Thought-provoking films of Norfolk during the war years

A special fundraising screening of two wartime documentaries is being held in Wymondham this weekend. Derek James reports.

The clock will be turned back to 1944 in Wymondham on Sunday when Norfolk was a giant airfield for Americans flying dangerous missions into the heart of Nazi Germany.

Two thought-provoking documentary films will be screened to raise money so a museum dedicated to telling the extraordinary story of these young airmen can be told.

The Sunday afternoon film show at the old Regal, now the Ex-Services Club, will raise funds for the 389th Bomb Group memorial Museum at Hethel.

The dedicated group of volunteers who run the museum need to raise cash for an extra Nissen hut to house memorabilia displays.

During the Second World War the buildings which house the museum, including the chapel, formed part of the base from which B24 Liberators, part of the Second Air Division of the 8th Army Air Force, flew missions over Germany and occupied Europe.

The films being shown are:

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Liberators over East Anglia, which traces the story of 14 Liberator bomb groups in the Second Air Division, including those at Hethel, Old Buckenham, Seething and Tibenham.

There are interviews with surviving air crew as well as locals such as Fred Squires and Pat Ramm.

Pride of the Nation – The Kassel Raid. This describes the huge operation on September 27 1944 to bomb the Henschel engine factory in central Germany.

For the 445th Bomb Group from Tibenham it was a disaster.

The group strayed off course and were engaged by a horde of German fighters.

Of the 35 planes sent out by the group only three returned intact. Eight crashed on the Continent, two made emergency landings in Kent and another crash landed at Tibenham.

The film shows starts at 2.30pm on Sunday. There will be a display of Second World War uniforms at the film show and there is also a bar and tea available. Tickets cost �4 and can be brought on the door or by calling Fred Squiries on 01953 607147.

Tomorrow: A look at a new book, Around Wymondham in World War Two, by Philip Yaxley, which is packed with pictures and stories.