453rd Bombardment Group at Old Buckenham
The 453rd Bombardment Group was stationed at Old Buckenham in Norfolk, England, from December 1943 to April 1945.
James “Jimmy” Stewart, the acclaimed film star, served as group executive officer of the 453rd from March 1944 through the end of the group's time in England.
The group was activated on June 1, 1943 at Wendover Field in Utah. It was established at Pocatello Air Field in Idaho in late July 1943 and crews spent two months in training at that base.
From there, the 453rd was moved to March Field, near Riverside, California for the rest of its training.
It left in December 1943 for England and arrived a few days before Christmas.
The ground crew travelled on the Queen Elizabeth, while the air crew flew their ships via the southern ferry route.
The 453rd flew its first mission on February 5 1944 against the airfield at Tours, France. From that time until its last mission on April 12, 1945, the group flew 259 missions, completing 6,655 sorties and losing 58 aircraft in combat.
The 453rd Bomb Group's other claim to fame is that the 733 BS flew 82 consecutive missions without losing an aircraft.
The 453rd was removed from operations on April 12 1945 in preparation for its return to the United States for redeployment in the Pacific Theatre.
It was inactivated in September 1945.
If you want to view photographs and other records relating to the 453rd, you can browse our digital archive.