WWII American Friendship Flag Display

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25th February 10:00am - 10th January 4:00pm
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About this event

A new display in St Edmundsbury Cathedral will feature a 48-star American flag that was presented to the Cathedral on 29 April 1945 by the 94th Bomb Group of the United States Air Force, as part of a town-wide campaign to highlight Bury St Edmunds part in the 'Masters of The Air' story.

The flag was given as a token of Anglo-American friendship between American Army personnel and the citizens of Bury St Edmunds, as well as the common sacrifice of the British and American nations in the cause of freedom for all peoples.

This will be the first time that the Cathedral has displayed the flag to the public.

It doesn’t include stars for all 50 states as Alaska and Hawaii joined the union in 1959, after the flag was made. The 48-star flag was used from 1912 to 1960.

The flag will be displayed along with American connection kneelers that were created for the Cathedral’s kneeler project in the 1960s. There will also be information available for more of the Cathedral’s American connections.

‘Masters of the Air’, a new Apple TV series being released on 26 January has strong connections with Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding area. Starring Austin Butler and produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, the 10-episode series is based on Donald L. Miller’s non-fiction book of the same name. It tells the true story of the bomber boys of the American Eighth Air Force 8th Air Force, known as the Mighty Eighth.

Designed as a base for a USAAF unit bomb group, Rougham Airfield (RAF Bury St Edmunds) opened in September 1942 . It became home to the 94th Bomb Group from 15 June 1943 to 12 December 1945 who flew more than 300 missions with the B-17 Flying Fortress. The air base welcomed 3,000 GIs during WWII. One of the best-preserved military buildings in the region, Rougham Control Tower is now home to an aviation museum.

The display will be in the Lady Chapel in the Cathedral from Wednesday 10 January until the end of March. Please see Cathedral visiting times for when the flag and display can be viewed. Free entry, donations welcome.

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