Sculthorpe Airfield. Photo dated 31 January 1946.

Sculthorpe is a village and civil parish in the county of Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. The village is situated some 4 km (2.5 mi) north-west of Fakenham and 5 km (3.1 mi) south-east of South Creake.

Sculthorpe in The Hot War[]

In 1951, Sculthorpe was the home of an airbase that housed both the RAF and the USAF.[1] Sculthorpe's population of flyers benefited nearby Fakenham, as off-duty pilots frequented Fakenham's pubs, including the Owl and Unicorn.[2]

The Soviets launched a bombing raid on Sculthorpe in April 1951, using conventional explosives, rather than atomic weapons.[3] The attack was one of several on airfields in the U.K. that actually proved more nuisances than truly destructive.[4] Nonetheless, Sculthorpe itself saw one American barracks damaged, plus several planes and its runways. One American in the barracks, Bruce McNulty, was quite lucky: he was blown from his cot through the window, and only received a cut on the cheek.[5]

Sculthorpe remained important to the war effort until September 11, 1951, when the Soviets deployed an atom bomb. Sculthorpe base and nearby Fakenham were destroyed in the explosion. Bruce McNulty, who'd survived the first attack, was twice lucky, as he was on a mission when the attack came.[6]


  1. Bombs Away, pgs. 41-42
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid., pg. 278.
  4. Ibid., pg. 280.
  5. Ibid., pg. 281.
  6. Fallout, loc. 2428-2487.