Museum thanks airman for efforts

John Dean from the tower association presents Geoffrey Lemaster with a book in recognition of his help in organising teams of US servicemen from RAF Mildenhall to help with maintenance at the airfield.
John Dean from the tower association presents Geoffrey Lemaster with a book in recognition of his help in organising teams of US servicemen from RAF Mildenhall to help with maintenance at the airfield.

A RETURNING American airman has been thanked for the help he has given a museum in memory of his countrymen’s war service.

Master Sergeant Jeffrey LeMaster discovered the Rougham Tower Museum, in the wartime control tower, in 2008 while on the airfield with Suffolk Kite Club.

Since then, he has led a team of 44 USAF volunteers who have done everything from painting Nissen huts to pulling tree stumps. So on Sunday the Rougham Tower Association thanked him for his work before he leaves for a new posting in Nebraska on March 19.

The museum records the presence of the Eighth United States Army Air Force’s bombers at Rougham from 1942.

MSgt LeMaster, from Wichita, Kansas, is section chief reconnaissance operations of the 488th Intelligence Squadron at RAF Mildenhall.

He explained: “We’re part of the 55th Wing which used to be part of the Eighth Air Force. It’s our flying heritage, our boys were over here doing the job.”

John Dean, of the RTA, presented him with local author Clifford Hall’s Pictorial History of the Men and Aircraft of the 94th Bombardment Group. The 94th moved to Rougham in 1943.

The museum opens on Sundays from May to October.