- Village Life
The US 8th Army Air Force Base at Grafton Underwood was built to the North of the village in 1941 covering 500 acres and housed up to 3,000 personnel. From early 1942 till 1945 units were posted to Station 106, as it was officially known. These included the 15th Bomb Squadron and 96th, 97th, 305th and 384th Bombardment groups.
The 384th Bombardment Group had the longest association between 1943-45. The granite memorial which stands on the site of the former main runway is dedicated to the group. By the time their sixth mission was completed the 384th had lost thirty-five of its original thirty-six aircraft.
Replacement crews and aircraft constantly arrived, but the losses kept mounting. On a mission to bomb the port at Hamburg the 384th first experienced the terrible reality of a “ghost squadron” all seven B17s (Flying Fortress) and crews of the 544th Squadron failed to return.Next: Read about Nancy Moore & The Steps >