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‘The fields of little America’

For two years during World War II some seventy sites across East Anglia became launch pads for USAAF’s bombing raids into occupied Europe. Each airfield was home to 2000-3000 airmen and ground crew, most of them volunteers. They became known as "The Fields of Little America".

The 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum tells a story common to all these air fields but full of the personal stories of the men who were stationed at Thorpe Abbotts and how they came to be known as the "Bloody Hundredth".

The museum and its rich collections are also a moving testament to the affection and friendship that developed over the years between these Americans and the local people nearby.

Combining wonderful collections with an atmospheric setting the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum really brings to life this extraordinary moment in history.

Don’t forget to allow time to enjoy the museum grounds and take in this atmospheric corner of Norfolk.

Allow two to three hours for your visit.
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The Varian Centre (or Visitor Centre)

This Nissen hut houses the museum offices and reception, plus the museum shop, café and toilets.
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The Control Tower

The entire control tower is given over to museum displays. On the ground floor and first floor you will find a rich selection of artifacts, documents, photographs, uniforms and service equipment, plus a recreation of the original teleprinter room.

Look out for the waterproof radio set, baseball bats, photos of Glen Miller’s visit to Thorpe Abbotts, silk cushions sent to moms and sweethearts back home and the lambskin flying trousers.

Meet Captain Joe Orendorff - veteran of 29 combat missions - and see the flack jacket that saved his life, with the actual piece of flak that hit him just above the heart. The museum teams with such stories and such men.

On the roof you will find the glasshouse, an ideal viewing point from which to survey the remaining airstrips. It is set up as it would have been when the airfield was operational with the addition of a model of the airbase in the 1940s.
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The Engine Shed

The Willys Jeep was the iconic World War II jeep. See one here alongside the recreation by aviation archeologists of a crashed P38 Lightning and a reconstruction of a B17 Flying Fortress ball turret.
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Sad Sack Model display Tech Supply
The Sad Sack Shack

This Nissen Hut, or as Americans called them, 'Qonset', houses a fine display of model airplanes from World War II and an original Link Trainer or flight simulator. There's also an atmospheric recreation of the air base's engineering office.
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