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Thorpe Abbotts

Military site : airfield

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.

Detailed history

Not yet known

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.




  • Glenn Abraham

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 100th Bomb Group
    Crashed near Jemmcritz on 10 Apr 45 in B-17 #43-38963, Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Louis Abromowitz

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 100th Bomb Group
    Louis Abromowitz was First Navigator on B-17 42-97564 when it was shot down on the 20 July 1944 mission to Merseburg and the plane had to make a forced landing near Chaam, Holland. Like 4 other crew members, Abromowitz managed to evade capture, with...

  • Francis Acker

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 May 1944 in B-17 #42-97845. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • David Ackerman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier | 100th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 March 1945 in A/C #43-38861, Berlin. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Alonzo Adams

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    Shot down 25 June 1943 in B-17 #42-3260 'Angel's Tit'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • John Adams

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    Crashed N of Itzehoe, GR on a mission to Berlin on 3 Mar 1944 in B-17G #42-39817 'Murderer's Row'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Andrew Addison

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 349BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Chas Peterson crew. Failed to Return Abbeville mission in B-17 43-37591; collided with another aircraft 5-Jun-44. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5383. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Winston Adkins

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 100th Bomb Group
    Shot down by fighters and crashed near Hanover on a mission to Brunswick on 10 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-31265. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Clifford Akin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Engineer | 100th Bomb Group
    20 April 1944 Marquenville & Flottemanville-Hague CPT

  • Darr Alkire

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer, Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    14 November 1942 to 26 March 1943 XFR First Commanding Officer of the 100th BG. He was relieved of his command with the 100th for alleged incompetence due to statements he made and sent to the 449th BG in Italy. He flew 11 combat missions, on his 12th...

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  • 41-2629

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered MacDill 7/3/42; Assigned 340BS/97BG Polebrook 3/42; transferred 305BG Grafton Underwood 5/11/42; transferred 326BS/92BG [JW-M] ; Bovingdon 100BG Thorpe Abbotts as station hack & tow target /43; was parked at Thorpe Abbotts when damaged in...

  • 42-102416 Lady Luck

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Cheyenne 1/3/44; Hunter 14/3/44; Grenier 11/4/44; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-H] Thorpe Abbotts 19/4/44; Missing in Action St Lo, 25/7/44 with Larry Townsend, Co-pilot: Andy Burkhart, Navigator: Arnold Holmes, Bombardier: George Gardner, Radio Operator:...

  • 42-102502 Chatterbox

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/3/44; Gr Island 29/3/44; Dow Fd 7/4/44; Assigned 100BG Thorpe Abbotts 7/4/44; transferred 339BS/96BG [QJ-G] Snetterton 8/4/44; Missing in Action Politz 25/8/44 with Chas Jennings, Co-pilot: Styrlin Scogin, Navigator: Delmar...

  • 42-102528 'TIMES A-WASTIN'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 11/3/44; Hunter 7/4/44; Dow Fd 29/4/44; Assigned 92BG Podington 30/4/44; transferred 349BS/100BG [XR-O] Thorpe Abbotts 1/5/44; Missing in Action Berlin 24/5/44 with Henry Jespersen, Co-pilot: Bob Atkins, Bombardier: Joe Savino,...

  • 42-102598 Super Rabbit

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/3/44; Hunter 10/4/44; Dow Fd 29/4/44; Assigned 351BS/100BG [EP-F] Thorpe Abbotts 30/4/44; on return from Merseburg 28/7/44 with Jim Ransom, Co-pilot: Keith Lamb, Navigator: Francis Waldman, Bombardier: Jim Wood, Flight engineer...

  • 42-102611 Boss Lady

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/3/44; Gr Island 2/4/44; Dow Fd 19/4/44; Assigned 350BS/100BG [LN-E] Thorpe Abbotts 22/4/44; Missing in Action practice mission 27/6/44 with John Donaldson, Co-pilot: Gail Campbell, Navigator: Gene O’Connell, Bombardier: Hugh...

  • 42-102621 Varga Venus

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 19/3/44; Hunter 9/4/44; Dow Fd 27/4/44; Assigned 350BS/100BG [LN-A] Thorpe Abbotts 1/5/44; transferred 349BG [XR-P]; battle damaged Merseburg with Bob Chamberlin 29/7/44; Salvaged 8/8/44. VARGA VENUS.

  • 42-102624

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 19/3/44; Hunter 9/4/44; Dow Fd 29/4/44; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR- ] Thorpe Abbotts 1/5/44; Missing in Action Berlin 24/5/44 with Clarke Johnson, Co-pilot: Ray Lund, Navigator: Tom Tracy, Bombardier: Willard Hahn, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-102635

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/3/44; Kearney 15/4/44; Grenier 29/4/44; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR- ] Thorpe Abbotts 1/5/44; Missing in Action Berlin 24/5/44 with Martin Hoskinson, Co-pilot: Marvin Apking, Navigator: Joe Silvestro, Bombardier: Norman Robitoy,...

  • 42-102648

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23/3/44; Kearney 13/4/44; Grenier 28/4/44; Slated 447BG, Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-L] Thorpe Abbotts 21/4/44; Missing in Action Berlin 24/5/44 with Bob Roeder, Co-pilot: Paul Lammers, Navigator: Claud Robison, Bombardier: Milton...

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Date Contributor Update
27 October 2020 13:33:13 Emily Changes to english heritage description

Historic England National Monument Record number TM 18 SE 47

Date Contributor Update
24 February 2020 09:08:21 Emily Changes to description

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

Date Contributor Update
10 March 2017 09:28:17 SavvyGA Changes to description

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

Date Contributor Update
08 March 2017 16:35:20 SavvyGA Changes to description

Punctuation altered

Date Contributor Update
22 February 2017 13:01:47 Lucy May Changes to aircraft associations

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

Date Contributor Update
09 December 2015 12:37:38 Lucy May Changes to name and description

Given Thorpe Abbotts its 'double T' back.

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2015 11:45:03 usxpat Changes to name

spelling correction

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:18 AAM AAM ingest

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