Taking ownership of the buildings and land is a key milestone for the charity. With work beginning on the museum, opportunities to tell the airmen’s stories to future generations will help create a slice of 1940s history within Northamptonshire.
Over the last four years, a dedicated team of volunteers have been working hard to clear the site and preserve the former Operations Block and Norden Bomb Site buildings which will house the main exhibits and form a hub for learning and the community.
Sam Rees, Estate Manager of Boughton Estate said: ‘It has been wonderful to be part of this project. The commitment the local community and the families of the airmen who served at the base in commemorating those who served and have fallen is incredibly humbling and the museum will prove to be a fitting memorial and an asset for the community of North Northamptonshire.’
Dream to Reality
384th Bombardment Group Museum Chairman, Neill Howarth said “This has been a long-held dream, to establish a Museum to the Americans that were based here during World War II. We can forge ahead in our goal to open a Visitors Centre as soon as possible. I must take this opportunity now to thank his Grace, the Duke of Buccleuch, Boughton Estates Management and Forestry Team for their support for us to realise this moment. I was determined to tell the story of the initial heavy bombing Raids by the Americans of the 97th Bomb Group, originating from Grafton Underwood, also the Operations Block which would have witnessed all the planning and drama of the bombing of Berlin, D-Day and then to witness the final bombs of the 8th Air Force in World War II flying from this airfield and bring it back to life for visitors to experience.”
The 384th Bombardment Group Museum are open for Tours of the buildings and Airfield. These tours happen at various times throughout the year, for those interested please go to the 384th Bombardment Group Museum Facebook page or alternatively contact the Trustees via 384BGmuseum@gmail.com