Friday, 31 August 2012

Halesworth Open day Sunday 26 August - 56th FG museum

Recently spent some time at my brother-in-law's place in Framlingham, Suffolk - a beautiful part of the country, full of history - and neat aviation museums. While I was there I went up to the Halesworth 56th FG museum and bumped into Nigel Julian, webmaster of the 56th FG web site and Buzz Took, below, who runs the 56th FG museum on what is left of the old airfield, nowadays owned by Bernard Matthews Ltd.

Not only did I get a personal tour of the museum and the chance to peruse the museum's extensive photo collection on Saturday prior to the Open Day courtesy of Buzz and Nigel, but on the Sunday met Krys Lanowski, son of 56th FG pilot Witold 'Lanny' Lanowski.

 Nigel Julian and Krys Lanowski in the 56th FG museum library at Halesworth, Sunday 26 August 2012

The story of Lanny's amazing wartime career is fully recounted in the seminal book by Danny Morris 'Aces and Wingmen'. Having flown Spitfires with the RAF the Polish pilot was brought to the 56th early in 1944 by Gabreski  - but was never 'officially' recruited as a USAF pilot. He subsequently flew with the 56th without pay throughout the war - rather than accept an instructor's position with the RAF. He achieved four victories in combat and only received his back pay years later after a long campaign. He sadly passed away some 17 years ago.

Model of Lanny's black 'M' built by Nigel Julian. Just visible, the lucky horseshoe 'welded' to the airframe under the windshield!

Late on the Sunday afternoon Maurice Hammond sent over his two P-51s from Hardwick for a flypast/demo - marvellous!

Above; screen clip depicting a 56th FG briefing - note the red line stretching from Halesworth, Suffolk out over the North Sea. "Ramrod to Emden" depicting the Razorbacks of the 56th FG departing on a mission from Halesworth is available to view at this link


  1. Nice blog, was good to meet you. I will be a regular attendee at the museum. I have s few more bits to add to the exhibit. Hope to see you again soon
    Krys Lanowski