2nd Lt. Richard
Raymond Bale

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A WWII England Experience

In November 1943 Dick was shipped to Thurleigh, England to serve in the European-African-Middle Easter Theater with the 8th Air Force, 306th BG whose famous name was used as a theme in the 1949 movie "Twelve O'Click High".    

Thurleigh was called a dispersed airdrome where the establishment is scattered all over the countryside so as to make it less conspicuous. It is one of the many bases from which the B17 Flying Fortress bombed Germany.

The original airfield was built by W & C French Ltd in 1941.  Following some temporary allocations the Eighth Air Force was to be here for over three years. On 7th September 1942 the 306th Group started to arrive; with some of their B17s flying in the following week.  From October 1942 on, the 306th Group ("Reich Wreckers") mounted a long, arduous and very costly offensive from here.

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