This blog tells the stories of American men and women of the 2nd Air Division, Eighth US Army Air Force, who were stationed in East Anglia during the Second World War, piecing together information discovered in the 2nd Air Division Digital Archive, a unique collection of over 30,000 images of original photographs, letters, memoirs and other documents.
The Digital Archive documents the wartime experiences of Second Air Division personnel and their relationships with British people in their ‘home from home’ in Norfolk and beyond during the War. It is a personal and commemorative collection which contains photographs, diaries, letters, memoirs, sound recordings and other documents donated to the Second Air Division Memorial Library’s archive which is held at the Norfolk Record Office, England.
The Second Air Division
The Second Air Division was one of the three divisions of the Eighth United States Army Air Force. At full strength, it controlled fourteen heavy bomber airfields in Norfolk and northeast Suffolk, and five fighter airfields. Its headquarters was located at Ketteringham Hall in Norfolk. Sadly, nearly 7,000 young Americans in the Second Air Division lost their lives in the line of duty during World War Two.
The Second Air Division Memorial Library
With peace, the Second Air Division chose to honour its casualties through a unique library in Norwich, which would act as an educational and friendship bridge between the United States and the United Kingdom. Located in the landmark Forum building in the centre of Norwich, the Library has a lending collection of over 4,000 books covering all aspects of American life and culture, and a specialist collection devoted to the history of the Second Air Division. For more information, please visit www.2ndair.org.uk.
Would You Like to Contribute?
This blog was created for the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library by one of our volunteers, Nathaniel Sikand-Youngs, a student at the University of East Anglia. If you’d be interested in joining Nathaniel and becoming a 2nd Air Division Stories researcher and blogger we’d be delighted to hear from you.