The Alconbury Explosion

At 20.30 hours on the evening of 27 May 1943, USAAF ground personnel were arming B-17 Flying Fortresses when a 500lb bomb detonated on the flight line at RAF Alconbury. The explosion set off several other bombs. As debris from the blast rained down, the shockwaves travelled hundreds of feet in every direction. In an instant, death and destruction was wrought across the Cambridgeshire airfield.

On the evening of Thursday, 27 May 1943, after delivering some supplies to the maintenance hangars, Ted Penn stood around talking with the men in the dispersal area who were loading 500lb bombs into the

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