Recorded interview of John Archer by Peter Foulsham (MC 376/504a)
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Recorded interview of John Archer by Peter Foulsham


MC 376/504a

1 compact cassette

nd [1998]

2nd Air Division Memorial Library/Oral History Project

Peter Foulsham, John Archer

Recording of Glen Miller at start and end of recording (00mn 01s to 00mn 23s and 25mn 39s to 26mn 04s) redacted for rights reasons.

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Starts and finishes with Glenn Miller's 'String of Pearls'. Discussion about the impact of Americans on the local community including pubs and laundry ladies. Gives anecdotes about pub landlords. Talks about aircraft seen and first sighting of B-25 Mitchells. Comments on witnessing airfield construction. Describes the crash of a B-24 from Seething [448th Bomb Group] into the bomb dump in Earsham. Comments exchanged about aircraft salvage souvenirs. Discussion about American interactions with local women. Discussion about the glamour of the Americans and their uniforms, including reference to Stones Tailors of Norwich. Short discussion about language differences. Talks about close contact with Americans, especially the Military Police and personnel at the bomb dump. Refers to a diary he kept about aircraft activities, using tail codes and colours for identification. Refers to attendance at airbase Christmas parties and 'adoption' of local children by family-oriented Americans. Short discussion about violent incidents reported with reference to local jealousy. Discussion about keeping in touch with pilots from Flixton and Hardwick ground crews and with a GI bride. General discussion about GI brides. Comments about pay and currency usage. Discussion about American attendance at local church services and about Lakenheath church. Short discussion about segregation of American personnel. Foulsham comments about his father stopping American cyclists riding without lights and general discussion about bicycle use. Discussion about the American Red Cross recalling the doughnut trucks on base. Reference to civilian transportation for bombs towards the end of the war. Talks about attendance at reunions in the United States and Americans returning to England, including reference to church gates funded by American veterans in 1945 and replaced in 1989, and the popularity of American Red Cross Club 'big books' [State Registers] with returning veterans. Comments on surviving buildings and features at Flixton airbase. Comments on American enlisted men and officers mixing more than in the British military. Discussion and stories about German attacks on printing works in Bungay and other local enemy action. Also refers to friendly fire incidents. Recorded on side A only. Earsham bomb dump, as referred to in the recording, was located at Earsham Hall. Flixton airfield was used in October-November 1942 by B-25 Mitchells of the 428th Bomb Squadron, 310th Bomb Group and then from December by the 329th Squadron,detached from the 93rd Bomb Group at Hardwick. This squadron was detached to Bungay for ‘Moling’ operations (sorties by individual aircraft with the object of causing maximum destruction to enemy industrial production) and to evaluate radar navigation devices. Some American officers had their uniforms made at Stones the tailors, Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, who also made uniform badges. For tape insert, see MC 376/504b. See MC 371/917-20 for the American Red Cross Club State Registers referred to in the recording. See MC 376/501 for an interview carried out by Peter Foulsham with Jordan Uttal and Bud Koorndyk referred to in reference to stories about cycling and friendly fire. For the related tape insert, see MC 376/504/b