Toggle mobile menu visibility

467th Bombardment Group at Rackheath


The 467th Bombardment Group became known as the Rackheath Aggies.

It was stationed at Rackheath in Norfolk, England, from March 1944 to April 1945.

The group was activated on August 1 1943 at Wendover Field, Utah and assembled at Mountain Home Airfield in Idaho, staying there from September 8 through to mid-October.

Crews held the bulk of their training at Wendover Field, leaving in February 1944 for England.

The ground crews travelled on the USAT Frederick Lykes, arriving in Great Britain on March 10, while the air crews flew their B24 Liberators via the southern ferry route.

The first mission was flown on April 10, 1944 against Bourges.

From that date through to April 25 1945, the 467th flew 212 missions for 5,538 sorties, losing only 29 aircraft in combat.

The 467th was also the only bomb group in the Eighth Air Force to have the same commanding officer, Colonel Al Shower, from its arrival in England through to the end of hostilities.

Witchcraft, one of Rackheath's Liberators, held the Eighth's record for B-24 aircraft, flying 130 missions with no turnbacks.

In the summer of 1945, the 467th was redeployed to the United States, with the bulk of the aircraft leaving on June 12.

The ground crew travelled to New York via the Queen Mary, arriving on July 11, 1945.

The 467th was selected for training on B-29 aircraft, moving to Alamogordo, New Mexico then to Nebraska before heading to Clovis Airfield in New Mexico in December 1945.

The unit was inactivated on August 4 1946, although its remaining personnel and squadrons were redesignated the 301st Bomb Group.

If you want to view photographs and other records relating to the 467th, visit our digital archive.

Rackheath Airfield (Station 145)

Rackheath Airfield was constructed by John Laing in 1943.

In early 1944 the 467th Bomb Group moved in with 58 B-24 Liberators and made the airfield their home until July 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 was situated about five miles north-east of Norwich between the A1151 (Wroxham) road and the road to Salhouse.

Remaining buildings

Very little remains of the runways, perimeter track, or hardstands.

Most of the concrete has been broken up for hardcore and the airfield site returned to farming.

The technical site has become the Rackheath Industrial Estate (reached from Green Lane) with several of the wartime buildings being modified or extended and used for light industry.

One of the access roads on the estate is called Wendover Road, to commemorate the US airbase where the 467th Bomb Group was formed.

The road leading to the restored control tower is named Witchcraft Way as a tribute to one of the most famous B-24 Liberator bombers flown by the 467th, while Albert Shower Road immortalises Col Albert Shower, the group's commanding officer.

The secondary industrial site off Green Lane West is named Mahoney Green in honour of Lt Col James Mahoney, the deputy group commander of the 467th. A special photograph of him is displayed in the offices of Dynorod.

The 467th marker stone is situated at Liberator Close. It is surrounded by a small garden and floodlit at night.

The ashes of navigator Earl Roy were buried here, at his request, following a short service with his family present.

The control tower (situated on Witchcraft Way, off Wendover Road) was completely restored in 2007 and was officially opened on 1 October that year by Charlotte Shower, widow of Col Shower.

Externally the tower appears as it did when it was first built in early 1943 and when utilized by the 467th Bomb Group in 1944-45. Internally, the building is used as an office block.

The T2 hangar nearby is virtually beyond recognition as to how it looked in 1943. Brickwork has been added to the front and the whole building has been repainted cream and green.

The hangar is now used by Solus Garden & Leisure, Wholesale Gardening Distributors.

Inside the building the roof girders appear to be original and identical to those seen on photographs taken in 1944.

The other hangar on the eastern side of the airfield was dismantled many years ago.

Remains of some of the living quarters and associated buildings on the west side of Green Lane are on private property, as are the remains of the former main runway; you'll need permission before entering these sites.

Rackheath Hall, the former home of Sir Edmund Stracey, has been converted to residential apartments.


A memorial to the 467th Bomb Group, consisting of a plaque and a bench, was dedicated in 1983.

You'll find it by the village sign (featuring a B-24) on the Salhouse Road.

It's next to Holy Trinity Church, where the Coffey Crew Gates are located.

The original gates were given to the village by the Coffey Crew in 1986, in thanks for wartime friendship.

These gates were later damaged by a lorry, so new ones were dedicated by the Bishop of Thetford in January 2008 with three members of the Coffey family present.

Inside the church there's a special room dedicated to the 467th which contains group memorabilia.

A new memorial to the 467th Bomb Group was dedicated in July 1990 during a Second Air Division reunion.

It's at Rackheath Industrial Park on Wendover Road and is pictured below.

Also in the Wendover Road area is a plaque in memory of Private Dan Miney.

He was killed on the night of 22 April 1944 when a German ME-410 aircraft bombed the base.

The plaque was originally fixed on the building in which Private Miney worked and was dedicated on 22 April 1996.

In 2002 the property was demolished and a new building put up on the same site.

The memorial plaque has been repositioned and can be seen on the north wall of the new building. It's just past the hangar, travelling west, on the opposite side of Wendover Road.

There are also two memorials further afield which commemorate 467th Bomb Group crews.

The first is a plaque in Kirby Bedon church. This is about five miles from Norwich, just to the north of the A146 Beccles Road.

The plaque is in memory of four crew members of Broad and High, a 788th Bomb Squadron Liberator, who were killed in a crash near the church on 18 August 1944.

The second is a memorial in the village of Barsham (near Beccles) in honour of the seven 467th crewmen who were killed in a crash there on 22 April 1944.

The memorial to the 467th Bomb Group on Wendover Road in Rackheath Industrial Park.

Related websites

If you're interested in the history of the 467th Bomb Group, you may find these websites useful:


There are several good histories of the 467th Bomb Group available for use in the American Library.

Among those histories are:

  • Peter Bodle and Perry Watts: The 467th Bomb Group in Norfolk: A Pictorial History 
  • Perry Watts: The 467th Bombardment Group (H) in World War II: in combat with the B-24 Liberator over Europe 
  • Allan Healy: The 467th Bombardment Group, September 1943 - June 1945 
  • The 467th Bombardment Group, September 1943 - June 1945, addendum errata 
  • James J Mahoney and Brian H Mahoney: Reluctant witness: memoirs from the last year of the European airwar, 1944-1945 

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.


Close 467th Bomb Group memorial