458th BG Take to the skies

Wed 24th December

On Sunday 24 December 1944, the 458th Bomb Group based here at Horsham St Faith sent fifty nine B-24 Liberators on missions to Schomecken, Wetteldorf and Hellenthal.

After a period of poor weather when foggy conditions had kept the group grounded, Christmas Eve 1944 had conditions of unlimited visibility and the allowed the USAAF to launch a maximum effort against airfields and communication centres in Germany.

This mission would be the largest air operation of the Second World War. One Horsham St Faith Liberator was lost after a direct hit by anti-aircraft fire.

On display at the Museum is a photograph of B-24 Liberators taking off from Horsham St Faith on this mission. The houses along the Cromer Road along the A140 can be clearly seen and are still a familiar sight to users of Norwich Airport today.

Despite the large scale of this operation, the first mission from Horsham St Faith since 12 December 1944, airman of the 458th Bomb Group arranged a Christmas party for local children on 23 December 1944 and from our archive, we have a photograph of this event.

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Last modified: 20 March 2012 17:19.
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