The agricultural land of East Anglia was ideal for building airfields: flat with few obstacles to aircraft, free-draining and with good weather. Thus, once the importance of air power became evident in the Second World War, many airfields were built here, close to the enemy coast. Lincolnshire played host to the RAF Squadrons of Bomber Command, bombing throughout the night, whilst Norfolk and Suffolk played host to the day bombers and fighter escorts of the USAF.
When war broke out, land at Tibenham was requisitioned for use as an airfield. and three intersecting concrete and asphalt runways were built, along with a domestic site. Tibenham Airfield was home to the 445th Bomb Group, equipped with B24 Liberator heavy bombers. Many bombing missions were mounted and losses were heavy. Please see the links page for 445th BG resources.
In the Church is a memorial to the fallen from the 445th.
The most famous aviator at Tibenham was James Stewart. He was very proud of his wartime service and kept in discreet contact with Norfolk Gliding Club as this extract shows.
Tibenham Airfield was extended after the war to create one of the largest runways in Norfolk in preparation for the arrival of the B29 Superfortress, which did not happen and the airfield was returned to its pre-war owners.
For links about the 445th BG and Norfolk Gliding Club, see the Links page.
To read more about James Stewart click here.