Whilst visiting Norfolk recently I made the acquaintance of the new owner of Bylaugh Hall, which in WW2 was the Officers' Mess for 226 Squadron, stationed at nearby Swanton Morley. Then Bylaugh Hall became headquarters for RAF 2 Bomber Command Group in November 1943.

The first Allied Bombing Raid of WW2 was planned here, and the first Allied mission took off from nearby Swanton Morley - confirmed in 226 Squadron ORB - on 29th June 1942. the first time since 1918 the Americans had flown from England.

Local tradition would have it that five days later, on 4th July 1942, the second Allied bombing raid, which also took off from Swanton Morley, was possibly attended by both Winston Churchill and General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Does anyone have any corroborative material to support Churchill's presence that day ?

Historian Martin Bowman, as always, has excellent detail for Bomber Command sorties flown in June/July 1942, and states categorically that General Dwight D Eisenhower was there that morning..
"General Dwight D Eisenhower, newly arrived in England to command the US forces in the European theatre of operations, was at Swanton Morley to see them off at around 07.10."

In June 1942, 226 Squadron at Swanton Morley hosted the crews of the 15th light bombardment Squadron USAAF, who being the only American unit in the UK at the time, and with Independence Day looming, were needed for a flag-waving curtain raiser to the American offensive in Europe. The combined operation involving six Bostons with RAF crews from 226, and six Bostons with USAAF crews, was supposed to be a propaganda coup on Independence day, but three crews were KIA

In his 'Reich Intruders’ Martin Bowman, writes that the most amazing piece of flying was carried out by Captain Charles Kegelman (in Boston III AL750 'Z')
"Kegelman's starboard engine took a direct hit and burst into flames and the propeller flew off. The right wing tip struck the ground, and the fuselage actually bounced on the surface of the De Kooy aerodrome, tearing a hole in the belly of the bomber. Lifting the Boston back into the air on one engine, Kegelman headed for the Channel. A flak tower on Den Helder airfield opened up, and the young captain returned fire with his nose guns. He lifted the Boston over the tower and headed for England with the right engine on fire. The fire went out over the channel, and Kegelman continued home to Swanton Morley hugging the waves across the North Sea, a feat that earned him the DSC. Flight Lieutenant ‘Yogi’ Yates-Earl and his observer P/O Ken Houghton were awarded the DFC, and gunner Sgt Ted Leaver the DFM, for their part in the attack on Bergen-Alkmaar airfield.

Charles Kegelman rose rapidly in the USAAF and by November 1943 he was in command of 337 Fighter Group at Sarasota Florida as a full Colonel. Sadly he was killed on March 10th 1945 when he was involved in a mid air collision with his own wing man. Kegelman Airfield in Cherokee Oklahoma is named in his memory.

In addition, there is a photograph taken years later of Colonel Leo Hawel USAAF, who piloted one of the RAF Bostons on the raid of 4th July 1942, standing in front of a painting of Charles Kegelman and his ‘wing tip bouncing off the aerodrome’ published in March 24th 1995 'Royal Air Force News.” This painting hung in the 226 Officers’ Mess at Swanton Morley. The RAF news story from 1995 Colonel Leo Hawel said, “Ike visited the station in the days leading up to the 'raid’ to see how the crews were coping on their diet of low level bombing practices."

There’s mention of Winston Churchill in the story published in that edition of RAF News, saying that WSC was a 'regular visitor' to Bylaugh Hall ‘and the airfield.' but he wasn't mentioned specifically as being present on 4th July 1942.

But I believe WSC enjoyed showing up unexpectedly in various airfields in the Battle of Britain.
Would he have been there ? Could he have been there ? Was he there ? ... ….