Thursday, 12 July 2007

One in a hundred

Photography is full of surprises. Some nice and some not so nice but this image was just one of those right place, right time nice moments.
This guy appeared in a authentic U.S wartime JEEP, dressed in the USAAF uniform. He looked the part too unlike many. For me this image reflects the museum's role of keeping the past alive for future generations of visitors. Looking through the viewfinder, i felt a cold shiver down my back; you certainly felt as if you were looking back at 1943!

Norfolk in 2007 is a quiet rural county but in 1942 the USAAF arrived in the UK and started flying missions against nazi Germany. By the end of the war, Norfolk contained over 37 airfields and nearly 2000 aircraft, the vast majority of which were under U.S control as part of the U.S Eighth Airforce.

Thorpe Abbotts near Diss on the Norfolk/Suffolk border was just one of those fields, used by the 100th Bomb Group known for having the highest loss rate of any group.In one mission alone, of thirteen B-17 aircraft dispatched, only one made it home and the 100th became known during the war as the 'jinx outfit'.

The control tower at Thorpe Abbotts was renovated in 1977 by a team of enthusiasts and opened as a superb museum displaying images and artifacts donated by 100th BG veterans.

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