Hardwick Aerodrome was home to the 93rd Bomb Group. Within this group were 4 squadrons: 328th, 329th, 330th, and the 409th. Robert and his crew were assigned to the 328th Squadron.
Robert would have lived with the 5 other enlisted men inside a Nissen hut. They would eat, sleep, train, relax, and prepare for their missions together. The bond that would grow between these men no civilian can truly understand.
Some of the original structures at Hardwick still stand to this day, yet most of the land once loaned to the Army Air Force has been reclaimed for farming. The barracks are no longer filled with exhausted airmen after a long mission over the skies of Europe, drinks no longer flow in the Officer's Club celebrating those who came back and remembering those who didn't, and the nervous chatter of airmen awaiting today's mission details in the briefing room can no longer be heard, but the spirit of these men live on.
Below you will find an aerial video of the airbase along with a gallery of photographs. Robert and his crew would have walked through these very buildings on 18 October 1943.
93rd Bomb Group
The 93rd Bomb Group was self-nicknamed Ted's Travelling Circus after their beloved commander Edward "Ted" Timberlake and the fact that they seemed to travel to temporary bases every few months. The group is probably best known for its time operating out of Libya. During its stint in Benghazi, the group participated in the notorious Ploesti raid on 1 August 1943. This was a daring low-level raid on the Romanian oil fields. The 93rd Bomb Group lost 11 of the 37 bombers that participated in this raid. The Group flew 396 missions in 8,169 sorties and dropped 19,004 tons of bombs with 100 aircraft MIA.