2016 England Tour & Biennial Memorial Service Overview Photos

Our biennial tour to honor the men of the 398th Bombardment Group, flying from station 131, Nuthampstead, England during WWII.

The Biennial "Back to England Again" reunion kicked off on Friday, May 27, 2016 and ran through Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Our tour began with a visit to the Parham Airfield Museum in North Framlingham, Suffolk, which is actually comprised of two separate museums; the "390th BG Memorial Air Museum" housed in the original wartime Control Tower of Framlingham Station 153, and the "Museum of the British Resistance Organisation". If you ever find yourself in Suffolk these museums are a must see! After retuning to Cambridge that evening our group met for dinner at the Eagle Pub which is famous for their RAF bar where, during WWII, the airmen used lighters to burn their bomb or fighter group numbers in the ceiling.

Saturday was spent at Nuthampstead beginning with the 398th BG and 55th FG Memorial Service. The service was followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony opening the new Hunter Building at the incredible Nuthampstead Airfield Museum. After a wonderful lunch in the Woodman Inn, everyone went out to the old Station 131 airfield for the Flag Ceremony. Two flags were flown; Capt. Arthur B. Murphy's flag, 600th Navigator and S/Sgt. Frank Yarmoski's flag, 601st Togglier/Gunner.

Sunday morning there was a special church service at St. Georges Church in Anstey. That afternoon several members of our group toured the Imperial War Museum Duxford to see their newly revamped American Air Museum and to watch the Duxford Spring American Air Show.

The following day was Memorial Day Monday, a wonderful day for our group. Arriving at the Cambridge American Cemetery in Madingley, our group joined hundreds of others for the cemetery's Memorial Day Service. We were all on hand to help lay a wreath on behalf of the 398th Bomb Group.

Tuesday, our last day, we took a tour to Bletchley Park "Home of the Codebreakers". Bletchley Park housed the code breaking operation during WWII and was the birthplace of modern computing. Many historians estimate that the Codebreakers' efforts helped to shorten the war by up to two years, saving countless lives. This museum included several original models of Bombe Machines, developed by Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman to decode the Enigma messages. And of course there was also a genuine Enigma machine on display. That night we all met back at the hotel in Cambridge for a very nice farewell dinner. It was an amazing trip!

Below are several photographs illustrating the 2016 "Back to England Again" tour. We hope you enjoy them!
Many thanks to Marilyn Bishop, Amy Murphy, Kevin Marsh, Cathy Yarmoski,
Marilyn Gibb-Rice, Geoff Rice and Lee Bradley for use of their photos.


The 390th Bomb Group Memorial Air Museum is housed in the original Framlingham Staion 153 control tower

Our tour group received a very warm welcome from the Parham Airfield Museum staff

Pictured at left above is Museum President Peter Kindred. Seated from left are Maria Hunter, Connie Novek, Dawne Dougherty, Maria Hunter Mackie, Sally MacDonald Mackie and Sandra Averhart.
Standing along the side wall is Tim Martin, our tour guide.

Our group poses for a photo in front of the Parham Control Tower

The knowledgeable and friendly volunteer staff at the Parham Airfield Museum

Maria Hunter and daughter Sally MacDonald Mackie at the Eagle Pub in Cambridge

Maria is Col. Frank P. Hunter's daughter and Sally is his granddaughter

Cathy Yarmoski and David Ziegler at the Eagle Pub

Cathy's dad was S/Sgt. Frank Yarmoski, 601st SQ Togglier/Gunner.

Widows Dawne Dougherty and Connie Novek at the Eagle Pub

Dawne's husband was S/Sgt. Tom Dougherty, 602nd SQ Ball Turret / Waist and Tail Gunner.
Connie's husband was T/Sgt. Elliot Novek, 602nd Radio Operator.

