Forum > WWII Recruiting Area

GI44-45 Living History group [England]

(1/3) > >>

We are a group of UK based living historians who portray the GI of WW2. We aim to organize and attend various WW2 reenactments, engage in high quality living history, educate the public and keep alive the memory of those who made sacrifices during WW2.

Our living history impressions are such that we rebadge to suit an event or scenario. This enables us to avoid portraying just one unit and gives us flexibility to pay homage to ALL the citizen soldiers of WW2.

The purpose of this post is to forge links with other world-wide groups, and to work in partnership, swapping ideas and information. You can join and visit our group forum in England and we would welcome anybody to pay us a visit!

Meanwhile to let you all know that we are out there "doing things", loads of recent posts have been added to the GI44-45 forums reference thread...

Wanna know about who Kilroy was?
How to build a K ration crate?

Follow the hyperlink..

Paul Costin LGOP's


Due to demand, and I'm guessing because Cold winter months are on their way. A new thread has been created on the GI44-45 forum to allow members and non members to dicuss and arrange if they wish, online gaming..

Want to create a WW2 themed team death match? Visit the forum!!

From Ben Major of our group-

Just a few pictures from GI 44-45's recent exhibition at Her Majesty's Prison Sudbury. The prison was used during WW2 by the 108th and 82d General Hospital to treat wounded USAAF personnel. It was officially opened as a prison in 1948, but the buildings are largely still the original ones used by the General Hospitals during WW2.

Our exhibition was set up in the theatre, which was originally built to host the numerous dances and USO shows. The dancefloor is the original, sprung wooden one laid by the builders, and many of the other buildings remain unchanged (apart from a re-render here and there). The walkways around the site are also still there, although their shelters have long since been removed.

This was certainly a different location for a WW2 event, and I think the prison were more than happy with the exhibition. There was a lot of interested mainly from the prison medical staff.

There's a full report to follow, but the pictures below should give a good impression of the event:


On the 28th and 29th November 2009 GI44-45 held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Lincolnsfield children centre, Bushey Hertfordshire (England)

The Lincolnsfields Children?s Centre is based on the original WW2 site of Bushey Hall-Headquarters of the 8th U.S.A.A.F. Fighter Command [Codename AJAX], from 1942 to 1946, as a World War II non-flying facility in England. It was established at a private golf club and was used as a headquarters facility for the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force in the United Kingdom. It was situated close to its Royal Air Force counterpart at RAF Bentley Priory, near Stanmore. It was also known as USAAF station 341.
During the war the facility was also Headquarters United States Strategic Air Forces (USSTAF) during 1944 and 1945, a re-designation of the Eighth Air Force VIII Bomber Command. It is the direct predecessor of the current-day United States Air Force United States Air Forces in Europe. In the Fifties this site then became an important Cold War period Anti Aircraft establishment.

Our thanks go out to the Phil, Chris and all from the First Special Service Force living history group ( ) for enabling our AGM to take place at Bushey. We highly recommend Bushey as a site to use, with great hosts; it?s also conveniently located just off the M1 and M25 motorways.

The site was such that we had the use of wartime buildings and to hold our meeting and take advantage of all that the site offers.

Despite the rain, GI44-45 had the opportunity to take a few pictures inside the Gusville saloon ?somewhere in Europe? and outside. In addition to discussing much in the AGM, we had the chance to socialise, watch some classic DVD?s, participate in a little knowledge check of WW2 (well done Murph!!), and travel into town where we received a warm welcome from the locals. We also had the chance to meet up with our newest member Private Dan O?Dwyer, and thank goodness (for me) as Dan is from down South of England, so I can actually understand what he says, unlike some of our other members, who tend to get a bit ?mardy?.

Great to have you on board Dan, right kit, great attitude and we look forward to meeting up at our next event!

So with the AGM behind us, and our last event of 2009, I am looking forward to what we have planned for 2010! It looks to be a good one.

A sample of what the group got up to.....

The Gusville saloon ?somewhere in Europe?

?On patrol?

Private O?Dwyer gives a lost GI directions to the front..

Latest from our member Ben Major

OK Chaps,

We went down to collect the C-47 on Sunday, and here a few quick shots of it as it is at present. As soon as I have some more to report, I will do!

Close up of the fuselage section on the flatbed prepared for transport and stropping down.

Hooked up to the Land Rover ready for the journey home.

Rudder and Stabliser Control Room section.

Looking up towards the rear of the fuselage. Note the original markings and stencils on the rear bulkhead.

Jump Signal mounting brace. Also at the right of the bracket are the four Lift The Dot fasteners for the Aeronautic First-Aid Kit.

Looking in the jump door. The horizontal ribs are remnants from the plane's time with civil airlines.

Rudder and aileron pulley mechanisms made from fibreboard.

Original ceiling light with control switch in Rudder & Aileron Control Room.

This is probably the first time a C-47 has been reversed down the M23!
Here's how the entire aircraft looked when she flew with the Belgian Air Force:

Here's the brief history that I have been able to research (and the parts which are pertinent). I am in the process of writing to McDonald Douglas in the hope that they'll have an archive, since I now have its original USAAF Serial Number (43-49240):

- Built in 1943 and delivered to USAAF on 11 January 1944
- Transferred to Belgian Air Force 11 October 1946
- December 1952: Temporarily put to disposal of Avimil/Force Publique and based at Ndolo, Congo.
- 10 July 1960: hit in the tail by bullets fired by rebels during landing at Kamina: Pilot Lt.Col. Kreps
- Sold as scrap in April 1979
- Until it was bought in 1986 by a restaurateur in Gitz, the plane's fuselage was used as a pig shed by then owner in Vladslo, West Flanders (Belgium).
- In 2000, it was used for filming a crash scene for Channel 4 series 'Sword of Honour' as FL586/AI (filming at Pinewood)

Total registered flight time: 8395.07 hours

The guy from whom I purchased the fuselage section has the original jump doors that were taken off the plane, so I might be getting them too! If I don't get it restored back to troop carrying condition, it'd make a nice mobile cinema!



[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version