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445th Bombardment Group at Tibenham


The 445th Bombardment Group was stationed at Tibenham in Norfolk, England, from November 1943 to July 1945.

During their time there the group flew 282 missions and lost 108 Liberators in action.

On 27 September 1944 they suffered the highest losses inflicted in a single group of the Eighth Air Force on a single mission.

The group had sent 35 Liberators (two others had to abort the mission) as part of a force of 315 B-24s of the Second Bombardment Division.

Their mission was to bomb the Henschel engine and vehicle plant at Kassel in Germany.

In five or six minutes a force of some 100 Luftwaffe Storm fighters shot down 25 of the group's Liberators.

They so badly damaged five more that two of them 'bellied-in' at French airfields, two put down at the emergency landing ground at Manston, England and another crash-landed near Tibenham.

This had been the group's 166th mission. In the three months after D-Day, 6 June 1944, the 445th had the highest accuracy rating for bombing of any B-24 group in the Eighth.

After recovering from the massacre of 27 September, it went on to achieve an above average rating in bombing accuracy for the last six months of the war.

If you'd like to view photographs and other records relating to the 445th, you can browse our digital archive.

Tibenham Airfield (Station 124)

Tibenham was first used for military aviation purposes during the First World War.

This may be why, when the Air Ministry was seeking airfield sites in the early 1940s, its name cropped up.

The site was found to be highly suitable and construction work began at Tibenham in 1941.

The airfield became home to the 445th Bomb Group, who were stationed there from November 1943 until May 1945.

All sites are now private property and you will need permission before you visit. 

The library has information on some base contacts and with their permission can pass this onto you. The Library itself is unable to organise site visits.

The airfield lies to the north of the B1134 Pulham Market to New Buckenham road.

It is just to the east of Tibenham village, which is about 13 miles south-southwest of Norwich.  

Remaining buildings

None of the main airfield buildings remain.

There are a few derelict huts and other structures on some of the dispersed sites.

These lie to the east between the airfield and the main Norwich-London railway line.

A large proportion of the runways and perimeter track still exist.

They are used by the Norfolk Gliding Club, who built a clubhouse on the site in 1975.

Until that time the club had used the old control tower as their base - it was reputed to be haunted.

The tower was later demolished.


An inscribed stone memorial honouring the 445th Bomb Group was dedicated during the Second Air Division reunion in 1987.

It's sited in a small plot near Norfolk Gliding Club's clubhouse and is pictured.

A small bronze plaque commemorating the 445th was dedicated during the reunion in 1990.

It is on the internal wall opposite the main entrance to Tibenham church.

The stone memorial to the 445th, which stands close to the Norfolk Gliding Club clubhouse.


Related websites

You may find the following websites useful if you're interested in the history of the 445th and Tibenham Airfield:


There are several good histories of the 445th Bomb Group available for use in the American Library.

Among those histories are:

  • Joseph P O'Donnell: Four Forty Fifth Bomb Group 
  • Rudolph J Birsic: History of the 445th BG (also supplement)
  • Michael Simpson and Deborah Paylark Simpson: Rudolph J Birsic's The history of the 445th Bombardment Group (Heavy) Revised edition (2010)
  • Peter Bodle and Paul Thrower: The 445th Bomb Group in Norfolk: A Pictorial History

Information about the individual bases comes from from George H Fox's 8th Air Force Remembered: An illustrated guide to the memorials, memorabilia and main airfields of the US 8th Air Force in England in WW2 (London: ISO Publications, 1991)

For more on the history of the airfield, see:

  • Martin Bowman: Bomber Bases of WW2: 2nd Air Division 8th Air Force USAAF 1942-45
  • Michael Bowyer: Action Stations Revisited: No 1 Eastern England
  • Ken Delve: The Military Airfields of Britain: East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk)
  • Roger Freeman: Airfields of the Eighth Then and Now

If you're interested in any of these books you can find and reserve them at the Norfolk Online Catalogue.


Photographs of Tibenham Airfield during the Second World War and the memorials.

Close Air crew from Tibenham