Close-up of the RAF Bar ceiling in the Eagle Pub, showing where one of
our servicemen used a cigarette lighter to burn our group's number "398" during WWII

Frank Hunter MacDonald (grandson of Col. Hunter) with his niece Maria Hunter Mackie (Col. Hunter's great granddaughter)
under the spot where they found "398" marked on the RAF Bar ceiling

"The Eagle is one of the oldest Inns in Cambridge with evidence of a tavern on its site from the 15th Century.
The RAF Bar with its famous ceiling boasts signatures and squadron numbers of men and women from all over the
world which forms a unique record of the armed forces who came together in The Eagle during the Second World War."

Panaramic view of the 398th BG and 55th FG Service of Commemoration in Nuthampstead, England

A section of the crowd Attending the 398th BG & 55th FG Memorial Service

Many gathered in front of the Woodman Inn for the Memorial Service

Several local residents joined our group for the 398th BG and 55th FG Memorial Service

The United States Air Force Honor Guard from RAF Mildenhall were invited to be a part of our Memorial Service

The Honor Guard at the 398th BG and 55th FG Memorial Service

Rod Finn, Chairman of the Friends of the 398th, opens the ceremony and welcomes everyone in attendance

Maria Hunter Mackie was invited to read Revelation 21: 1-7 during the Memorial Service

398th widows Chrysta Moore, Dawne Dougherty and Connie Novek were called up first to lay bouquets
and notes of appreciation on the 398th BG Memorial honoring all those who were assigned to Station 131

398th sons, daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends
were then called upon to lay their bouquets with messages honoring their 398th heroes

The photo above and the following four photos are a
few examples of the touching notes left at our memorial

The 398th BG Memorial after everyone had left their bouquets and notes

Lt. Col. Kevin Webster, 95th Reconnaissance Squadron Commander from RAF Mildenhall and Maria Hunter

After Lt. Col. Webster introduced Maria to the crowd, Maria touchingly spoke of her father and mother
and her memories of home life before her dad was assigned overseas with the 398th BG.

The 55th FG Memorial

Maria Hunter cuts the ceremonial ribbon officially opening the Hunter Building named in honor of her late father Col. Frank P. Hunter, Jr. at the Nuthampstead Airfield Museum.
Marilyn Gibb-Rice, President of the 398th BGMA and Andrew Grisbrooke, Chariman of the Museum Trustees look on while holding the ends of the ribbon.

Cathy Yarmoski proudly poses under a stained glass art piece of the 398th BG emblem

This beautiful work of art originally belonged to her dad, S/Sgt. Frank Yarmoski of the 601st SQ, and Cathy graciously donated it to the museum.

Elaine Halama, Shelley Bennett, Maria Hunter Mackie and Dawne Dougherty admire a display
showcasing memorabilia belonging to T/Sgt. Wayne Doerstler, 602nd SQ Engineer/Top Turret Gunner

Wayne's widow, Ruthanna, donated all of Wayne's WWII items to the museum shortly before she passed away last spring.

Wilfred Dimsdale (background), Claire Murphy and David McCoy admire one of the many new memorabilia displays

Chrysta Moore proudly points out her late husband's crew photo to Roy Casson

Chrysta's husband was S/Sgt. Cecil "Tex" Moore, 602nd Tail Gunner.

Maria Hunter browses through Cliff Bishop's amazing book "Fortresses Over Nuthampstead"

Roy Casson relaxes in "Roy's Corner" in the Hunter Building

This cozy reading spot was Roy's idea so the Trustees thought it fitting to name it after him.

Col. Mike Ryan made a surprise visit to the museum

Mike's dad was Flight Officer Michael O. Ryan, 602nd SQ Navigator.

Connie Novek and Geoff Rice... and friend (in the crusher cap!)

Frank Hunter MacDonald and Marilyn Gibb-Rice

Marilyn in the new Hunter Building

Local resident Wilfred Dimsdale and Dawne Dougherty enjoying the new Memorial Garden behind the Hunter Building

The larger rectangular concrete slab seen behind them is the foundation for a future Nissen Hut.

