Pinpoint Britain has teamed up with Visit East Anglia as it embarks on its new project called The Friendly Invasion, themed on World War Two support to the UK by the US Air Force. Most of the half a million US military personnel were based in and around the airfields and villages in various parts of East Anglia and their presence is still evident.
The itineraries will include airfields which are now small museums dedicated to the Bomber Groups based in the area, the American Museum at Duxford, the American Cemetery near Cambridge, and The Swan at Lavenam, where original air crewsignatures dating back to 1944 are inscribed on the walls in the Airman’s Bar.
Five- and seven-night tours are aimed at US veterans and their families, and the Bomber Group divisions based in the USA, many of whom have East Anglia ‘supporting associations’. It is recognised that within these families there are generations who have a hunger and respect for their fighting relatives and will welcome this opportunity to combine family history with general tourism.
Pinpoint Britain Director Tricia Handley-Hughes, said “There are many poignant stories that derive from these tours and with The Friendly Invasion, we have identified an enormous appetite for World War Two ancestry and tourists wanting to visit the airfields that played home to heroic names such as James Steward and Glen Miller. Ex-pilots will even have the opportunity to relive the past by flying a B17 over East Anglia from a simulator. These tours fit our brand perfectly, as they are niche, bespoke and packed with heritage and culture – and we’re delighted to be among the first to be part of this programme.”
Ann Steward, Project Manager for The Friendly Invasion, said, “The Friendly Invasion brings together collaboration between Visit Essex, Visit Suffolk, Visit Cambridge, and Visit Norfolk, together with IWM Duxford, The American Cemetary and 2nd Air Division Memorial Library to promote and celebrate the support from the USAAF; without the Americans many of us would not be here today. We have been working closely with The World War II Museum in New Orleans and with Bomber Groups in the UK and USA who have expressed their keen interest in this project. We are very confident that this will boost tourism to East Anglia and draw attention to many of our hidden secrets.”