Airfields, aircrafts, airmen and more: here is a sampling of just a few (there are many, many more!) of the photographs scanned from Tony North’s albums, mainly consisting of bomb groups stationed in the Norfolk area. Tony North was a longtime employee of the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library, who sadly recently passed away. He donated his collection of World War II-era photographs to the Memorial Library, photos that he personally amassed over many years from veterans, archives and other sources. Original notes written by Tony are included in the captions of certain photographs. To see a photo in greater detail, please click on it.
One comment I want to make about browsing through these albums is that I was struck by how many photos appeared alongside notes like ‘Lost during 113th mission,’ or ‘Crash during practice mission,’ or ‘Burnt-out wreckage after mid-air collision’. On and on and on, one after the other–I could have easily made a blog post consisting solely of photos of crashes or planes with crews that had been lost. It really drove home to me (in a way that maybe hadn’t been as concrete before) how truly dangerous these missions were, and the risks the men faced each and every time they took to the air. It’s lovely that resources like this exist in the Memorial Library collection, to make history come alive in a way that may otherwise not have been possible.
A 458th bomb group formation led by ‘SPOTTED APE’ over the western outskirts of Norwich. Eaton Park in centre of photo.
Wounded aircrew being removed from the 752nd B.S’s ‘LIBERTY LIB’ at Horsham.
‘LASSIE COME HOME’ crashed at Mile Cross, Norwich on 14th Jan. ’45 on return from Hollendorf. Eight of the crew and two children were killed.
‘Pegasus’ of 784th B.S using parachutes from the waist windows after hydraulic failure.
B-24 H (42-61198) of the 785th B.S. caught fire on its hardstand due to an electrical fault 8 Nov ’44
One of the best known B-24s in the 2nd air division was ‘WITCHCRAFT’, a B-24H (42-52534) from the 790th B.S. which completed a record 130 missions without an abort.
The crew await take-off instructions in front of B-24J (42-50768).
Crew members of ‘QUEENIE’ a 735th B.S. B-24H (41-28631) inspect the damage caused by a direct flak hit during a mission to V. weapons sites on the French coast on 20th April 19444.
A 458th B.G. formation over the Norfolk countryside near Aylsham.
The 458th B.G.’s second assembly ship ‘SPOTTED APE’, a former 754th B.S. B-24H (41-28697)
B024H (42-94759) of the 84th B.S. (to 44th B.G.) (Note by Julie: this is one of the many photos of air crew posing with children, most likely from the local village. This was lovely photographic evidence of the bonds that arose between the soldiers and the locals, particularly among the children.)
German civilians examine the wreckage of B-24J (44-40132) from 859 B.S. shot down during a mission to Bernberg 7 Jul. ’44. (Note by Julie: this was one of the few photos I saw in the albums that had been taken in Germany. I wonder who took it?)
Civilian and R.A.F. personnel wave farewell to 44th B.G. aircraft departing from Valley, Anglesey home to the U.S.A. in May ’45.
The last B-24 to leave Horsham taxies away. June 1945