One of three divisions of the Eighth United States Army Air Force (USAAF), at its full strength the organisation controlled 14 heavy bomber airfields in Norfolk and north-east Suffolk, along with five fighter airfields. Sadly, nearly 7,000 of its personnel lost their lives in the line of duty between 1942 and 1945.
Split into sections such as ‘Aircraft and Equipment’, ‘Places’ and ‘War and Remembrance’, notable documents found by browsing the site include a mission diary kept by Richard Vincent of the 445th Bomb Group (Tibenham), plus letters of condolence received following a fatal training session crash that killed nine crew.
However, the resource also provides access to more lighthearted records, showing the close links between the airmen and local communities. An entire sub-section is devoted to war brides and weddings, while an extensive photo gallery reveals how airmen held a rodeo event at Norwich City FC’s Carrow Road ground.
The digitization of these records has been made possible through a generous donation from the legacy of Bernard Newmark, a veteran of the 458th Bomb Group (Horsham St Faith) made through the Second Air Division Memorial Trust.