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Masters of the Air: USAAF Group Tour

Masters of the Air: USAAF Group Tour

Masters of the Air: USAAF Group Tour

The new Apple TV+ series recounts the story of the 100th Bomb Group during World War II and follows bomber crews on dangerous missions to destroy targets inside German-occupied Europe. In 1942 mainland Europe was under Nazi control and Britain was fighting desperately for her survival. Help came with the United States' entry into World War II and the consequent deployment of USAAF - the United States Army Air Force – into Britain. The farmlands of East Anglia were replaced by hundreds of airfields, built to house the bomber groups who would go on to fight so heroically in the skies over Europe. The tour will take in a combination of the actual locations used by USAAF, and locations used in the hit TV series.

Tour Highlights

  • The old USAAF airfields and surrounding villages with their memorials.
  • Control towers and private museums filled with memorabilia.
  • 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, Thorpe Abbots. Originally intended as a satellite airfield for RAF Horham, but the rapid increase in size of the Eighth Airforce meant both airfields were required by USAAF. See artifacts in the original airfield control tower, Qonset huts and the airfield as it would have been when in operation from the glasshouse atop the tower.
  • Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire: one of the most outstanding and exciting aviation destinations in the world. See the American Air Museum, Normandy Experience, Battle of Britain Exhibition and the original Operations Room. Duxford played an important role during the Battle of Britain and was later used by the United States Army Air Forces Fighter Units.
  • Hylands House and Estate: known locally as The White House, this was a German Prisoner of War camp and a wireless command post for the 6th Anti-Aircraft Division. Captain Paddy Blair Maine drove a Jeep up the Grand Staircase for a bet in 1944. Tour the house and gardens.
  • Chelmsford Cathedral: links between Chelmsford Cathedral and North America go right back to the days of the Pilgrim Fathers. There’s a plaque here reading ‘Founder of the State of Connecticut, Father of American Democracy’, to commemorate Thomas Hooker, a local preacher, and the South Porch celebrates the many airmen stationed nearby during WWII.
  • RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire: now home to the famous Red Arrows, in 1943 the 'Dambusters', the pilots of squadron 617th who attacked Ruhr dams with the Barnes Wallis's rotating mine, lived here. 
  • 453rd Bombardment Group Museum: Hollywood legend Jimmy Stewart was the first Operations Officer of ‘Ol Buck’ when it started life. The 453rd flew 259 missions in B-24 Liberators, dropped 15,804 tonnes of bombs and lost 58 aircraft. This is still a working airfield and a centre of flight simulation excellence. 
  • American Cemetery and Memorial at Madingley: the cemetery holds the remains of 3812 members of the US military, with 5127 names recorded on the Tablets of the Missing. Most made the ultimate sacrifice in the Battle of the Atlantic or in the strategic air bombardment of northwest Europe. Deeply moving, you will also gain a better understanding of this critical campaign which contributed to the Allied victory in Europe during World War II.
  • Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon and one of the finest collections of World War II German aircraft.
  • Lunch in a typical country pub - possibly The Swan at Lavenham with its Airman’s Bar. See the walls covered with the signatures of servicemen stationed nearby.
  • Stay in the new 5 star hotel, originally the Old War Rooms; overnight in the suite which was Churchill's office during WWII, and the building was also where Ian Fleming, whilst working for Britain's Naval Intelligence service, was inspired to write James Bond.
  • Locations used in Masters of the Air series such as Hemel Hempstead, Aylesbury and the local pub in Bray where the 100th Bomb group made a stop in the series.  

What Our Clients Say

I was very fortunate to be on their 70th and 75th D-Day celebration tours. The service and attention to details was exceptional. It was very moving to go back.

As a Jane Austen enthusiast, this tour was perfect - and the Jane Austen Festival in Bath was just fabulous to see!

Words fail me...The Downton Abbey was a perfectly wonderful travel experience! We did not know we would be the ONLY guests at the Abbey. When we realised how truly exclusive our tour was we were speechless! Surreal being there and actually meeting Lady Carnarvon.