Aviation Museum

Back Horsham St Faiths, Norwich, Norfolk

Aviation museum to the north of Norwich airport.

The site of Norwich airport (RAF Horsham St Faiths) was first recommended for development in the 1930s and it was originally built as a standard pre-war bomber airfield, becoming operational in the summer of 1940. During this time the airfield played its part in Bomber Command’s operations against occupied Europe.

During 1941, one of the most famous missions of the Second World War was flown from Horsham when, during a raid on Gosnay, a box containing artificial legs for the captured British fighter pilot Douglas Bader was dropped to the Germans.

In 1942 the airfield was passed over the American use and a number of USAAF units moved through before in 1943 458 Bomb Group of the 2nd Air Division took up residence with their B-24 Liberators. This group flew 240 missions up to 1945 and lost 47 aircraft in the process. The airfield had grown in size from its pre-war origins and its expansion necessitated a number of road closures and diversions. Its proximity to Norwich was always something of a liability and there were a number of accidents when aircraft crashed into civilian houses.

After the war, the airfield was returned to the RAF and it became a British fighter station, which continued in use up until 1963 when it was bought by the city of Norwich and developed into the modern airport and also an industrial estate.

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