the 453rd & ol' buck

Construction began on Old Buckenham Airfield in 1942 by Taylor-Woodrow Ltd, it was built to the standard Class A. specification for heavy bomber use with the main runway being 2000 yards in length on a NE-SW heading, and the two auxiliary runways of 1400 yards, all three being 50 yards in width. To meet USAAF requirements 50 hard standings were laid along with two T-2 Hangars, a Bomb Dump and accommodation for 2900 personnel.

Station 144 as it was designated by the USAAF became the exclusive home of the 453rd Bomb Group (Heavy) in December 1943 when the advance party arrived from the United States to take up residency.


The ground echelon of the 453rd Bombardment Group, composed of the 732nd, 733rd, 734th and the 735th Bombardment Squadrons left March Field, California by rail on the 2nd of December and arrived at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey on the 7th of December 1943, they boarded the Liner Queen Elizabeth and quickly set sail on their voyage to the British Isles arriving at Gourock on the Firth of Clyde near Glasgow, Scotland on the 21st December 1943. After processing the remainder of the journey was made by rail with the first section of personnel arriving at Old Buckenham on the 23rd of December and the remainder the following day.


The air echelon began their journey at Hamilton Field, California where they received their new B24 Liberators, after briefing the crews took off heading South on the Southern Ferry Route via the Azores, the first crews arriving soon after the 1st of January 1944 with the remainder in place by the 1st of February. The 453rd had arrived!

The 453rd Bombardment Group Museum. The Pat Ramm Building, Old Buckenham Airfield, Abbey Road, Old Buckenham, Norfolk, NR17 1PU, UK

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