Operation Bolero 2007
June 29th to July 1st

 The reception, accommodation and training of the vast build-up of United States serviceman in the UK was known informally as the friendly invasion. To the US Military however, this went under the code-name “OPERATION BOLERO”. Just like Ravels classic musical work, the Bolero plan was intended to progressively build up forces  for D-Day and the eventual Liberation of occupied Europe.

The three day event involved a convoy of about 65 WW2 military vehicles travelling around seven of the former US 8th Air Force Airfields near the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Many airfields have now returned to agriculture, but there are still signs of there past history scattered around the countryside.

Within 15 miles of Framlingham can be found the remains of several airfields which housed Heavy Bombardment and Fighter Groups, all involved flying combat missions over Europe.

 Framlingham/Parham was home to the 390th Bomb Group during WW2, and was our base for the event over the weekend. It also was the location for a static display of vehicles and a flying display on Sunday

The following bases were on the tour:-

Friday 29th June

357th Fighter Group - Leiston 

493rd Bomb Group - Debach

Saturday 30th June

95th Bomb Group - Horham

100th Bomb Group - Thorpe Abbotts

93rd Bomb Group - Hardwick

491st Bomb Group - Metfield

Sunday 1st July

Static display of vehicles at Parham and Air Display for museum open day.

The vehicles in attendance included Jeeps, GMC Trucks, Diamond T's, Dodges, Staff Cars, two Halftracks and two Tanks. They came from all over the country, some driving, others on low loaders.

My Jeep was the most Northern vehicle, 'though it was towed to the event. The prize for furthest driven had to go to a guy from Wales who had driven his GMC for many hours to be at Bolero.

As the tour travelled to each airfield, a short ceremony was held at each airfield memorial, and a floral wreath was left.

Go to the next page for the full event report.

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