Clair Murphy and David McCoy pose next to her dad's plaque during the flag raising ceremony

David is holding Claire's dad's flag. Claire's dad was Capt. Arthur B. Murphy, 600th Navigator.

A close-up of Capt. Arthur B. Murphy's plaque

Note that Capt. Murphy's rank was Lieutenant at the time this crew photo was taken, July 25, 1944. He made rank of Captain during 1945.

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David salutes as Mike Ryan helps lower Claire's father's flag after it flew for several minutes

Normally his flag would have remained flying but there were two flags to be flown during this ceremony.
Cathy Yarmoski's dad's flag was also flown. Both flags will be flown to destruction per the request of the families.

Several were on hand to participate in the flag raising ceremony

Cathy Yarmoski's dad's flag was up next

Cathy's dad was S/Sgt. Frank Yarmoski, 601st Togglier/Gunner.

Close-up of S/Sgt. Frank Yarmoski's plaque

Cathy poses next to her dad's plaque after his flag was raised

Dawne Dougherty and Connie Novek listen to an audio interview by James C. Crouch, 601st SQ Waist Gunner,
in the newly remodeled American Air Museum at IWM Duxford

James Crouch was Marilyn Gibb-Rice's dad.

James C. Crouch's WWII memorabilia is also featured in the American Air Museum

A P-51 Mustang was one of many featured aircraft at the Duxford Spring American Air Show

Our group claimed a prime patch of grass next to the American Air Museum to watch the air show

The Sally B in flight during the air show

Several T-6 Texans/Harvards did a flyover during the air show

The Red Arrows put on a super routine at the show

Rows of crosses at the Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley

The Chapel at the Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley

Beautiful Rhododendrons beside the Chapel

The piper lead the procession during the Memorial Day Service at the Cambridge American Cemetery

Air Force personnel from RAF Mildenhall line up with wreathes to be laid on behalf of the many bomb and fighter groups during the Memorial Day Ceremony at Madingley

Representatives from each bomb and fighter group face their corresponding Mildenhall Air Force officer before the wreath exchange

Close-up of the 398th wreath laid during the Madingley Memorial Day Ceremony

Our group representing the 398th BG at the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley

Kneeling from left: Frank Hunter MacDonald, Sally MacDonald Mackie, Lee Bradley, Maria Hunter Mackie, M/Sgt. Will Sullivan, Cathy Yarmoski.
Standing from left: Roy Casson, Rod Finn, David McCoy, Elaine Halama, Maria Hunter MacDonald, David Ziegler, Claire Murphy, Connie Novek, Dawne Dougherty, Marilyn Gibb-Rice,
Marianne Gluhosky, Shelley Bennett, Harvey Ditchman (behind Shelley), Trish Barnes, Kevin Marsh, Linda Finn, Les Barnes, Geoff Rice.

Kevin Marsh, grandson Eli Myers and daughter Shanna Myers pose with the 398th BG wreath at Madingley

Kevin's dad was Lt. Walter E. Marsh, 603rd SQ Bombardier.

David Ziegler, Shelley Bennett, Cathy Yarmoski and Elaine Halama

Michael Haase and George Abbott LaDoux at Madingley

George's dad was Lt. Raymond LaDoux, 601st SQ Navigator/Bombardier.

Sandra Averhart also took advantage of a photo op with our wreath

Sandra is the niece of LT. William H. Baker, 600th SQ Navigator. Lt. Baker was KIA November 25, 1944.

David McCoy and Claire Murphy at the Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley

Dawne Dougherty and Connie Novek during the Memorial Day Ceremony at Madingley

Maria Hunter Mackie, Sally MacDonald Mackie, Maria Hunter and Frank Hunter MacDonald

Harvey Ditchman, Connie Novek and Geoff Rice ham it up and raise a glass on a set used in the movie "Imitation Game" at Bletchley Park

Harvey and Geoff are both Trustees of the Nuthampstead Airfield Museum and can often be found working hard at the site.

A 'Bombe Machine' on display at Bletchley Park

A genuine Enigma Machine on display at Bletchley Park