The 401st Bomb Group Historical Society.
The 401st Bombardment Group Historical Society is an important part of the history and
traditions of the Group. The Historical Society is comprised of a small group of
history-oriented young Englishmen and their wives who live in towns near
Deenethorpe. As young boys they watched the B-17's of the 401st fly overhead as they
took off and returned from bombing missions during the War.
Individually and collectively they have conducted research into the Group's
activities, collected artifacts associated with the Group and its aircraft, acted as
hosts and guides for veterans who returned to Deenethorpe in the post-war period,
planned and hosted 401st reunions held in England, maintained the 401st Group Memorial located at the site of the airfield and represented the Group in
ceremonies held in England involving the U. S. Air Force.
Members of the Historical Society have attended many of the Association's reunions,
and their role in maintaining the history and traditions has been recognized by making
them Honorary Members of the 401st Bombardment Group Association.
Two former members of the Historical Society who are now deceased deserve special
mention. Mr. S. V. (Vic) Maslen devoted literally thousands of hours prior to his
retirement and all of his free time after retirement into researching and compiling
the records of the 401st Bomb Group in World War II. The result of his efforts is a
series of a dozen volumes detailing the history of each of the Group's four squadrons
and records of individual crews, aircraft and missions -- probably the most complete
and accurate record of any group in the Eighth Air Force. Mr. Ron Sismey, who was an
accomplished local historian and author, was a regular speaker at Association reunions
and a frequent host at functions for 401st veterans at his home in Weldon, a short
distance from the airfield. Their wives carry on as active members of the Historical Society.
Current members of the Society include the following:
Mr. Graham D. Bratley, Chairman
Mr. Ray Corby
Mr. Paul F. Knight
Mrs. Maureen Maslen
Mrs. Brenda E. Sismey
Mr. Bratley can be reached by e-mail at Historical Society