Knew The Fallen?
This Memorial is erected as a reminder that they ‘unselfishly gave their tomorrows to us
NEVER CAME HOME
KILLED IN ACTION
"They had no tomorrow, Instead they unselfishly gave it to us"
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RAF Downham Market
Opened in July 1942, RAF Downham Market was built to a Class A specification.
History of Downham Market
Located in the county of West-Norfolk, England, RAF Downham Market was an important tactical Second World War bomber station.
RAF Downham Market Memorial
Squadron leader Ian Willoughby Bazalgette V.C., D.F.C. of 635 squadron and Pilot Officer Arthur Louis Aaron V.C., D.F.M. of 218 Squadron were awarded posthumously the Victoria Cross, the highest award for valour during the Second World War.
In March 1944 a new chapter in the airfields history commenced when the station came under the control 8 Group Path Finder Force. Aircrews from 635 ‘Pathfinder’ Squadron No. 8 Group Bomber Command, flew from RAF Downham Market from March 1944 to September 1945. Each aircrew risked death, injury or capture night after night, the odds of being shot down were very high. Flying their AVRO Lancaster Mk I, III’s, B III’s and IV’s in the pitch black of night, the squadron carried out countless operations for the Pathfinder force marking and bombing German strongholds in occupied Europe. Coned by search lights, hit with heavy flak and preyed upon by German Night Fighters, the aircrews achieved momentous operational results. The squadron achieved its highest honour being detailed as the Master Bomber of 88 strategic operations leading other Pathfinder squadrons and Main force squadrons into battle. Sadly this was to cost the squadron dearly, losing a total of 42 aircraft and 304 airmen from March 1944 to May 1945. The average age of the aircrews was 18 - 25 years. Squadron Leader I. W. Bazelgette, was a shining example, posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, Bazelgette was one of the only three Victoria Crosses awarded to airmen from 8 Group Pathfinder Force.