A memorial commemorating the lives of 13 American airmen, four civilians, all Suffolk men and their working horse killed in 1943 has been unveiled 80 years to the day and time when the tragic accident happened and a B-17 Flying Fortress crashed at Brome.
Bawdsey Radar were honoured to join family members, representatives from RAF Alconbury and Mildenhall and associated organisations, Suffolk Punch Trust and an honour guard at the memorial service and unveiling.
Family members travelled from across the region and from the United States to represent and remember their relatives lost in the crash and to view the memorial inscribed with the names and the story of that tragic day in 1943.
On 10th November 1943, a USAF B-17 Pathfinder Flying Fortress crasehd at Brome, near Eye in Suffolk. The aircraft had been fitted with ground-scanning radar called HS2 at RAF Defford by the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE).
The B-17 was the first four-engine American Pathfinder bomber fitted with this type of radar. The B-17 crew were heading back to their home base at RAF Alconbury after taking off from Thorpe Abbots in Norfolk, when a cockpit fire broke out. The crew attempted an emergency landing at Eye, but tragically the aircraft crashed with the loss of all crew members and four civilian workers plus a working horse.
The memorial has been built in the ground of Oaksmere Country House Hotel, Brome near Eye in Suffolk, opposite the field where the crashed happened in 1943.
Photo ©Wendy Aitken Photography
On 10 November 1943 a United States B-17 Pathfinder Flying Fortress crashed at Brome in Suffolk. The aircraft had been fitted with ground scanning radar called H2S at RAF Defford by the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE). The B-17 was the first four-engine American Pathfinder bomber fitted with this type of radar.
The crew were heading back to their home base at RAF Alconbury after taking off from Thorpe Abbots in Norfolk, when a cockpit fire broke out. Despite attempting an emergency landing at Eye, the aircraft crashed with the loss of all 13 crew members and 4 civilian workers plus a horse.
This year is the 80th anniversary year of this tragic event. Representatives from Bawdsey Radar are honoured to be attending an event to unveil a memorial near to the crash site dedicated to those who died. The Oaksmere Hotel, Brome is hosting the memorial unveiling event on 10 November at 10.40am. The day and time of the crash.
Family members of the crew and civilians will be there to commemorate and remember their family members who lost their lives. Representatives from RAF Alconbury and Mildenhall will also attend along with an honour guard and associated organisations.
Bawdsey Radar will be at the Suffolk Family History Society Fair at the Hold in Ipswich on Saturday 14th October. Come along and find out how to discover and interpret family details within the RAF service records from WWII. You will also have a chance to hear about our new Connections project in conjunction with the University of Suffolk. The Connections system will capture and record the details and stories from the many thousands of men and women who served, worked or trained at RAF Bawdsey from 1937 until 1991.
Bawdsey Radar Museum will be welcoming visitors and offering free entry on Sunday the 17th of September as part of the national Heritage Open Day event.
Come and find out what amazing technology was developed at this top-secret location before the Second World War, and how we use it every day in the 21st century.
Trace the scientific development of radar and its pivotal role in providing “the eyes of the few”, the RAF fighter pilots who won the Battle of Britain, and radar’s crucial role throughout World War Two.
Local broadcaster and presenter Georgy Jamieson, who has recently become a patron of Bawdsey Radar Museum, will be popping into the museum on the day. Georgy is keen to meet visitors and will be recording some of their stories.
You can also find out about volunteering, whether it’s opening and running the museum, researching the museum collection and history of RAF Bawdsey or exciting digital developments – there are a lot of opportunities for volunteers at the museum.
On the open day there will be existing volunteers to talk to about the different roles. Whether you have a few hours or the occasional free day, it is very rewarding being part of a museum that celebrates the birthplace of radar.
For more information on visiting and pre-booking tickets for Bawdsey Radar Museum on Heritage Open Day, Sunday 17th, September, please click here
Today marks a year since the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The late Queen played an important role in the story of RAF Bawdsey, officially approving the RAF station’s badge, based upon the watchdog mosaic in the entrance of Bawdsey Manor. The phrase on the badge ‘First in the Field’ emphasised the role of Bawdsey as the first link in the chain of radar stations that became known as Chain Home.
May she rest in peace.
Georgy Jamieson presenter and writer has become a patron of Bawdsey Radar.
This is good news for Bawdsey Radar and Georgy’s vast experience as broadcaster, writer and documentary maker will add her knowledge to help to share the story of radar at Bawdsey Radar.
Georgy Jamieson says:
‘I’m thrilled and honoured to announce I have been made patron of Bawdsey Radar.
I’m looking forward to working on several projects to promote the museum and tell the incredible story of how radar was developed in Suffolk which as a local girl, I’m very proud of’.
Georgy will be in the museum on Sunday 17 September on Heritage Open Day to say hello to visitors and volunteers. Come and join in the fun, meet Georgy and see the museum!
Very big thank you to Georgy Jamieson for having us on her Radio Suffolk programme on 11th July, when she interviewed Trustee Iain Dunnett. You’re so supportive of us all here in #Suffolk… thank you.
Here’s the link to her @BBCSuffolk prog, we’re on at 52 minutes in!
Coming to Bawdsey Radar on Wed 12 July is our ‘Reflections on Radar’ Talk Day. Come along for an in-depth look at Radar at Bawdsey and beyond as well as a cuppa and a look round the museum.
Book tickets here bawdseyradar
Please note – TICKET ONLY event!
Day 7 already!
Thank you for following us this week. We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing more about volunteering. If your volunteering appetite has been whetted, please get in touch with us or your local Volunteering Service for more information – in Suffolk that’s Community Action Suffolk @CASuffolk
More information about volunteering at Bawdsey Radar can be found here: https://www.bawdseyradar.org.uk/support-us/#volunteering
We’d certainly love to see you in the museum!
Volunteers l-r: Liz, Mary, Roger and David
Tuesday 6 June
A ‘Thank you’ is not enough to encompass what Bawdsey Radar owes its volunteer team. Volunteers are the heart of this museum and so many organisations across this UK.
Thank you to our Ace Volunteer Team for every single thing you do, from greeting our guests in the museum to looking after the building and grounds – everything that makes Bawdsey Radar a wonderful place to be with a special story to tell is influenced by our volunteers. Our work in sharing the story of the men and women who lived and worked at RAF Bawdsey would not be possible without the endless effort and support of our volunteer team.
Volunteers Jenny and Rod Webb with Nigel Amies re-enactor