Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Golden Disaster

I meant to go here today.
St Benets Abbey along the river broads.
Photo via Andrew Dunn's flickr account funny enough.

But instead, I ended up in Rackheath, now an industrial park, but as Thel tells me, used to be an American Air Force airfield during WW2 where Grandpa was stationed in 1944-45.

USAAF Memorial. Small plaque for a hefty lot of men. 
It took me a while actually to find the memorial... it was amongst all kinds of industrial businesses like graineries and cement making plants. It said:
Rackheath Station 145
467th Bombardment Group Heavy
2nd Air Division 8th Air Force
US Army Air Force
Under command of Colonel Albert J Shower
Flew 212 combat missions 5538 aircraft sorties
Losses of 235 Airmen 46 aircraft
In B24 Liberator Bombers from this airfield
From Mar 11 1944 to Jul 5 1945
Over 5000 Americans stationed here

I was trying to picture Grandpa walkin around all suave and stubborn, taking off down the runway in his plane like the champ he was. It plays like a movie in my head, all noble and brave with a happy ending, but I'm sure it didn't seem like one when it was actually happening. 

I cycled the 7 miles all the way to Wroxham Broads (same place I went yesterday actually...) so I could hopefully then bike down the river to see the ruins of St. Benet's Abbey. I came upon Rackheath park on the way, and since I knew Grandpa was stationed there during the war, I decided to investigate and came upon the memorial plaque above. Good find (in fact the only find of the whole trip, but hey, you win some you lose some). I would have gone up to the abbey but it was beyond my map's boundaries and the right map was 8 freakin pounds! Yikes. Thats like what, $13 for a silly map?! Anyways, I looked in like 4 different tourist stops for a brochure map.. but none to be found of the Abbey. Ridiculous I tell you. Anyways, the traffic on the roads was kind of heavy (which I got to be honest, makes me nervous on the bike!) and I was too much of a wuss to go and try and find the abbey sans map. So, I just biked back home. ha.


  1. Ah, Hannah. I was 18, your grandpa 22. He was so gorgeous in his lieutenants uniform with the wings, no less. We never fully recognised the danger of life. Right away, we fell in love - and were happy for the 63 years that we were married. Your Mom and Dad are happy together also and we hope and pray the same will happen for you. Love you and thinking about you.

  2. WooHoo...A lovely box of liquorice allsorts arrived today. To quote your bro' Justin, "Yum num num". And the Cathedral cards were just perfect (but I know they are expensive). Thanks so much Hannah. I am lucky to have a grand-daughter like you. Your Mom and Dad are off on a business trip today and will end up at Myrtle Beach, SC. (92 degrees today). Love from your Granny