384th Museum at Grafton Underwood

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Where the Project is:
Because changes in banking operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevent the opening of new accounts - the necessary final step to apply for charity status - the Friends of the 384th plan to apply for such status are on hold. See details at the bottom of the page.

The Friends of the 384th in England have joined together to establish a Museum on the grounds of the original Grafton Underwood Airfield. They have determined that, of the few remaining structures on the field, the Operations Block building provides the best starting point for their their Museum exhibit space. Much will need to be done to make it structurally sound and fit for adding artifacts and displays, but with the diverse skills and backgrounds of the Friends - and with a lot of help* - they should accomplish their goal, to

Keep The Show On The Road

FRIENDS OF THE 384TH TO BUILD 384TH BOMB GROUP MUSEUM

For a pictorial overview of the area being developed as a Museum, including wartime photos, current photos of the Site, and renderings of planned development, visit Friends of the 384thon the Photo Gallery. Also learn more about their plans and progress on their Facebook.

Grafton Underwood Airfield Operations Block - Original Plans from 1944


Ops Block

This is the original layout of the Ops Block Area at Grafton Underwood Airfield, which the Friends of the 384th refer to as the "Site". Orientation is "north-up."

  1. Picket Post
  2. Station H.Q. Offices: Two Nissen Huts connected by an enclosed passageway.
  3. Operations Block
  4. Crew Briefing Room Annexe: West Nissen Hut
  5. Interrogation & Office Annexe: East Nissen Hut
  6. Latrine
  7. Latrine
  8. M. & L. Plinth
  9. Bombsight Store and Workshop

Development Key
  • YELLOW: Initial new construction, to be visitor center (Nissen Hut #2) and display/work space (Nissen Hut #5)

  • GREEN: Initial rehabilitation of existing structure

  • BLUE: Future new construction for additional display areas

  • RED: Future rehabilitation of existing structure

 

Grafton Underwood Airfield Operations Block - Then and Now

THEN

Ops Block

A distant view to the north-northwest of the Operations Block. The Nissen Huts in the foreground house the Station H.Q. Offices.

Ops Block

A closer view, with a slightly more Northwesterly view direction.

Ops Block

A close-up view in the Northeasterly direction.

NOW

Ops Block

This is an aerial view of the Southwest corner, looking toward the Northeast. The Station H.Q. Offices Nissen Huts were at the lower right. This original WWII building is the focus of the Friends of the 384th project to establish a museum. It will be rehabilitated and will become the focus of historical displays. New Nissen Huts will be constructed on original foundations nearby to use as a visitor centre, offices, and workshops.

Ops Block

Ground-level view of the Southwest corner. Station H.Q. Offices would extend to the right in front - to the South of - the main building. The concrete foundation on the left is the base of the longest Nissen Hut, which was used for debriefing and offices, and which would be the second Nissen Hut rebuilt

 

*How Can we Help?

The Museum Project will be costly, so financial support will be essential. Although the Museum is expected to gain recognition as a Charity and will qualify to receive some funding thereby, additional contributions will be necessary.

Neill Howarth has accumulated some funds from individuals (which are safely locked away), and will welcome additional financial support as soon as he is able to open a proper bank account for the organization. This account, by the way, is a key element necessary to apply for charity status in the UK, and the status of that, according to Neill is "We are still applying for a bank account, in the UK we will have to open a business account even as a charity, ALL banks are currently not opening new business accounts due to the COVID-19 situation." So for now, set your contributions aside and wait for the banks to return to normal, or...

Neill Howarth has now created a PayPal account to receive monetary donations on behalf of the Friends of the 384th; send any PayPal contributions to neillhowarth@gmail.com.

10 January 2021: Neill says the bank account may be in place this month!