The AAM team and our committed volunteers are in the midst of cataloguing the 1000s of photographs that make up the Roger Freeman Collection. One of the main aims of the cataloguing process is to identify as many of the men and women in the photographs as possible.
The prints and slides themselves carry varying levels of information. The best ones are those that carry a legible story written by the USAAF veteran himself in which he has explained who is in the picture on the reverse; names can then be traced using unit histories and online memorial registers. Official captions on the back of prints can be trickier, giving the appearance of verified information, whilst in some cases actually printing incorrectly spelt names. Then there are the prints that carry nothing on the back at all. These, of course, are the most challenging – and fun – for us!
One of the portraits on display is that of Sergeant Charles R Lahey (1923–1944), of the Medical Corps. He carries a laundry bundle out from the officers' quarters at Molesworth air base, 1942 (FRE 1026).
The American Air Museum has taken over the temporary exhibition area in AirSpace at IWM Duxford. Until December 2013, images from the Roger Freeman Collection are on display as part of the mini-exhibition 'Somewhere in England’.
The 24 portraits showcase Americans who served with the USAAF in the UK during the Second World War. Each of the men and women has been researched by the AAM team in an effort to build a picture of their lives before and after the Second World War.