Masters of the Air - Private Tours

Follow in the footsteps of the US Eighth Air Force on our Masters of the Air - Private Tour.

On this tour you will visit the Imperial War Museum and American Air Museum at Duxford, three Bomber Group airfields, two Fighter Group airfields, and the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial.

Masters of the Air Tour

The best way to explore the US 8th Air Force airfields in the East of England

Our expert led tour follows in the footsteps of the "Masters of the Air", the US Eighth Air Force, during the Second World War.

It includes includes visiting three Bomber Group airfields - Snetterton, Old Buckenham, and Thorpe Abbots, and two Fighter Group airfields - Steeple Morden, and Bottisham, as well as Imperial War Museum and American Air Museum at Duxford, and the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial.

Listen to our historian as tell you the story of the US Airmen who flew their missions from the East of England on the ground over which they trod. 

D-Day Tour Film Strip

Day 1:

You are collected from London and driven to Steeple Morden, the airfield from which the 355th Fighter Group flew the P-47 Thunderbolt and later P-51 Mustang escorting the Mighty Eighth Air Force's Bomber Groups. The 355th destroyed more enemy aircraft by ground strafing than any other Eighth Air Force fighter group.

From Steeple Morden, we head to the Imperial War Museum and American Air Museum at Duxford where your historian will introduce to the the Masters of the Air. Here, you get a chance to see the aircraft in which they flew and get lunch in one of its two cafés.

From the IWM at Duxford, we head to Bury Saint Edmunds and our tour hotel.

The evening is spent at your leisure and dinner can be taken at your hotel in one of the many nearby restaurants.

Day 2:

You are collected from the reception of our tour hotel following your breakfast and taken on a one-hour 'Masters of the Air' walking tour in Bury Saint Edmunds.

After your walking tour, we head to Snetterton, the home of the 96th Bomb Group that suffered the highest loss rate of any Eighth Air Force bomb group during the war.

Our next stop is Old Buckenham, the airfield from which the 453rd Bomb Group flew. The 453rd Bomb Group began combat on 5 February 1944 with an attack against an airfield at Tours. Major Jimmy Stewart, of Hollywood fame, was Group Operations Officer at Old Buckenham, from March to June 1944. Walter Matthau served as a radioman-gunner at Old Buckenham. You can get lunch at Old Buckenham's Liberator café.

After lunch, we head to Thorpe Abbots, the airfield from which the 100th Bomb Group flew their missions. ‘The Bloody Hundredth’, who are the focus of the ‘Masters of the Air’ series, flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Thorpe Abbotts between June 1943 and May 1945 and got their nickname because of their reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many aircraft during a single mission.

After an opportunity to the visit the Thorpe Abbots Airfield's Museum we return to our tour hotel in Bury Saint Edmunds.

Day 3:

You are collected from the reception of our tour hotel following your breakfast and taken to Bottisham, the airfield from which the 361st Fighter Group flew their escort mission between January 1944 and the end of the war in May 1945. Initially equipped with the P-47 Thunderbolt, the 361st Fighter Group converted to the P-51 Mustang in May 1944.

Lunch today is taken at an English pub.

From Bottisham, we continue our tour by visiting the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial. Cambridge American Cemetery contains the graves of 3,811 US war dead and the Memorial records the names of 5,127 on its Walls of the Missing. Most died in the Battle of the Atlantic or in the strategic air bombardment of northwest Europe.

Following our visit to the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, we head into Cambridge to the Eagle Public House where we have lunch before back heading to London where we end our tour.

Please note: Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. Any changes will be advised closer to the time of departure.

From £885.00 GBP* per person

* This price is based upon:

  • Pick-up and drop-off from your tour hotel
  • Six people touring
  • Travel in a dedicated tour vehicle driven by our expert battlefield historian.
  • Two people sharing a twin room.

Costs may vary from those shown above due to the availability and selection of hotels, and other associated cost variations at the time of booking.

A supplement of £330.00 GBP applies where single occupancy is required.

An additional supplement may apply for anniversary dates to cover any increase in the associated costs.

A deposit of 30% per person is required on booking.

Booking indicates your acceptance of our Standard Terms and Conditions.

To enquire about a tour please complete this form

Why Travel With In The Footsteps®

In The Footsteps Tours Limited have 20 years’ experience in designing and providing top quality tours to destinations across the United Kingdom, Europe, and many other destinations around the world. Our award-winning service is second to none and our team of historians and guides are recognised for their excellence. On an In The Footsteps® tour you can be sure that your enjoyment and satisfaction are guaranteed.

In The Footsteps Tours Limited activities are bound by the Package Travel and Linked Arrangements Regulations 2018 and all monies paid to us are held in a Travel Trust Association holding account. Our tours are ATOL protected where a flight is included within your package and covered by the TTA's Standalone Safe Seat Plan Guarantee if your packages does not include a flight.

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  • In The Footsteps Tours Limited
  • 5 Abbotts Close
  • Greytree
  • Ross-on-Wye
  • Herefordshire
  • HR9 7GQ
  • United Kingdom

  • Registered Number: 15460642

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