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