News

Wing leadership delivers flag to original home

Col. David Berg, 55th Wing vice commander, presents a U.S. flag to a group of locals to be placed at the former runway at
U.S. Army Air Forces station 131 in Nuthampstead, England. The abandoned airfield was home to the 55th Pursuit Group during World War II. (Courtesyphoto)

Col. David Berg, 55th Wing vice commander, presents a U.S. flag to a group of locals to be placed at the former runway at U.S. Army Air Forces station 131 in Nuthampstead, England. The abandoned airfield was home to the 55th Pursuit Group during World War II. (Courtesyphoto)

NUTHAMPSTEAD, England --

Back in 1943, the newly-formed 55th Fighter Group called Nuthampstead, United States Army Air Forces station 131, home during World War II.

Today, Nuthampstead is a quiet village and civil parish where an abandoned airstrip remains, harking back to its glory days.

In the early 1980s, the 398th Bombardment Group, another unit who called this patch of land home during World War II, started a tradition of posting a U.S. flag on the runway’s lone flagpole.

Due to many, many years of seasonal changes, Old Glory had become tattered and beat down. When learning of this, the 55th Wing leadership team decided it needed to do something about it.

“We’re extremely proud of our heritage and when we heard of the flag and its condition, we knew we wanted to provide them a new flag to fly,” said Col. Marty Reynolds, 55th Wing commander.

The opportunity presented itself last month when 55th Wing Vice Commander, Col. David Berg, and Chief Master Sgt. Michael Morris, was on a trip visiting the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron, headquartered about an hour south of Nuthampstead at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, U.K.

 With the help of the squadron historian, Maj. Cary McCreary, they liaised with the historical society and museum curators at Nuthamstead and presented the flag.

 “It was an absolute honor to present them with a new flag,” said Berg. “I can’t thank the locals there enough for keeping the memory of the fighter and bomber groups, who called Nuthamstead home, alive. They are just another example of why our two countries maintain such a special relationship.”

“It’s great that the memory of the Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth in England is alive and well,” Morris said. “We owe a huge thank you to those folks for carrying the torch.”