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Nostalgia - Mildenhall airbase sees parachute mock raid



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In 1952, people from Holywell Row were spending a quiet afternoon enjoying the sun when four strange-looking aircraft circled over the village. Suddenly the air was thick with parachutists as they spilled over the fields.

The raid on the American airbase at Mildenhall had commenced.

It was the first among a series of raids which would be carried out by British soldiers on American air bases that summer.

In 1952 nearly 200 parachutes dropped in for mock battle at an American airbase in Mildenhall
In 1952 nearly 200 parachutes dropped in for mock battle at an American airbase in Mildenhall

The exercises would test both the tactics of the raiders and the aerodrome defences.

The troops were of the 16th Airborne Division, about half of them had war service and there were several National Servicemen amongst them.

More raids by British soldiers would be carried out that summer
More raids by British soldiers would be carried out that summer

On landing, the paratroopers discarded their parachutes, formed into three platoons and began a mock attack on the airbase.

The operation had the code name of 'Slipstream.'

One of the parachutists landed in a tree
One of the parachutists landed in a tree
The operation was called 'Slipstream'
The operation was called 'Slipstream'