Search

Enhanced second world war photographs show American airmen at Halesworth and Boxted

14:59 24 April 2012

The photographs have been kindly enhanced by Kent Ramsey

The photographs have been kindly enhanced by Kent Ramsey

Archant © 2012

Primed and ready for action the young men in these photographs had travelled to north Suffolk from America to put their lives on the line to help defend our freedom.

Together they formed a fearsome fighting machine with their record number of aerial victories ensuring Cave Tonitrum – which translates as Beware the Thunderbolt – became a familiar motto around Halesworth.

The 56th Fighter Group ‘Zemke’s Wolfpack’ was based at the Halesworth (Holton) Airfield Station 365 from July 8, 1943, to April 18, 1944, and it was during this time that its P47 Thunderbolts set a record that was never equalled by any other fighter group in the US 8th Army Air Force.

These photos, which form part of an extensive library at The Halesworth (Holton) Airfield Museum, give a small insight into what life was like for the group both at that station and at Boxted, near Sudbury, which is where they moved to in April 1944.

The museum, which pays tribute to all those who served on the airfield between 1942 and 1946, has a collection of about 4,000 photographs that were given by veterans of the 56th Fighter Group, including more than 100 like this which have kindly been restored and enhanced by American Kent Ramsey.

The colour ones relate to the 56th’s time in Boxted, with the black and white mostly from Halesworth.

Museum committee member Buzz Took said that the huge collection of images had been sent to them by the 56th veterans group.

“Due to the age of the veterans they decided they could not carry on,” said Mr Took.

“They wanted to send them to a museum and at a meeting unanimously voted to send them to us, which was a real feather in our cap.”

Thousands of photographs were sent to Mr Took, who described the delivery as “like Christmas”.

Since then he has spent years sorting through the images as he has tried to put names to faces.

“I spent every night sorting different things out. It was a bit of an obsession I suppose,” he said.

The Halesworth (Holton) Airfield Museum is open every Sunday from 2pm between Easter and the end of October.

For more of the photographs click on the gallery at the top right of the screen.

Related articles

0 comments

Other news

Contractors and project leaders gather to celebrate the completed villlage hall kitchen at St James South Elmham

A small Suffolk village turned out on mass to celebrate its newly refurbished community kitchen.

Yesterday, 16:53
The James Paget Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: Angela Sharpe

One of the few hospital trusts predicting a surplus this year has revealed it is potentially facing a massive deficit for 2015/16.

Yesterday, 06:30
Platinum wedding couple George and Marjory Mace celebarte 70 years af marriage.

The year 1945 is one which will never be forgotten as the end of the Second World War.

Fri, 15:05
Fire crews rescue the man in Rumburgh - photo Jane Davis

A driver is lucky to have escaped after his car careered off the road and into a pond in Rumburgh, say eyewitnesses.

Most Read

Contractors and project leaders gather to celebrate the completed villlage hall kitchen at St James South Elmham

A small Suffolk village turned out on mass to celebrate its newly refurbished community kitchen.

Read more
Fri, 06:30
Charlotte Taylor has won a place at the American  Academy of performing Arts in New York.

Grace Kelly, Robert Redford and Anne Hathaway have all graced the hallways of the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Read more
United Kingdom
Fri, 15:05
Fire crews rescue the man in Rumburgh - photo Jane Davis

A driver is lucky to have escaped after his car careered off the road and into a pond in Rumburgh, say eyewitnesses.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:53
The James Paget Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: Angela Sharpe

One of the few hospital trusts predicting a surplus this year has revealed it is potentially facing a massive deficit for 2015/16.

Read more
Friday, February 13, 2015
Kevin Wainwright and David Little are returning to Beccles to run a new café/bistro Graze.

Two familiar faces are making a welcome return to Beccles to turn a pub into a contemporary cafe/bistro.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 4°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Beccles and Bungay Journal e-edition today E-edition