493rd Bomb Group Museum

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The weekend of 27th May, through 28th May and 29th May.

Eastern Angles theatre group will be presenting 4 performances of 'Somewhere in England' by Polly Wiseman.

The play is set in wartime Britian and will hopefully be enhanced by showing at the site of the 493rd Bomb Group Museum. The itinery with timings and more details of obtaining tickets will follow shortly.

The museum will be holding the vehicle run as usual on Sunday and the museum will be open prior to all performances. Camping on site is available so that the weekend's activities can be available to all. Please contact Richard at the museum to book your camping space

More details to follow

Update May Open Weekend

Below are more details of the play being performed at Debach on May 27 th , 28 th and 29 th .

Tickets can be obtained via the Eastern Angles website


Tel. 01473 211498 or 01473 218202

About "Somewhere in England "

Somewhere in England by Polly Wiseman

Directed by Gari Jones

Designed by Ryan Laight

“I always thought I wanted to be with someone who was the same as me. Then you came along. Make my world bigger…please?”

Eastern Angles presents a fascinating and moving new theatre production telling the wartime story of the arrival of thousands of American GIs from the 8th US Army Air Force. Nylons, Hershey bars and jitterbugging to Swing Bands in the local village hall all feature but there was another side to this shared history – a tale of segregation and of rural communities turned upside down. Kids being forced to grow up before their time, friendships forged and then blown apart and outsiders learning to live amongst the locals.

Discover this important story of how the Eastern region was physically and socially affected by the arrival of our friends from across the pond.

Somewhere in England is part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Eighth In The East project.


Another year has passed and another remembrance service has taken place.

Again this year, 2015, the service was very well attended and was followed by refreshments at the museum's Visitors Centre.

Our thanks to all who took part and all who helped to put this event together.


There are several 'New Kids on the Block'!!

The Dodge Command Car arrived in March, 2015


Ward La France Wrecker arrived in October, 2014


K2 Ambulance - arrived in July 2015


GMC Blood Wagon - arrived August 2015


Details are on the Vehicles page.

More news on these vehicles once they have settled in.

Remembrance Day 2014

Once again the 493rd BG Memorial was used for our Remembrance Service. Over 70 people attended and after the service all came back to our Visitors Center for refreshments.


Donation from America

Following a recent holiday in Savannah, USA by Prilly and Richard, the museum received an extremely generous and rare donation. In fact, two donations. The first a Rare Hebard Aircraft Tug - further details can be found on our Vehicles page. The second is a Wright Cyclone B-17 engine. Both being donated by Mr Don Brooks of "Liberty Belle" fame. The engine was recovered from the bottom of a lake in Labrador by Don and his team, but could not be restored. It now takes pride of place in our "Fire Station" at the museum, and it is our intention to stand it upright so its full scale can be seen.

1947 Wright Cyclone Engine Hebard Shop Mule

Our thanks go to everyone concerned in the donation, loading and shipping of these items .


Wedding Spectacular
(note - due to sale of the Plymouth this vehicle is no longer available).
If you want to make a difference to your big day - try using a military vehicle for your transportation to church. Please contact us for details.


Remembrance Day 2013

Last November, the remembrance service was attended by so many local people and by the Volunteers of the 493rd Bomb Group Museum. Richard and Prilly were unable to attend this year as they were visiting the 'Mighty Eighth Museum' in Savannah. Below is a photograph taken at the service and after that all were welcomed back to the Visitors Centre at the museum. Many thanks to all those who attended and to the people concerned with the catering afterwards.

POW identified
Thanks to an email contact, we have been able to identify one of the four POW's on our photograph. See the history page under the POW & DP section

Today (02-08-13) after many years of researching we have put up the personnel list of the men and women who served at Debach Airfield during the war years. Please go to the History page and click on personnel roster.


Christmas Eve 2012

A 'Displaced Person' returns to Debach - for details, see the History page.

Remembrance Day - 11th November, 2012

On a cold but bright morning a crowd of 40 people joined the service held at the 493rd memorial site. It was very pleasing to see so many people in attendance. This year, even some of the local riders brought along their horses to show their respect for those who lost their lives while serving at Debach.


A recent visit by the daughters of Col. Elbert Helton

In July we were fortunate to receive a visit from Mary Pat and her sister Jo. The ladies were in the UK and having seen our website made a special effort to make a tour of the 493rd Museum here in Debach. We were honoured to show them round. Their father, Elbert Helton, was the first Commanding Officer of the 493rd Bomb Group.


Mary Pat & Jo - daughters of Col. Elbert Helton

2 Additional Attractions for Military Vehicle Owners - details here



The museum is open on the last Sunday of the months April thru' September - 11.00 till 4.00.

In addition to this, we will be open on most Wednesdays from 11am till 3.00pm. Wednesday is a working day for the Volunteers at the museum but they will be pleased to take you round. Please ring or email before you set out to ensure you don't have a wasted journey. Entrance gate for Wednesdays will be off Drabbs Lane, Clopton at the Technical Site entrance only.

Veteran’s Visit 2012
Once again, we were honoured by visits from three of our Veterans and two 2nd generation family members.
The veterans:-
Jack Feller who manned the Control Tower.
Bill Toombs – Flight Engineer
Jack Rude – Tail Gunner

Family Members :-
Nancy Toombs – daughter of Bill
David Schmitt – Son of Donald Schmitt (co-Pilot)

This year, a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the life of Cpl. Kenneth Blair. Kenneth was a weather observer with the 18th weather squadron serving at Debach and was killed when he was involved in an accident with a B-24. The plaque was unveiled by the attending veterans surrounded by the volunteers of the Museum.


Aircraft return to Debach - 2011

This year we have had two fly-in visits. Firstly, five aircraft from the RAF Henlow Flying Club dropped in to see us. We then had nineteen aircraft coming from Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. This was the largest assembly of aircraft at Debach since 1945.

Both of these fly-ins were organised visits for a full tour of the museums.

Veteran’s Visit 2011
In May of this year, we were honoured by visits from three of our Veterans and two 2nd generation family members.
The veterans:-
Jack Feller who manned the Control Tower.
Bill Toombs – Flight Engineer
Jack Rude – Tail Gunner (This was his 20th visit since the war)

Family Members :-
Nancy Toombs – daughter of Bill
David Schmitt – Son of Donald Schmitt (co-Pilot)

Nancy and Bill brought over a B2 jacket owned by Melvin Hurwitz (Radio Operator) and a treasured sweetheart pillow which was already framed and named. Both items have been kindly donated and can now be seen displayed at the Museum. Also donated at the same time was a pilot's navigation briefcase and 2 pilot's navigation computers. These were donated by Gil Gilbert (former President of the 493rd BG Association).

Melvin modelling his jacketDavid, Bill & Nancy with the Volunteers

The Veterans and their families visited the airfield and were joined by numerous members of the public, along with several owners and their vehicles from the local Military Vehicle Trust.



It has been re-structured, re-designed & re-vamped from start to finish. "Never have so few, 'put up' so much". Now, we welcome your feedback and comments.

Please view our e-mail address on the 'contact' page.Thanks from the 'Back Room Boys'

Also, restoration work is advancing on the fire shed.

For the latest news and photos of the restoration click here.


As you can see, this is not before time!!