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To Plan A Trip

March 2023
1min read

British Airways’ “Privileged Traveller” program will be of special interest to World War II vets visiting England. Available to people sixty years of age and older, it offers an additional 10 percent discount on virtually any discounted U.S.-Great Britain fare; waiver of all cancellation and change-of-reservation penalties normally attached to discounted fares; and 10 percent discounts on all land arrangements that are part of BA’s vacations programs. Benefits may be extended to one companion over the age of fifty traveling the same dates and itinerary. For details contact British Airways (1-800-247-9297).

Two books are essential: One Last Look (Abbeville Press), by Philip Kaplan and Rex Alan Smith, is an informal anecdotal history of airbase life in East Anglia during the war. (A recently published sequel, Their Finest Hour , deals with the RAF in the Battle of Britain.) Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now (After the Battle Publications), by Roger A. Freeman, provides short histories of the sixty-eight most important 8th Air Force bases in the East Anglia area, with then-and-now pictures, maps, and vital statistic data. A brochure, United States Eighth Air Force in East Anglia, Past and Present , is also valuable and is available free from the British Tourist Office.

The film Twelve O’Clock High (1949, CBS/Fox Video), with Gregory Peck, combines a convincing story of leadership with regional verisimilitude and effective combat sequences. Command Decision (1949, MGM), starring Clark Gable, is an equally powerful story of the high-level military-civilian politics of the American precision daylight bombardment strategy. William Wyler’s classic documentary The Memphis Belle (1943, Video Yesteryear) was made by the 8th Air Force and has the finest footage of planes, bases, and the East Anglia countryside of any picture made during the period.

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