453rd Bomb Group Museum (Old Buckenham)

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The airfield at Old Buckenham was built between 1942 and 1943 as a standard Class A airfield. Class A was the specification set for an airfield that was to be used as a heavy bomber station with three runways, 50 hard standings, two T-2 type hangars for aircraft maintenance, a bomb dump and enough accommodation to house around 2900 personnel.

Upon completion, Old Buckenham became Station 144 and was the assigned base of the 453rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) part of the 2nd Air Division. The first personnel began arriving from 23rd December 1943 and the first aircraft arrived in January 1944 after a long ferry flight via the Azores.

Old Buckenham Crews

The group was equipped with the B-24 Liberator and after the group was fully equipped the 453rd flew its first combat mission on 5th February 1944 against the airfield at Tours. The group would eventually fly a total of 229 missions the last being flown on the 10th April 1945 against Luftwaffe bases around Berlin, and lost a total of 55 aircraft.

Immediately after the cessation of hostilities the group moved back to the USA on the 9th May 1945 and Old Buckenham reverted to Air Ministry control as a satellite for maintenance units until being closed on 20 June 1960.


Today the airfield is still active and in 2015 the 453rd BG museum opened to tell the story of the 453rd Bomb Group through a good collection of interesting artefacts and personal stories, all laid out in an easily accessed way. Outside is a collection other military artefacts from both the Second World War and the Cold War era, while nearby is  Jimmy’s café named after the famous movie star Jimmy Stewart that served at Old Buckenham as a Group Operations Officer. This cafe serves hot and cold food throughout the day.

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Old Buckenham Airfield, Old Buckenham
Norfolk NR17 1PU
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