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USAAF Festival - 70th Anniversary Event


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I thought I would start this new thread in an effort to tidy up the story.


Firstly, I would like to start by saying a sincere thank you to all those who supported the event in many different capacities. The weather forecast for the week was grim and naturally (and fully understandably) their would be people who changed their minds about attending, based upon such considerations. I would have done the same myself as their is simply no fun in driving MV's for pleasure in the pouring rain! That said, we had a superb convoy of WWII Allied Military Vehicles with a wide and diverse range of types.


The weeks proposed itinerary was slightly altered to accommodate for the weather, but by and large, the week progressed pretty much to plan.


The trip to Duxford to spend the day crawling over B-17 G 'Sally B' with the crew chief Peter Brown was immensely enjoyed by all who partook, the evening presentations by Ian Mac and myself were very well supported, the MV convoy was superb, the 388th BG memorial dedication service was mind-blowing (as was the superb weather), the display by Sally B over the old airfield was evocative, the hangar dance was absolutely packed and the sun shined and the MV guided tour around Eye airfield was great fun, especially the muddy bit!


Not only that, but we broke even, paid all our bills and both NOS, Ed Abbott and myself all now have blood pressure which is almost back to normal !


But, I have decided to hang my event organising hat up now for a few years and for varying reasons...........................


Firstly, I have just exchanged and completed on a large house project next door to where we live (which is why my MV fleet went up for sale about 3 months ago) and this really is going to take some time, effort and ongoing focus to undertake.


Secondly, the 'USAAF Festival' event this weekend went off so well, that it really is going to take some beating.


Thirdly, like Ronnie Barker, I was always wanted to go out on a high and leave people wanting more, so much so, that MV attendee's of this weekend are already asking what's the plan for next year?


But I just wanted to kick this thread off with a couple of my own pictures from the weekend activities to leave you with and they represent arguably my most proudest achievement in combining living history with genuine WWII hardware.



Current serving United States Air Force personnel from the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk watch the only airworthy B-17 Flying Fortress outside the USA perform a stirring display over the former airfield at Knettishall, Suffolk on Saturday. Wartime home to the 388th Heavy Bombardment Group, Unites States Eighth Army Air Force, the old windsock still flutters proudly over the former main runway and the original wartime combat clothing the men are wearing gives the image an almost timeless sense of occasion. (No the image has not been 'photo-shopped' other than adjustment to the colour saturation and contrast!)



The 'USAAF Festival' salutes the 26,000 United States Army Air Force servicemen who lost their lives whilst operating from England during 1942 - 1945. 'Never forgotten ~ Forever honored'

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Before the images flood in (and I really hope they do, as I'd like to put this link on the 388th BG Association's currently under reconstruction website so that the veterans and relatives can enjoy them too), and because I couldn't get back to the museum in time to thank you all in person before the convoy left -


On behalf of all of us involved in the Memorial Dedication Day, and of the surviving veterans and their families, may I say a very big
to everyone who brought MVs over to Knettishall to be part of the day's events.


The presence of such a great selection of MVs really did add something quite special to the atmosphere of the event and the convoy, parking and display arrangements were superbly executed - a
great credit
to all involved.





And a special thanks to Clive for providing the inspiration which resulted in us timing our dedication service to coincide with the 70th anniversary, and for playing such a big part in the whole planning process.

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So tired today. Since we got home at 11:30pm last night, I left the Jeep on the trailer and all the luggage in the car. It took another half day this morning to pack everything away again, and wash off half a ton of mud from Eye Airfield ( Note to self; don't be last in the row when off roading up muddy hills ).


I've narrowed down my remaining 300+ plotos to around 100 covering my visit to the 100th Bomb Group Museum at Thorpe Abbotts, the Knettishall dedication and convoy, and the 490th Eye Airfield Tour. Once they are uploaded to my host, I'll start a new thread for each, and add links to them on this thread.

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