Remarks given by Wally Blackwell, President of the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association at the June 8, 2002 Remembrance Service at the 398th Memorial, Nuthampstead, England. Present were a number of 1944-45 Nuthampstead veterans, children and grandchildren of Nuthampstead veterans, and Friends of the 398th.

"We are pleased to be able to return here once again, back to the site of our youthful adventures of so long ago. Some of us anyway, because we do have some younger faces with us. These new faces are the descendants of 398ers, they are our precious resource for keeping 398th memories alive for awhile longer. Their parents have encouraged them to visit this place called Nuthampstead. Nuthampstead, or as we knew it, Eighth Air Force Station 131. This is the place where many young men each spent some months doing their duty, as we believed we should. We volunteered to be here, it was necessary for us to do that, to help end what is now called World War II. We survivors, getting fewer in numbers, well appreciate the fact that we are able to have one more 398th reunion here at our home base. We cherish the help of our dear English Friends that are here with us now, they have never forgotten what a military organization, called the 398th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force accomplished here.

May we take these few moments to remember all of those that served here at Station 131, perhaps as many as five or six thousand in number. Together they did the many diverse jobs that were needed to make Station 131 an operational combat airbase. So today, on this plot of ground, generously given to the 398th Memorial Association by Baron Dimsdale's family, we must remember them all. This is the place that will remain, hopefully far into the future, as the home of the spirit of the 398th. We cannot go back to visit those places in the sky, so far and distant from here, that were our battlefields. This is the place we often struggled, sometimes failing, to return to after engaging in combat. This is our place for history, and we are thankful for it, and for all of those that will keep it as our 398th heritage."

Randy Stange, 398th member and son of 398th veteran Raymond P. Stange, took the above photograph in June 2002. If you would like to add information about this photo, please contact our 398th Photo Historian. The Photo Reference Number is PR07.