I was an aviation fan growing up and always enjoyed stories, films and books about the Battle of Britain, Spitfires and Lancasters. My grandad was based at Duxford for his national service and was part of the photographic team that worked on Gloster Meteors. I remember he often had a camera with him when I was growing up and I guess that's where his interest came from.
I'm originally from Nottinghamshire but moved to Norwich in 1999 to take a BA in American Studies at the UEA. I discovered Seething Control Tower Museum around 2004 and spoke with Patricia Everson (448th BG historian) around the same time. In 2006 I started working at ITV Anglia and a year later got the chance to attend one of the last 448th BG reunions, held in Orlando, Florida. I borrowed video equipment from work and my friend Ray Johnson, a retired school teacher from Portland, Oregon, flew us both out there for three days. We spent a day interviewing any veterans that were willing to talk to us, nine or ten in total. I returned to the UK and over the next few years procrastinated about making a (really bad) short film about the 448th using the interviews that we shot that day.
I've since made a few attempts at starting a blog on the 8th Air Force in England and I write a column for the journal of the Heritage Herald (2nd Air Division). I will be writing about the 8th air force and my own research on my blog. I want to explore the interviews we recorded and in particular one mission which struck a chord with me. On the 4th April 1945 Liberators of the 448th BG were on a mission to Weisendorf in Germany when they were attacked by Me-262 jet fighters. There is a famous (infamous) photo that was taken that day by Harold Dorfman which depicts the Liberator nicknamed 'Red Bow' falling through the clouds after being cut in half by the attack. I have been gathering primary and secondary source material about that mission for a few years now. I also write about my other adventures here in the UK and I would like to help people looking for information or assistance with their own research and intend to write about this, too. My blog is currently down (hacked : ( ) but you can find me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/happywarriors) and Instagram (evangthomas).