Legacy of Bungay Airfield recognised with new memorial
PUBLISHED: 19:19 22 July 2018 | UPDATED: 19:19 22 July 2018
A special memorial has been unveiled to recognise the enduring importance of Bungay Airfield and all those who served at it.
Hundreds of people turned out this afternoon (Sunday, July 22) for the ceremony at Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum in honour of the nearby airfield.
The dedication recognised the work of all who served at the airfield – including the 446th Bombardment Group of the US Air Force, which was based at Bungay from November 1943 to June 1945.
The unveiling was one of three taking place across East Anglia over the weekend by Kenneth Bannerman, director general of the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust, with others occurring in Sedgeford and Little Snoring yesterday.
Mr Bannerman was joined by Colonel Robert Shelton, commander of the 100th Operations Group and the 401st Air Expeditionary Group at RAF Mildenhall, to unveil the memorial.
Colonel Shelton said: “It is quite an honour to join you and recognise a very special partnership.
“We have to reflect on our history to understand the sacrifice so many British and American army gave us in the past and the freedoms that we enjoy today are because of their selfless sacrifice.
“Whether airmen or sailors or soldiers it was really beyond comprehension.”
There was also a dedication to a plaque on a nearby seat for US Airman technical sergeant James Kirk Varner who served on the Bungay airfield in 1944.
Prior to the unveiling the large crowd were treated to a flypast from an RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster.
Museum chairman Steve Bell added: “It does just make it that much more poignant when you see a plane that the RAF would have used at the time. It adds something to it.
“I think around 700 people have come out today; it’s good that people pay tribute to those who did pay the ultimate price.
“In this day and age it’s all too easy to forget that people fought and died for what we can do today.”
There was also a book of remembrance, in honour of the Battle of Britain ace Tom Neil who died recently, where people could write messages and pay their respects to the Bungay hero.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Beccles and Bungay Journal. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.