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The service of President George H W Bush

By Emily on 01/12/2018

George Herbert Walker Bush was an aviator in the US Navy, Honorary Chairman of the American Air Museum and, of course, 41st President of the United States. Following his death, aged 94 on 30 November 2018, we look back at his impact on the wars of the 20th Century and his relationship with the American Air Museum.

Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts on 12 June 1923. On his 18th birthday, six months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941, he enlisted in the US Navy. After completing his training and earning a commission as an aviator with the US Navy Reserve on 9 June 1943 (just before his 19th birthday) he became the youngest Naval Aviator to date. From 1944 he flew from the aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto where he took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, one of the largest air battles of the Second World War.

On 2 September 1944, on a mission to attack Japanese installations on Chichi-jima, Bush's TBM Avenger was hit by flak and his engine caught fire, he continued the sortie, releasing his bombs over the target before bailing out in the Pacific Ocean. He was rescued by the submarine USS Finback after 4 hours aboard a life raft, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. Though he later learned that the other aviators shot down that day had been captured and executed by Japanese Forces. Bush was honourably discharged in September 1945, a month after the surrender of Japan.

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Guest post: The 2nd Air Division Memorial Library Digital Archive needs your help with their ARC State Registers!

By 2nd Air Division Memorial Library on 29/03/2018

An extract from the West Virginia pages of the first volume of the registers, showing David E Tuckwiller's signature (mc_371-919#169).

The American Red Cross Service Club at the Bishop’s Palace in Norwich opened in 1943 to provide American servicemen visiting the city a home away from home where they could enjoy refreshments, recreational activities, and a place to stay. The state registers are a lasting testament to the important role the Red Cross played in bringing together servicemen and aiding their general welfare.

The last mission of the year

By Jenny on 30/12/2015

Photo of three airmen posing together

As we head towards 2016, here is a seasonal photo from the Roger Freeman Collection which recently caught the team’s attention.

These lieutenants are posing in their underwear, flying helmets and parachute harnesses, which makes this a fairly unusual crew picture, but it captures a moment of light relief for the three young men.  Allen Bryson, Sol Greenberg and Albert Gehrt were the pilot, navigator and bombardier of B-24 Liberator ‘The Gypsy Queen’. By Christmas 1944, they had completed 21 missions together, flying over France and Germany from their base at Old Buckenham, Norfolk as part of the 453rd Bomb Group.

Guest post: Beautiful WWII Tributes Around the World

By ChristianP on 10/11/2015

The Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial is the burial site of 3,812 American servicemen. A further 5,127 names are recorded on the Tablets of the Missing. Photo: Paul Heys

Ahead of Veterans Day tomorrow, guest blogger Christian has shared with us the memorials dedicated to WWII American servicemen he finds most moving from around the world:

The Viewpoint of an AAM Volunteer

By General ira snapsorter on 30/10/2015

Here's a word (or two!) from Phil Jackson, one of the AAM's vital volunteers, on what it's like working with us at IWM Duxford:

Early in 2013 I was given the opportunity to assist with the American Air Museum project, which involved the sorting, identification and cataloguing of a very large collection of photographs known as the Roger Freeman Collection. After working for about a year on the ‘ Friends of Duxford’ front desk – meeting and greeting visitors, some of whom were very interesting – I was, to be honest, not over-stretched in the post. Still wanting to have an involvement in the Museum I enquired of the Volunteer Manager whether any other opportunities were available, and luckily, up came this job!

AAM Aircraft are Back in the Building

By Lucy May on 30/09/2015

With the conserved aircraft back inside, the glass wall of the American Air Museum has begun to go up.

Over the past month the Conservation team at IWM Duxford has been working extremely hard to move all of the aircraft back into the American Air Museum and suspend a number of them. If you're local to the museum, we hope that you had the chance to visit the site on one (or more!) of the days when the aircraft were out and about. For those of you who couldn't make it, here are a few photos of the move:

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