They may have been “overpaid, oversexed and over here” as the envious men of WWII Britain had it, but the might of the American military based in our country was to prove decisive in securing the final victory.
But its impact was more than that; it was cultural, as well as military. They may have been over here, but they brought with them the excitements of nylons and jazz, the gum-chewing swagger of what seemed like a prosperous promised land to the run-down population of the UK.
Nowhere was both forces seen more clearly than in East Anglia and the US 8th Army Air Force bases in Norfolk and Suffolk. From here hundreds of the evocatively named B-17 Flying Fortresses took off to bomb Nazi Germany; we will tour one of these masters of the sky. But we’ll also get a sense of the cultural impact on this four-day tour, including seeing the airbase where the actor James Stewart served, as well as the site of the last ever Glenn Miller concert.
The date is 14th to 17th April 2023
The cost – includes breakfast, hotel accommodation, coach, museums and guide, but not food and drinks. – is £1,435 per person. Please note that this is the cost of a single occupancy in a single room as we wish to be open with the all-inclusive costs. A discount of 10% is available for bookings with two people sharing a room.
You are accompanied by a tour leader to ensure that your tour runs smoothly.
This is a coach tour and your tour guide is Steve Smith
Steve qualified as a Guild of Battlefield Guide in 2004, having left the RAF in 2003, where he served for 18 years as an RAF Police NCO at various bases in the UK and abroad.
Meet at Bury St Edmunds
Visit Rougham Control Tower Aviation Museum, home of The 94th Bombarment Group, which took part in the ‘Big Week’, between the 20th and the 25th of February, 1944.
Visit Martlesham Heath airfield, home of the 356th Fighter Group which were equipped initially Thunderbolts and then Mustang fighters.
Visit Debach Airfield, home of the 493rd Bomb Group which were equipped with B-24 Liberators then to B-17 Flying Fortresses, the change being made in late August 1944.
Visit Cambridge American Cemetery. Donated by the University of Cambridge, the cemetery contains the remains of 3,812 of our war dead; 5,127 names are recorded on the Walls of the Missing. Most died in the Battle of the Atlantic or in the strategic air bombardment of northwest Europe.
Visit IWM Duxford which is Britain’s largest aviation museum. From the late 1970s the museum acquired several important American aircraft; a B-17G Flying Fortress in 1978, and a B-29 Superfortress named ‘It’s Hawg Wild’ in 1980. Followed by a unique tour of the B-17 Sally B.
Visit Tibenham Airfield, home to the 445th Bomb Group and James Stewart the famous Hollywood actor.
Visit Horham Airfield, home to the 95th Bomb Group famous as the first US group to bomb Berlin in daylight during WW2. The last B‑17 Flying Fortress shot down in Europe was from Horham and the 95th was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Distinguished Unit Citation) on three occasions, the most of any bomb group. Glenn Miller also famously played in one of the hangars at Horham Airfield on his final tour before his disappearance.