Six Handley Page Hampden Mark Is of a squadron of No. 5 Group RAF, flying south-west in formation over the airfield at Syerston, Nottinghamshire. Between December 1941 and April 1942, Syerston underwent considerable expansion. The airfield was closed to flying so that concrete runways could be laid, as can be seen at lower right where construction of the main runway has commenced.
Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based there with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Their job was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry.