Rougham Stories

Looking back of some of the stories of the brave air crews, associated with RAF Bury St Edmunds.

Some images and text have been reproduced with the kind permission of Clifford Hall.  If you wish to know more about Rougham Airfield, Clifford Hall's book, "Pictorial History Of The Men And Aircraft Of The 94th Bombardment Group, 1942 - 1945" is now available.

Berlin, 19th May, 1944

Colonel Dougher and Major Birdsall led 21 aircraft on a mission to Berlin on the 19th of May, 1944.  Reaching the target at 1414 hrs, the group made several "S" turns for proper alignment for the target.  At bombs away at 26,000 feet, aircraft 297791 XM-O "Trudy" released bombs.

One of these bombs hit the tail of 231540 QE-L "Miss Donna Mae".  The aircraft went into a dive, and at 13,000 feet, a wing came off.  This sent the aircraft spinning to the ground, taking all crew with it.  The crew were Marion Reid, Lewis Carter, Robert Tessier, Stanley Duffield, Lee Kiefffer, John Boone, Ludwig Huth, James Kalaher, Richard Brennan, Willard Christenson and John Davies.

Rougham, 19th November, 1944

An Avro Lancaster UL-L of 576 Squadron, based at RAF Fiskerton, Lincs.  On return from a mission on the 19th of November, 1944, it was forced to make a crash landing at Rougham, just west of the main runway.  Morton Hall Farm can be seen in the background.

Tree Incident, March, 1945

In March, 1945, Captain Frank Halm, along with Lt.  Ed Parrott, were on a training mission.  As they attempted to land, their aircraft was caught in a strong cross wind.  With the right break week, Parrott attempted to add power to compensate.  The break then failed completely.  The B 17 veered off the runway, missing several other aircraft by inches.  The rough terrain did slow the aircraft down, but it hit a tree, shearing off the right wing.  Halm was charged with two incidents: 100% pilot error for scratching the wing with a tent pole, and for hitting the tree, 50% pilot error and 50% mechanical failure!  The tree can still be seen as part of the Museum collection.