The 100th Bomb Group Memorial MuseumBack Thorpe Abbotts Road, Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk.
Museum dedicated to the American 100th Bomb Group and housed on the former airfield site.
- Year of construction
- Protected status
Thorpe Abbotts airfield was built in 1942 as part of the airfield expansion programme as a heavy bomber station. The airfield became operational in the spring of 1943 and for the duration of the war it was occupied by the American 100th Bomb Group, flying B-17 Flying Fortresses.
The 100th started their raids in the summer of 1943 and flew over 200 missions throughout the war, losing 177 aircraft and earning the nickname the ‘Bloody Hundredth’ when a number of ill-fated raids took heavy casualties. During their campaign the unit was awarded two Distinguished Unit citations for missions against an aircraft factory at Regensberg in 1943 and Berlin in 1944. Some of the events at the airfield provided the inspiration for the classic 1949 film, Twelve O’Clock High, starring Gregory Peck.
Other notable achievements included taking part in the 8th Air Force’s ‘Big Week’ in February 1944 and in bombing raids against occupied Europe in the lead up to D-Day in 1944. The unit also received the Crois de Guerre from France on account of their strikes on German targets and supply drops to the French Resistance.
In 1977 a group of local people restored the control tower of the former airfield, which is now a thriving volunteer-run museum with strong links to former veterans.
The museum website is: http://www.100bgmus.org.uk/default.aspx