Boxted Airfield Museum to open with new exhibitions

Essex County Standard: Boxted Airfield Museum to open with new exhibitions Boxted Airfield Museum to open with new exhibitions

The contents of a battered old suitcase which revealed the story of one of Boxted Airfield’s American pilots will be this year’s star exhibition at the museum.

The story of Robert Silva will be told at the airfield museum in Langham, where up to 3,000 American servicemen were based.

The 23-year-old was based at the airfield during the Second World War before he was killed when his plane came down in bad weather over the Channel.

He had been escorting the first daytime bombing raid to Berlin on March 4, 1944 but neither his body nor the wreckage of his place were ever found.

His mum put all his possessions, including 100 letters he had written home, his Purple Heart medal and the telegram informing her of his death, in an old suitcase on top of a wardrobe.

His nephew, Bruce Henderson, who is a best selling American author, has now donated the suitcase to the Boxted Airfield Historical group, which runs the museum.

Chairman Richard Turner said: “The family agreed for it to be in our safekeeping for evermore, it is fantastic and will give a lovely personal story.

“This is the new exhibition with a really strong story attached to it.”

The museum will hold its first open day of the year on Sunday between 10am and 4pm.

For more information visit boxted-airfield.com

Comments (3)

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2:40pm Tue 25 Mar 14

25414nora says...

Boxted Aerodrome was a us air force base 1939 - 44. The RAF moved in
1944 - 47.
Then Colchester borough Council used the site for housing the homeless
1947 to well into the 1950's I can remember the site consisted of many Nissen huts (rounded roof corrugated huts) Families were moved into these huts (damp freezing in the winter) and boiling hot in summer
At the time the Shrub End and Monkwick housing estates were being built.
As these modern homes were going up, families from the huts were being moved in. I recall moving into our brand new 4 bedroomed council house in Boadicea way, with my mum, dad, and siblings.. Having my own bedroom, inside toilet & fully fitted bathroom, large garden was fabulous. all this was thanks to the massive house building programme by the labour government... 'Alas how things have changed'..... .
Boxted Aerodrome was a us air force base 1939 - 44. The RAF moved in 1944 - 47. Then Colchester borough Council used the site for housing the homeless 1947 to well into the 1950's I can remember the site consisted of many Nissen huts (rounded roof corrugated huts) Families were moved into these huts (damp freezing in the winter) and boiling hot in summer At the time the Shrub End and Monkwick housing estates were being built. As these modern homes were going up, families from the huts were being moved in. I recall moving into our brand new 4 bedroomed council house in Boadicea way, with my mum, dad, and siblings.. Having my own bedroom, inside toilet & fully fitted bathroom, large garden was fabulous. all this was thanks to the massive house building programme by the labour government... 'Alas how things have changed'..... . 25414nora
  • Score: 4

11:03pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Boris says...

Clement Attlee was our greatest ever peacetime prime minister, assisted by his ministers, including Aneurin Bevan (who was responsible for housing as well as health). They laid the foundations of our modern state. Tory governments after Attlee continued building council houses (Macmillan was building 300,000 council houses per year in the early 1960s). Then came divisiveness and destruction under Margaret Thatcher from 1979, and it has been downhill ever since.
Clement Attlee was our greatest ever peacetime prime minister, assisted by his ministers, including Aneurin Bevan (who was responsible for housing as well as health). They laid the foundations of our modern state. Tory governments after Attlee continued building council houses (Macmillan was building 300,000 council houses per year in the early 1960s). Then came divisiveness and destruction under Margaret Thatcher from 1979, and it has been downhill ever since. Boris
  • Score: 2

6:52am Wed 26 Mar 14

Jon-Vencato says...

There is two quite prolific and truthful posts above and what exciting times they must have been.
I was born in the whirlwind of 1961. All I saw was a very odd and peculiar late 60's with a man landing on the moon. Then came a very confusing and extremely diverse and creative era, ranging from ziggy stardust to strikes, power cuts and fuel crisis. gary glitter, slade, mud, david cassidy, of course donny followed by clacker glass ball games and tank top jumpers.
I agree with Boris 1979 was not a pleasant opening to the modern era.
A lovely post from a bygone era Nora+
There is two quite prolific and truthful posts above and what exciting times they must have been. I was born in the whirlwind of 1961. All I saw was a very odd and peculiar late 60's with a man landing on the moon. Then came a very confusing and extremely diverse and creative era, ranging from ziggy stardust to strikes, power cuts and fuel crisis. gary glitter, slade, mud, david cassidy, of course donny followed by clacker glass ball games and tank top jumpers. I agree with Boris 1979 was not a pleasant opening to the modern era. A lovely post from a bygone era Nora+ Jon-Vencato
  • Score: 2

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