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This page is about the history of the museum and not the 93rd Bomb Group

At the end of WWII the USAAF returned to the USA and the site reverted to UK Ministry of Defence ownership.  

It was immediately closed as an operational RAF airfield.  The land was subsequently returned to its original use of farming, apart from a few areas.   The 93rd Bomb Group Museum stands on private land owned by the Woodrow family.

Before WWII the owners of the land on which the museum now stands were Charles and Naomi Catchpole.   When approached as to whether they wanted the land back, they declined.   When their land was requisitioned they had found another farm, in Topcroft where the land was more fertile, and were pleased with it.

Meanwhile, in Blofield to the east of Norwich, a young man called David Woodrow* had just been demobbed from the RAF (652 Air Observation Squadron, Royal Air Force) and was seeking an income in farming.   His brother told him to look to south Norfolk. That was how David found Hardwick Airfield near Topcroft.

As David was from farming stock he was aware the Hardwick site would not be easy to cultivate but he had something else in mind — using the USAAF buidings for chickens.   David bought the farm, filled the redundant American buildings with poultry and never looked back.

In the early 1950s Americans who had been based at Hardwick came back to visit and David found himslf a reluctant tour guide.   He was himself ex-RAF so that reluctance soon turned to enthusiasm.   When the Americans wanted to erect a memorial on the site he readily agreed. More and more airmen, ground crew and their families continued to visit the memorial and airfield.

David made a temporary home in the officers' quarters and later built homes for himself and his son nearby.

In 19nn David was approached by Paul Thrower** who asked if he could use the remaining Nissen / Quonset huts on David's land to house a USAAF museum and David agreed.



  • * David Woodrow - David served in the RAF and took part in the Normandy landings in France (June 1944).   His role there, with others, was to establish and protect airstrips for the RAF in France.
  • ** Paul Thrower -


For more information, see the Wikipedia article on RAF Hardwick.


David Woodrow

David Woodrow on his way to Normandy in June 2019.
The 75th commemoration of the D-Day landings.

David Woodrow



Paul Thrower

Paul Thrower outside Hut 1 at the Hardwick Museum.



The 93rd Bomb Group in Norfolk, by Peter Bodle and Paul Thrower, subtitled 'A pictorial history of the USAAF's 93rd Bombardment Group at Hardwick during WWII'.

With the nickname of "Ted's Travelling Circus", the 93rd Bomb Group was one of the first wave of USAAF 8th Air Force Bomb Groups to arrive in England. Based at Hardwick on the Norfolk / Suffolk border, the 93rd was part of the 20th Bombardment Wing of the 2nd Air Division.   They served throughout the war, losing over 650 brave air crew. To search the web for this book, click on the image.


This booklet was published by:

     Liberator, 60 pages, A5 size booklet (N4103P1).
     ISBN 9780955191671 (pbk.)
     ISBN 095519167X (pbk.)
     Dewey Number 940.5449730222



Paul Thrower's Booklet

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93rd Bombardment Group Museum, Station 104, Hardwick, Norfolk, UK.

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