Remembering the Americans

An open day is being held at Hethel on Sunday June 10 to recall the 'Friendly Invasion'

It is 70 years since the Friendly Invasion brought thousands of young American airmen to Norfolk and the rest of East Anglia.

From airfields across the region they flew their planes deep into Nazi-held Europe and many never came home.

In a short time we took the GIs to our hearts. Many friendships were formed which lasted a lifetime and have now been passed on to the next generation.

The Americans came to our aid in the second world war at a time when we were fighting for our lives against the brutal Nazi war machine and to many they were like a blast of colour in a grey world.

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One of the airfields they operated from was at Hethel, now home to the 389th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, and on Sunday, June 10 an open day will be held.

The buildings which house the museum, including the chapel, formed part of the base from which Liberators from the Second Air Division United States 8th Army Air Force, flew missions into occupied Europe and Germany.

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Funds are always needed to display more exhibits and Fred Squires and his team at Hethel deserve our support for maintaining the museum and keeping the memories alive.

The open day is on Sunday, June 10 from 10am to 4pm. For more information call Fred on 01953 607147.

Getting to the museum: From the A11 Wymondham bypass, take the exit signed Mulbarton and Lotus Cars. Follow the signs for Lotus. Turn left into Potash Lane, past the factory gates to where the road is closed. Turn right into a farm entrance and follow the signs.

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