486 Bomb Group

Perfect timing….my family decides to come over in the middle of the end of term two. So all the papers and projects that are due have to be put on hold as we go to Sudbury, England for my Grandfather’s WWII reunion for the 486th Bomb Group. No stress.

Because many of the men are in their 80’s and this was most likely going to be their last return to Sudbury where they were stationed, I felt it was a worthy excuse to add extra stress to my rapidly approaching deadlines. This trip meant a lot to my grandfather and it was really nice to be able to share it with him, which I would not have been able to do had I not been conveniently studying in London this year.

I used the trip as an excuse to practice with medium format as a reportage tool and for portraits. The reportage was slow…and some of my focusing was off….and the portraits would have been better if I used a tripod….but I really enjoyed using a new camera (many thanks to Ed Thompson who let me borrow his 6×6) and I discovered I like the square format, and I like the waist level view finder….important to know as I am on the hunt for my perfect medium format camera.

Here are a few….



It was my first British festival….I loved the obsessions people had….like minature tractors of course.


I discovered dogs are hard to photograph with a medium format camera….but easier with fat bulldogs.


My wonderful grandparents Bob and Sally Harper.

My favorite veteran to photograph.

For this portrait I learned not to assume….I assumed they were a couple….so I had them hold hands in the front for one pose…they were a little awkward getting into the pose and admitted they probably didn’t hold hands like that often, which made sense when I learned at dinner they were father and daughter…..opps.

One of the best aspects of the weekend was meeting the children who grew up in Sudbury and who spent time at the air field helping the soldiers and watching the planes fly to and from their missions in Germany. They came to share their memories with the veterans. The lady on the right was one of those children. She told us about a plane she built herself and how she believes it flew more missions than any of the planes these men flew.

About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

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