About the American Air Museum

The American Air Museum is dedicated to exploring Anglo-American collaboration in conflict and its impact on people’s lives from the First World War to date.

We collect objects and stories that provide insight into Britain and America’s relationship and experiences of war, preserving them for future generations.

The American Air Museum at IWM Duxford stands as a memorial to the 30,000 members of the US Army Air Forces who died in the course of flying from Britain during the Second World War. It tells the story of the men and women whose lives were shaped by American airpower over a century of conflict.

Our archive documents the US Army Air Forces campaigns in Britain and Europe during the Second World War, and is the primary online research resource for the history of the Eighth Air Force.

As part of the IWM family we work to uncover the causes, course and consequences of war, from the First World War through to the present-day. 

We need sponsorship and donations to sustain our programmes. The American Air Museum in Britain charity raises funds in the USA to support the work of the American Air Museum.

History

Duxford airfield in Cambridgeshire was home to the 78th Fighter Group from 1943 to 1945. Following the end of the Second World War, the airfield was returned to RAF control and as an air defence fighter station until closure in 1968.

IWM took ownership of Duxford airfield in 1976 to showcase its internationally significant collection of aircraft and vehicles. Homage was paid to Duxford’s American history in the 1980s, with the first exhibition dedicated to American forces in the UK.  

IWM launched the American Air Museum project in 1993 to provide a permanent home to its collection of American military aircraft- the largest of its kind outside the United States. The American Air Museum building was designed by celebrated British architect, Lord Norman Foster and was opened to the public at IWM Duxford on 1 August 1997 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.