Amazing War Stories podcast shares legacy of Suffolk WWII heroes

The crew of the Lancaster bomber which crashed in the Suffolk countryside after coming close to hitting Halesworth.

The crew of the Lancaster bomber which crashed in the Suffolk countryside after coming close to hitting Halesworth. Picture: AMAZING WAR STORIES - Credit: Archant

The history of Suffolk has been included in a podcast series sharing some of the most heroic stories from the Second World War – reaching Apple’s Top 10.

Bruce Crompton hosts the Amazing War Stories podcast which is available on Apple, Spotify and the official website.

Bruce Crompton hosts the Amazing War Stories podcast which is available on Apple, Spotify and the official website. Picture: AMAZING WAR STORIES - Credit: Archant

Amazing War Stories is hosted by ex-British Paratrooper Bruce Crompton, known for the Discovery Channel show Combat Dealers and his passion for military history.

Mr Crompton said: “In East Anglia, and across the country, there are countless museums run by volunteers who put their heart and souls into keeping them running.

“The stories they have of absolutely heroic deeds are just amazing and this podcast is really for them, to raise awareness and make sure they can keep running.

“There is fantastic history on our doorsteps and once we started this project it just snowballed into something huge.”

Bruce Compton hosted the international TV hit Combat Dealers, is a military collector and passionate advocate of history...

Bruce Compton hosted the international TV hit Combat Dealers, is a military collector and passionate advocate of history and museums. Picture: AMAZING WAR STORIES - Credit: Archant

In episode one, A for Apple, Mr Crompton – originally from East London – retells the story of the Lancaster bomber which narrowly avoided wiping out the town of Halesworth in 1943.

Flight Officer Donald Field was flying with six crew members on a night mission to Frankfurt, in a team of 650 planes, when they were attacked by enemies.

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The lights cut out and the bay doors were sealed shut, leaving them trapped with their lethal cargo of 16,000 pounds of bombs.

When back over the English coast, Field dropped his fellow crew mates to safety and all but one survived.

Flight Officer Donald Field piloted the Lancaster bomber and dropped all his crew to safety before bailing himself.

Flight Officer Donald Field piloted the Lancaster bomber and dropped all his crew to safety before bailing himself. Picture: AMAZING WAR STORIES - Credit: Archant

The pilot then found himself over the town of Halesworth, unable to reach the sea where he had intended to crash the plane, and was instead forced to steer off into the open countryside to avoid devastation.

The show, which uses sound effects to transport listeners back in time, has proven a hit and has made it to number 10 in Apple’s History category.

Mr Crompton now lives in Halesworth and enlisted the help of old friend Richard Pymar, the secretary and founding member of the Halesworth Airfield Memorial Museum, for the podcast.

He said: “I’m really pleased that people are raising the profile of these very small museums which struggle to get by and Bruce is really putting us on the map.

Donald moved to Canada with his family after the war. Picture: AMAZING WAR STORIES

Donald moved to Canada with his family after the war. Picture: AMAZING WAR STORIES - Credit: Archant

“It would be lovely to get more young people involved to carry it on for us.”

Mr Pymar has also established a memorial to the Lancaster bomber crew in the town.

You can listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify or through the official website here.

The memorial in Halesworth town centre is dedicated to the Lancaster crew and their effforts to save the town. It was...

The memorial in Halesworth town centre is dedicated to the Lancaster crew and their effforts to save the town. It was created by founding member and secretary of Halesworth Airfield Memorial Museum, Richard Pymar. Picture: AMAZING WAR STORIES - Credit: Archant

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