Attlebridge Air Field was built in 1941 by the RAF and was to be used as a satellite field for RAF Swanton Morely It was used by the RAF until the end of 1943 when preparations were made for the arrival of the of the 8th Air Force. Like all but three other bases in Norfolk it was home to B-24 Liberators and became Station 120 - the 466th Bomb Group. The first B-24's arrived in February, 1944 and by March combat missions commenced with the first mission on March 22. It was part of what was known as the Big "B" or the first mission to Berlin. The mission suffered heavy American losses. The 466th had 13 KIA on the first mission.
Post-War Aerial view of Attlebridge (ca 1980) The runways were now used for turkey pens.
War-time aerial view of Attlebridge Station 120
When the Americans arrived, they added 3000 to the population of the small village, Weston-Longville
When the Americans visited the local pubs,they consumed the entire week's supply of Beer in one night.
Attlebridge airfield was named for the closest village with a rail station. The village of Attlebridge is 7 miles from the base. Arriving airmen were either picked up by a truck or they walked to the base.
Upon arrival at Station 120, personnel were issued the all-important
Pub Map that gave directions to every watering hole within 10 miles
The 466th Bomb Group, the 458th Bomb Group, and the 467th Bomb Group comprised the 96th Wing of the Second Air Division. They were identifiable in the air by their red tail fins.
There were a total of 5 Wings in the 2nd Air Division, all of them based in Norfolk and Suffolk. The 2nd Air Division only flew B-24's.
2nd Air Division Bomb Groups
and their Tail Markings
Map courtesy of 2nd Air Division Memorial Library
Hours of waiting - Moments of sheer terror!