What is the Roger Freeman Collection?

The Roger Freeman Collection of photographs sits at the heart of this website. IWM acquired the collection in 2012 and began to make it available online in 2014 with the release of 5,000 images. Another 5,000 images were released at the beginning of February 2015. The remainder of the images will be released in batches as the cataloguing is completed. 

The Roger Freeman Collection consists of approximately 15,000 prints and slides assembled by Roger Freeman (1928–2005), aviation historian and East Anglian native.

Photograph of Roger Freeman

Roger Freeman at the site of a P-51 crash at Leiston airfield in 1953 (image courtesy of Mark Copeland)

Freeman was a farmer’s son who lived close to Boxted airfield in Essex, used by the United States Eighth Air Force during the Second World War. His teenage enthusiasm for the airfield developed into a life-long interest, and he published many highly respected books on the US Air Forces in Britain, whilst making his living as a farmer.

He collected images from veterans and official sources, identified and sorted them. The majority of these images are black and white but a significant proportion of them are in colour. The colour photographs in particular offer a fresh view of Second World War military life.

Roger Freeman images in the Media section of the website all have an object number beginning 'FRE'. 

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