstead Airfield Museum

 

Nuthampstead Airfield Museum

Located in rural Hertfordshire, RAF Nuthampstead was home to the B-17s of the 398th Bomb Group and the 55th Fighter Group. Today, the site houses a growing collection of artefacts associated with these two groups. Visitors to the museum, can also pop into the local pub, the Woodman Inn, which was frequented by base personnel throughout the war.

Website: www.nuthampsteadairfieldmuseum.webs.com

Parham Airfield Museum (Framlingham)

 

Parham Airfield Museum (Framlingham)

Housed in the former control tower, Parnham Airfield Museum is primarily dedicated to the 390th Bomb Group. The museum holds a large collection of artefacts associated with this bomb group as well other Second World War items. Parham is also home to the British Resistance Organisation Museum. These exhibits tell the fascinating story of the men and women who were trained to be an active resistance movement in the event of a Nazi occupation.

Website: www.parhamairfieldmuseum.co.uk

Ridgewell

 

Ridgewell

Originally home to the Short Stirling Bombers of the RAF’s No. 90 Squadron, RAF Ridgewell was allocated to the USAAF’s 381st Bomb Group of the 1st Air Division when America entered the war. Housed in the main ward of the former airfield’s hospital, the museum holds a wide selection of artefacts.

Website: www.rafcamuseum.co.uk

Rougham Control Tower Museum

 

Rougham Control Tower Museum

Known as RAF Bury St Edmund throughout the Second World War, this base was home to the B-26s of the 322nd Bomb Group and then the B-17s of the 94th Bomb Group. Visitors to the museum can explore exhibitions and artefacts within the airfield’s former control tower.

Website: www.rougham.org

Wattisham Station Heritage Museum

 

Wattisham Station Heritage Museum

Originally home bombers of the RAF, Wattisham was eventually allocated to the 479th Fighter Group initially equipped with P-38s and later the P-51s. This museum tells the story of the airfield from its establishment to its current use as a British Army helicopter base.

NB: This museum is located on an active military base. If you wish to visit, you must book 3 days in advance via the museum’s website. 

Website: www.wattishamstationheritage.org