493 Bomb Group Museum Debach :: Shared Description

Debach was one of the last 8th Air Force heavy bomber stations to be occupied by the American Air Force. The land was farmed by the Taylor Family from as far back as 1913 and continued until the site was selected by the RAF as a proposed airfield and requisitioned by compulsory purchase. It was the last 8th Air Force heavy bomber station to become operational, with the group - “The Fighting 493rd" aka “Heltons Hellcats” - flying its first mission on D-Day 6th June 1944.

After the US forces left, the site was used first as a POW camp and later for housing displaced persons, before being abandoned in about 1948. It was re-purchased in 1962 by the Taylor family, who returned the land to arable farming. Much of the concrete runways and taxi-ways were taken up, and crushed to use for road building. Both of the T2 hangars were removed before the sale and the northern end of the main runway was sold in 1969.

Many of the buildings on the former Technical site fell into disrepair. For the past 10 years the control tower and associated buildings are being gradually restored by volunteers and now form the 493rd BG Debach Museum. The control tower contains much of its original furnishings and fixtures. A large Nissen hut, another one of the original buildings, houses model planes, toys made by POWs during their stay at Debach, and hospital paraphernalia, amongst other things. A third building houses the Home Front Museum.

The volunteers have done a superb job not only at preserving their WWII buildings but also of re-creating just the right atmosphere. The Museum is well worth visiting > LinkExternal link.
by Evelyn Simak
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14 images use this description:

TM2353 : Debach airfield  - in the control tower by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - Home Front Museum by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - Nissen hut housing one of the museums by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield (disused) by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - in the control tower by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - in the control tower by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - in the control tower by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - Nissen Museum by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - the control tower by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - in the control tower by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - the control tower by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - in the control tower by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - Nissen Museum by Evelyn Simak
TM2353 : Debach airfield  - the control tower by Evelyn Simak


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Created: Wed, 2 Nov 2011, Updated: Wed, 2 Nov 2011

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2011 Evelyn Simak, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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