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Digitisation project to reveal hidden images of 100th Bomb Group

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum reveals photographs that haven’t been seen in public for 75 years. As part of our routine museum cataloguing and digitisation we have been able to digitise a selection of unusually sized negatives originally created during WW2. We have the capability to digitise 35mm negatives onsite but we needed support from Each Moment, a company who convert any types of media to digital files so they can be future-proofed.

Our trustee Richard Gibson contacted Each Moment to see if they might be able to help us. The team at Each Moment were overwhelmed by the nature of the images when they were revealed through the digitisation process.

It’s not difficult to see why the staff at Each Moment were in awe of the images. The group of nine photographs show a variety of airmen and activities taking place at Thorpe Abbotts during the American ‘friendly invasion’.

- Colonel Thomas Jeffrey receiving the Polish Cross. Legendary Commander of the 100th Bomb Group and credited with making the 100th Bomb Group one of the 3rd Air Division’s outstanding units. He is considered by many to be one of the men inspiring the character played by Gregory Peck in the film Twelve O’Clock High. Jeffrey remained in the USAF after WW2 and retired as a Major General.

- Captain Austin Dunlap receiving the Polish Cross. Dunlap was a pilot with the 100th Bomb Group.

- Aircraft ‘Ramblin’ Rebel’ was a longstanding aircraft with the 100th Bomb Group during WW2. Assigned to the UK in September 1944 ‘Ramblin’ Rebel’ was flown by the Lt. Willoughby crew and completed many missions. It was also responsible for collecting prisoners of war from Austria at the end of the war.

- Aircraft ‘Baby Doris (Roy’s Boys)’ was the plane of Lt. LeRoy "Roy" Forrester crew. From Santa Monica, Forrester was a 100th Bomb Group pilot who flew 26 missions during WW2.

- Aircraft ‘Poobah’ was the plane of Lt Carl Thorkelson crew. ‘Poobah’ flew many missions and was still in active service at the end of hostilities, when the aircraft took part in Operation Chowhound to drop food to starving people in the Netherlands. The aircraft returned to Arizona at the end of the war.

Richard Gibson, Trustee at 100th Bomb Group Memorial said: It was many years ago that these negatives came to us, along with several other photographs associated with the 350th Sqdn. This was long before digitisation was available to us. And as we couldn’t handle these odd sized negatives, they kept being put back in the package. Three weeks ago, the negs came to the surface again, and now our thinking was different, and technology has changed. I contacted a Norwich company called ‘Each Moment’ and four days later these great images arrived. They really are quite special.

See the images here:


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