Record Details

NHER Number:33485
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two aircraft crash site


In February 1944, two USAAF B17 bombers crashed after colliding on their return from a bombing mission over Germany. The crew in both aircraft were killed. Most of the wreckage was removed shortly after the incident, but enthusiasts have recovered various items over the years, including a propeller. Channel 4's 'Time Team' excavated the crash site of one of the aircraft in 1998, finding, amongst other things, the two machine guns from the ball turret.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 432 039
Map Sheet:TG40SW

Full description

World War Two aircraft crash site, of a B17 bomber which collided with another. Said to have been partially excavated.
The Time Team are interested, and may commission an auger survey.
D. Gurney (NLA), 27 February 1998.

29 June to 1 July 1998. Excavation.
Excavation by Time Team revealed anticipated stratigraphic sequence and aircraft remains. No archaeological features or worked wood were encountered.
See slides in photograph archive.
See report (S1) for further details. See also geophysical survey report (S2), correspondence (S3), research design and risk assessment (S4) and press cuttings (S5)-(S6). The results of this work are also summarised in (S7).
D. Gurney (NLA), 2 July 1998. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 9 April 2015.

During the transmitted program it was stated the site had been previously excavated by a 'local museum' which has some of the aircraft parts, and that the Time Team finds were mostly to be given to that museum. Which museum was not specified.
E. Rose (NLA), 22 February 1999.

September 1999.
Reference [1] in file describes second excavation at site to uncover the other aircraft involved in the collision; propeller to be preserved at Reedham church.
E. Rose (NLA), 20 September 1999.

April 2007. Norfolk NMP
The crash site is visible as two areas of disturbed ground on aerial photographs dating from 28 May 1944 (S8). However the site was not mapped as part of the Norfolk NMP.
J. Albone (NMP), 19 April 2007

Monument Types

  • AIRCRAFT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • AIRCRAFT CRASH SITE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. A passion to unearth flying history. 9 January.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bellamy, P. 2001. B17 Crash Site, Decoy Carr, Reedham, Norfolk. Investigations by the Time Team, June/July 1998. Terrain Archaeology. 5027.1.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Gater, J. 1998. Reedham Marshes, Norfolk: geophysical survey. GSB Prospection. 98/63.
<S3>Correspondence: Batten, Victoria, Time Team. 1998. Letter to D. Gurney (NLA). 24 June.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Time Team. 1998. Research Design and Risk Asessment.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1998-1999. [Articles on the Time Team excavation].
<S6>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. Marshes surrender secrets of air crash. 20 September.
<S7>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1999. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1998. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt II pp 369-387. p 381.
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1944. RAF 106G/UK/LA/15 4013-4 28-MAY-1944 (NMR).

Related records - none

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