USAF Veteran's view

My name is Earl Zimmerman, I served two years
as a radioman with the 389th Bomb Group at Hethel
from June 1943 to June 1945. Before leaving for
North Africa in July of 1943, we practised low level
flying preparing for the Ploesti raid. We had a  mid-air
collision over Seething and crashed just off the runway,
We  flew three missions out of Bengazi, Libya and on
the third mission to Ploesti, had to crash land in Turkey.
I escaped and returned to Hethel in Jan 44. I flew a few
more missions out of Hethel and was assigned DS to
Leuchars, Scotland in the fall of 44 to fly the Black Liberators
over Norway at night dropping canisters and 'Joes' to
the underground. I returned to Hethel and flew more
combat missions until June of 45 when the 389th was
transferred back to the ZI.

During November of 1944, while having tea with June
Courteney and her family, at 12 Spynke Road, Norwich, a plane
from the the 458th, Horsham St Faiths, named 'Lassie
Come Home' came in upside down taking off the second
story of June's home, killing two children next door. We
pull two of the crew out alive, one died on the lawn.

June and I were married in the Norwich Cathedral on 24 March 1945
and I have a great love for Norfolk.

I was assigned to Norwich as an OSI Agent from 1950 to 1955.
We lived at 12 Spynke Road with her folks and my son was
born at the Norwich and Norfolk hospital in 1954.

I am Past President of the 2nd Air Division Association USAAF,
which includes the 14 bomb groups in the division including the 467th
at Rackheath, who were all stationed in Norfolk during WWII.

When I learned that Broadland District Council and the
developers of Rackheath used the memories of the 7000 lads
we left behind to further their cause, I wondered why a commercial
enterprise would debase their service to influence the authorities to
change the zoning at Rackheath. I  recall Rackheath as being a
beautiful area and cannot imagine a 'for profit' real estate
company building cracker box houses there.

The 2nd Air Division Association has had a memorial in
Norwich for the past forty seven years and a Roll of Honor
lists all of the lads we left behind.
While attending a meeting of the Rackheath Parish council in November
I was amazed to discover that the locals did not have a voice in
determining the future of Rackheath.

I imagine King John used the same tactics as the developers
to overrule the locals but fortunately, the barons would have none
of that and forced  King John to sign the Magna Carta
on 15 June 1215, at Runnymede.

If you guys are not using the Magna
Carta,  pack it up and send it to America
as we can surely use it.

M/Sgt  Earl L. Zimmerman
USAF    Ret.

1 comment:

  1. Local Resident5 July 2010 at 11:10

    Thanks to the USAAF 2nd Air Division for their support. At least they understand the need to preserve our quality of life from destruction by the National Developers. When are Broadland going to WAKE UP and listen to the residents who pay their wages.