Old Buckenham Airfield Old Buckenham
Old Buckenham Airfield
Old Buckenham airfield [aerodrome] was built during 1942/43 for the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Eighth Air Force and given the designation USAAF Air Station 144. The Old Buckenham airfield was designed as a Class A bomber base and the main contractors were Taylor Woodrow Ltd. The Old Buckenham airfield had three concrete runways (the main runway being 1,800 metres/6,000 feet long), 50 aircraft dispersal loops and two T2 hangars. The dispersed campsites provided accommodation for 2,894 personnel. The 453rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), flying B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft, arrived in December 1943 and entered combat in February 1944, their main task being the bombing of strategic targets. Together with Station 114 (RAF Hethel) and Station 124 (RAF Tibenham) they formed the 2nd Combat Bomb Wing, one of five wings assigned to the 2nd Bomb Division. From March until July 1944, after having transferred from RAF Tibenham, the American actor James “Jimmy” Stewart served as the Group’s operations officer, briefing on the operational aspects of missions. The actor Walter Matthau (Walter John Matthow) was also stationed at Old Buckenham during this time. He served as a radioman-gunner.
Jimmy’s Café and Bar Restaurant Old Buckenham Airfield is located next to two aircraft sheds (one a Blister hangar moved to its present location by the entrance to the flying field from the aerodrome’s Technical site), is named after Jimmy Stewart. Jimmy’s cafe is great for all day breakfasts, snacks and a place to relax while you are touring all thats on at Old Buckenham. Jimmy’s Café and Bar interior was designed by the American interior stylist Signature Hamilton. A newly constructed Nissen hut, the 453rd Bombardment Group Museum, reportedly houses the largest collection of 543rd memorabilia in existence, is situated adjacent to the new memorial garden with its figure-8 path, where the 453rd Bombardment Group’s memorial stone is now also located. Jimmy’s was Ceremonially opened in November 2015 and opened to the public at Easter 2016 and is currently open to visitors every weekend from 10 am until 4 pm as well as by private appointment.
Here at Old Buckenham Airfield you will find information of: b24 liberators, b52 bombers, b17’s, nuclear missiles, military displays, blast shelters, RAF Duxford, The USAF, The RAF, RAF Hethel, RAF Tibenham, The WAAF, WW2, Spitfires, Flying Fortresses, goldfinger helicopter, MH454, Combat Bomb Wing,
Whether you are local or just visiting Old Buckenham, Breckland and Norfolk you will have a great family day out with all that’s on offer at the Old Buckenham Airfield. We hope to see you soon.
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