Crosby

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - YOUR PROJECTS -

pho­to­graphs of the very young men and women who were in the front line or served in the vi­tal back-up roles over 70 years ago.

The sta­tis­tics are ab­so­lutely awe-in­spir­ing: at its peak strength in 1944, the USAAF em­ployed 450,000 Amer­i­cans in Bri­tain. We im­me­di­ately think of fighter pi­lots or bomber crews, but the ma­jor­ity of th­ese men and women were en­gaged in the sup­port tasks so nec­es­sary to keep the air­craft fly­ing. Nearly 30,000 never made it home. I dis­cov­ered, for in­stance, that in the rail­way sta­tion at At­tle­bor­ough in Nor­folk there’s a me­mo­rial tablet that reads: “Ded­i­cated to the men of the 452nd Bomb Group who sac­ri­ficed their lives in the Se­cond World War that the ideals of democ­racy might live.”

Even if you have no di­rect in­volve­ment in the USAAF and its story, there are fas­ci­nat­ing and thought-pro­vok­ing paths to ex­plore here. Read­ing the hu­man sto­ries is es­sen­tial – look at the words of 90-year-old Au­drey Paschal and I guar­an­tee you will be in­tensely moved ( amer­i­canair mu­seum.com/per­son/239943).

You can go on to read in­di­vid­ual sto­ries, study pho­tos, add your own ma­te­rial or edit the ex­ist­ing ac­counts. To do this, you need to log in, but that’s sim­ple and costs noth­ing.

The mu­seum en­thu­si­as­ti­cally en­cour­ages con­tri­bu­tions from the pub­lic. Why not check your area or fam­ily and per­haps add your own ma­te­rial?

Read­ing the hu­man sto­ries is es­sen­tial and I guar­an­tee that you

will be in­tensely moved

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