Gallery: Do you recognise these American servicemen and women who were stationed here during the Second World War?

Bombardier Lieutenant Harry R Erickson (1920�), 97th Bomb Group, July 1942

Bombardier Lieutenant Harry R Erickson (1920�), 97th Bomb Group, July 1942 - Credit: Archant

Thousands of photos from a late East Anglian aviation historian have been published online as part of an appeal for help in identifying people in them.

A new website about the US Army Air Forces has been launched by the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.

It wants to create a record of US airmen and women who served in Britain during the Second World War.

The American Air Museum website has been launched with 5,000 images from the collection of Roger Freeman, an aviation historian from Suffolk who collected more than 15,000 prints and slides before his death aged 77 in 2005.

Born in Ipswich, Mr Freeman grew up in Dedham and wrote more than 60 books on aviation history, with a particular interest in the American Eighth Airforce which was based at Boxted Airfield during the conflict.


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The museum hopes by publishing the images people can share their memories.

Jenny Cousins, project leader at the Imperial War Museum, said: “Some of the photographs on our website show the Americans talking to local children during the Second World War.

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“Perhaps someone using our website will recognise their grandma or, better still, perhaps she will recognise herself.

“We hope that people will add their own pictures and tell us their stories.”

The website is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which awarded £980,000 to the project in December 2013.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF in the East of England, said: “The American Air Museum at Imperial War Museum Duxford has possibly the best collection of US military aircraft outside the USA.

“Now this project will not only overhaul the displays and galleries, it will also bring many fascinating stories to life, hopefully through vivid photography and stories of local communities just waiting to be told.

“We encourage as many people to come forward and get involved as possible.”

Discover the American Air Museum website here

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