Airfield stories are recorded in new book before they are lost forever

Clifford Hall in the Appleby Rose Garden Picture: SUSAN BARNES

Clifford Hall in the Appleby Rose Garden Picture: SUSAN BARNES - Credit: SUSAN BARNES

Memories of when the Americans were based at a Suffolk airfield have been captured forever in a new book.

Clifford Hall's new book, ‘Memories of Rougham Airfield and the 94th Bombardment Group (H)' Picture:

Clifford Hall's new book, Memories of Rougham Airfield and the 94th Bombardment Group (H)' Picture: SUSAN BARNES - Credit: SUSAN BARNES

Clifford Hall, 87, was a boy when Allied Forces from the States were stationed at Rougham Airfield during the Second World War.

His latest book 'Memories of Rougham Airfield and the 94th Bombardment Group (H)' features stories of his time growing up next to the airfield and getting to know the men who worked on the planes.

It follows on from his pictorial history of the 94th Bomb Group, which contains more than 1,000 photographs he has collected.

Mr Hall, who used to work as an agricultural engineer, said: "This book is more on the social side and my involvement with the Americans on the airfield, the building of the airfield and various stories I have told over the years.

Clifford Hall in the Appleby Rose Garden standing next to the monument for the 94th Bombardment Grou

Clifford Hall in the Appleby Rose Garden standing next to the monument for the 94th Bombardment Group that he helped achieve Picture: SUSAN BARNES - Credit: SUSAN BARNES


You may also want to watch:


"People said I should write them down. Once I go, the stories will go."

Mr Hall, who grew up in Great Barton, was 12 when the Americans arrived and 14 when they went home.

Most Read

He said: "I spent a lot of time on the airfield. I was chased off a lot of the time by the military police."

He used to run errands for the troops, like picking up shopping from the nearest town, Bury St Edmunds, and getting camera films developed.

One of Clifford Hall's old photographs of Rougham Airfield Picture: TUDOR MORGAN-OWEN

One of Clifford Hall's old photographs of Rougham Airfield Picture: TUDOR MORGAN-OWEN

Mr Hall, who was allowed to keep a copy of the pictures, said if the men had their photographs developed on-base they were censored and in some cases they didn't get them back until the end of the war.

One light-hearted story he wanted to share was about Karl Moburgh, an intelligence officer, and flight surgeon 'Doc' Miller.

He said: "The beer flowed freely that night at the White Horse [in Beyton] and they staggered home along the old A45 to the airfield.

"They had to pass the entrance of the headquarters building and near the roadside there was a small building for broadcasting.

"They tried to do a Bing Crosby act halfway through the night, but what they didn't know was the last person to use it hadn't switched the equipment off and it woke up everyone on the base."

In 1975 Mr Hall set up a memorial association, now disbanded, and has hosted 12 reunions over here and been a guest at 10 in the States.

He was also the driving force behind the 94th Bomb Group's monument in the Appleby Rose Garden in Bury St Edmunds' award-winning Abbey Gardens.

'Memories of Rougham Airfield and the 94th Bombardment Group (H)' is being launched on Sunday, July 7, at the control tower in Rougham from 11am to 4pm.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter