Airmen from the USAAF base about half a mile away would frequently visit the church in the difficult years of 1943, '44 and '45. 116 aircraft (B24 Liberators) were lost during those years – one for every two missions flown – and a total of 625 personnel lost their lives.
The photograph is of the war memorial stone, which is just outside the church's main door. Inside there is a book of remembrance listing the names of all those who died.
One hears many stories from those times of airmen and their activities, and a deep gratitude exists for the often sacrificial part they played in defending this country during WWII. Little more than 10 minutes' walk away through the woods is the 389th Bombardment Group Memorial Exhibition. Run by enthusiastic locals, most of whom have personal memories of the Americans in Hethel, it is open on the second Sunday of each month between April – October, from 10am to 4pm, or at other times by special arrangement. Their web presence is at https://hethel389th.wordpress.com/.