This is a wonderful Christmas memory from Frank Meeres’s Norfolk at War: Wings of Friendship as retold by a local boy:
‘ was the best Christmas for the school children from Rackheath since the war started. In the morning they were thrilled to bits when they were all shown over the B-24 ‘Slick Chick’. This was followed by a tea party in the Mess hall with Spam and dried eggs, ice cream, candy bars, oranges, and chewing gum. What made it so special was the fact that it was the first oranges and ice cream most of the children had ever seen, as the War had been on for almost five years. What made the ice cream so special was that it had been taken up to 25,000 feet in the bomb bay of the B-24 ‘Wabbit’ to keep it frozen until it was needed….‘
Here’s to ice cream that stays frozen against all odds.
Today the Library welcomed Yvonne Caputo, daughter of Michael Caputo, a veteran of the 467th Bomb Group at Rackheath. If you’ve visited our Library already, you have perhaps seen and admired Mr. Caputo’s cherished gift to the Memorial Library: his impressive model of the B-24 Liberator, “Witchcraft”, which hangs from our ceiling.
Yvonne traveled here from Philadelphia with her husband Kirk to present the Library with her nearly-completed book, An Extraordinary Ordinary Man, which details her father’s childhood, service at home and overseas in the Army Air Force, and active life after the War.
We were so pleased to get to know Yvonne–and her father–better.
Yvonne Caputo (center) with her husband Kirk, Trust Governors Richard Middleton and David Hastings, and friends beneath Michael’s model of “Witchcraft”
This large-scale model of a B-24 Liberator aircraft hangs from the ceiling in front of the entrance to the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library. “Witchcraft” was assigned to the 467th Bomb Group at Rackheath and completed 130 missions, more than any other 8th Air Force B-24 Liberator. Even more remarkable is that no crewman was ever injured on any of its flights.
Those of you who follow our Facebook page will know that “Witchcraft” is popular with the children who visit us. It puts a smile on our faces every time they look up in awe and utter the word “airplane”!
You may recall that back in October, we reported that the Norfolk and Norwich Philatelic Society visted the Forum with a display of stamps that included a special tribute to the 467th Bomb Group at Rackheath. This morning Mr. Mac Middleton, the owner of this unique collection, dropped by the Memorial Library to formally present us with the stamps! We extend our sincere thanks to Mr. Middleton and can’t wait to examine the collection in more detail!
Mr. Mac Middleton presents the Rackheath stamp album to Trust Librarian Libby Morgan and Library Manager Jenny Christian