Two Little Boys With The
U. S. A. A. F. In 1943/45

Long ago as it was, I remember very clearly the events of June 8th, 1943 and the 381st Bomb Group as I made my way home from Ridgewell School. The B 17, Flying Fortresses were about to come in to land at the base as our parents and the school children went up to the airfield to see the homecoming. An M.P. allowed us to get over the barbed wire fence and stand beside the taxi-way to wave at the airmen in the planes as they went by. We saw the planes come home: some shot to pieces, some crashed on landing and many did not come home at all.

During the two years that the Americans were here, my chum Colin used to go to the base on the back of his dad's bicycle to watch the planes land and, I would say, the experience was something youngsters would never forget - especially all the chewing gum and candy - some of us used to go down to the mess halls for food.

Yes, we made a lot of American friends that we still have today and to keep their memories alive we have set up, with greatly appreciated help from local people and other nearby 8th Airforce bases, an exhibition of 381st memorabilia. On the second Sunday of each month March until September a group of local volunteers help us stage the event.

The Exhibition is held between 11am and 5pm in the old hospital building behind the Memorial which is situated just off the A1017 (formerly A604) in Great Yeldham and we have on show Uniforms, Photos, Maps, Other Memorabilia, Parts of Crashed B17s, Military Vehicles and many other items we have collected since the war.

Since starting we have now expanded to include 90 Squadron, RAF who operated Stirling aircraft prior to the arrival of the US forces.

Entrance is free (donations always appreciated) and all are welcome.

Tony Ince