• In the Footsteps of the 353rd Fighter Group

    In the Footsteps of the 353rd Fighter Group

  • In the Footsteps of the 353rd Fighter Group

    In the Footsteps of the 353rd Fighter Group

In the Footsteps of the 353rd Fighter Group

Tour Dates: August 19 to 28, 2020 (9 nights)

In August 1943, the 353rd Fighter Group joined the Eighth Fighter Command operating out of East Anglia as their fourth operational group. Flying the huge P-47 Thunderbolt and the long-ranged P-51 Mustang, the ‘Slybird’ Group quickly earned a reputation as a dependable hard working and hard fighting outfit. Playing a key role in escorting the bombers and developing ground attack tactics, the Group fulfilled their mission to help liberate Europe from tyranny. During this time of war, they forged an unbreakable bond with their local British host communities. Now, seventy-five years since the end of the World War II, their descendants return to honour their forebear’s service and sacrifice for peace and to re-establish the Slybird’s special friendship with the people of Metfield and Raydon.

Itinerary

Day 1

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Arrival into London Heathrow airport. You will be met and transferred to your central London hotel. Lunch at own cost. Orientation guided city tour of London West End: Trafalgar Square; Whitehall and 10 Downing Street, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace. Dinner at own cost. Overnight London

Day 2

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Breakfast. Full day guided tour of the City of London. St Pauls Cathedral and the Tower of London. Tower Bridge and the River Thames. Lunch. Visit the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms. Welcome dinner with Dr Graham Cross. Overnight London

Day 3

Friday, 21 August 2020

Breakfast. Depart London for East Anglia the main centre of operation for USAAF in 1944. Presentation by Dr Graham Cross on the Mighty Eighth Air Force and 353rd FG in East Anglia; and on the 353rd FG Archive housed at the new Suffolk Records Office 'Hold' Facility in Ipswich. Lunch at own cost. Metfield, in north Suffolk, was home to the 353rd Fighter Group between August 1943 and April 1944. Tour of Metfield Airfield followed by short service at the memorial, visit to the Church and evening reception in the village hall. Dinner and overnight Ipswich

Day 4

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Breakfast. Guided tour of Colchester and visit with reception hosted by the Mayor in Colchester Town Hall to see 353rd Regalia. Raydon, on the Essex and Suffolk border, was home to the 353rd Fighter Group from April 1944 until their return home to the United States in October 1945. Raydon Airfield Event including WWII aircraft and military vehicles. Dinner and overnight Ipswich

Day 5

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Breakfast. Church Service and rededication of 353rd Vestry Doors and Book of Remembrance followed by reception. Service at the Raydon Memorial followed by tours with events on the airfield and opening of the Raydon Airfield Museum. Evening reception Raydon Village Hall. Dinner and overnight Ipswich

Day 6

Monday, 24 August 2020

Breakfast. Visit Madingley American Cemetery. Visit Duxford IWM and the USAAF Museum. Lunch at own cost. Guided walking tour of Cambridge and its colleges. Final East Anglia dinner and overnight Cambridge

Day 7

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Breakfast. Depart Cambridge, with box lunch, for our drive to the English south coast. Meet our Battlefield tour guide and sail with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth. Dinner on board. Arrive Normandy and transfer to our hotel.

Day 8

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Breakfast. Tour of the US Airborne sector including Ste Mere Eglise, La Fière river crossing and Brécourt Manor. Visit the Airborne museum. Lunch at own cost. UTAH Beach and German gun batteries. Dinner and overnight Normandy

Day 9

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Breakfast. Tour of Pointe du Hoc where the US Rangers scaled the cliffs, ‘bloody’ OMAHA Beach and American Normandy Cemetery. Lunch at own cost. Afternoon ferry from Normandy to Portsmouth. Dinner on board. Arrive London Heathrow late at night for overnight.

Day 10

Friday, 28 August 2020

Breakfast. Transfer to London Heathrow Airport terminal

  • Our battlefield tour guide was extremely informative, helpful & accommodating. His professionalism and knowledge were exceptional.

Included in the tour

  • 9 Nights bed and breakfast in 4 star hotels
  • 7 dinners, 1 lunch and 1 box lunch
  • Airport transfers, motor coach & ferry to Normandy
  • City guide in London and Cambridge
  • Battlefield tour guide in Normandy with headsets
  • Entrance fees to Churchill Museum, Duxford IWM and Airborne Museum
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