Thorpe Abbotts

Airfield
The control tower at Thorpe Abbotts, home of the 100th Bomb Group, 1952. Handwritten caption on reverse: '1952, 100 BG.' media-407386.jpg FRE 4119 The control tower at Thorpe Abbotts, home of the 100th Bomb Group, 1952. Handwritten caption on reverse: '1952, 100 BG.' Roger Freeman Collection

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection

Object Number - FRE 4119 - The control tower at Thorpe Abbotts, home of the 100th Bomb Group, 1952. Handwritten caption on reverse: '1952, 100 BG.'

Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, which tells the stories of the base and the men who flew the 100th's B-17s in combat over Germany.

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

English Heritage's Record Description

A former World War Two military airfield, opened in 1943. The airfield was constructed by John Laing and Sons to "Class A" standard: that is to say it was provided with three intersecting concrete runways and a perimeter track, with Type T2 aircraft hangars. There were fuel storage facilities on the north and east sides of the airfield; the technical site buildings, ammunition dump and barracks were dispersed in fields and woodland to the south of the flying field. The control tower on the north side of the airfield is extant and is now a museum. The main unit using the airfield during World War Two was the United States Army 8th Air Force 100th Bomb Group, nicknamed the "bloody 100th" because of the losses they sustained in their missions. The airfield was designated as USAAF Station 139 by the Americans. After the war the airfield transferred to Royal Air Force control but was inactive until its closure in 1956. After closure the airfield was used for agricultural purposes, however the perimeter track has survived, and a number of ruined huts were still evident in woodland in 2000.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 349th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 349th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18137748
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 349th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 351st Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot, Pilot, Mission
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 418th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-777419
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier

Aircraft

A B-17 Flying Fortress (JW-M, serial number 41-2629) used for training purposes, formerly of the 92nd Bomb Group and a Dragon Rapide, at Mount Farm. Image by Robert Astrella, 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group. Written on slide casing: 'Mount Farm.'
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
John A Miller, a waist gunner of the 100th Bomb Group wears an A-2 Flying Jacket decorated with the nose art of the B-17 Flying Fortress he flew in, a B-17 (serial number 42-102416) nicknamed "Lady Luck". John A Miller has handwritten on reverse: 'July 1944 349th BS- 100th BG. S/Sgt John A Miller & Jacket (A-2 Jacket). The artist was 5 bombs short, but I shipped out before he got the chance to paint on 5 more. I'm only foolin'! I'm not doing what it looks like I'm doing!'
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Lady Luck
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 349th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Chatterbox
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 339th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Times a-wastin
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 350th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Super Rabbit
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 351st Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date27 Oct 2020 13:33:13
ContributorEmily
ChangesChanges to Description, Historic England Description and Media
Sources

Historic England National Monument Record number TM 18 SE 47

Date24 Feb 2020 09:08:21
ContributorEmily
ChangesChanges to description
Sources

Removed reference to 'Masters of the Air' TV Show from biography, as it is not historical information pertaining to the history of Thorpe Abbotts.

Date10 Mar 2017 09:28:17
ContributorSavvyGA
ChangesChanges to description
Sources

Added TV series plans (as of 3/2017).

Date8 Mar 2017 16:35:20
ContributorSavvyGA
ChangesChanges to description
Sources

Punctuation altered

Date22 Feb 2017 13:01:47
ContributorLucy May
ChangesChanges to aircraft associations
Sources

Connected aircraft records that have Thorpe Abbotts in their biography fields.

Date9 Dec 2015 12:37:38
ContributorLucy May
ChangesChanges to name and description
Sources

Given Thorpe Abbotts its 'double T' back.

Date26 Apr 2015 11:45:03
Contributorusxpat
ChangesChanges to name
Sources

spelling correction

Date27 Sep 2014 18:02:18
ContributorAAM
ChangesAAM ingest
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Eighth Then And Now (London, 1978).

Thorpe Abbotts: Gallery (148 items)