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Researching places

Many records are only available online, sometimes on more than one site. We have listed the main sources but there may be others. Some records are free to view but others may entail a fee for access (£/$). 

 

Getting started 

Historic England protect and record England’s historic environment, holding extensive collections relating to buildings and archaeological sites. The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) provides details of all nationally protected historic sites. Historic Environment Records can be searched at Heritage Gateway

Scottish historic sites are documented by Historic Environment Scotland. Protected sites are listed at Canmore, and further insights into Scottish places can be found at Pastmap.  

Cadw safeguards the historic environment of Wales, and lists historic assets. Welsh Historic Environment Records are available at Archwilio 

The Historic Environment Record of Northern Ireland’s (HERoNI) Buildings database lists buildings of architectural and historic importance, other sites are recorded in their Monuments database 

 

Airfields and military sites 

Details of United States Army Air Forces stations in Britain can be found in Army Air Force Stations, airfields in Europe are listed in US Army Air Forces Continental Airfields 

Airfields used by the USAF from 1947 to c.1990 are listed in Air Force Bases Vol II 

Airfield technical drawings and plans from 1905-1999 can be viewed at  The National Archives (TNA) and the RAF Museum. Many from the 1940s pertaining to airfields used by the Eighth Air Force have been made available on our website by Eighth in the East 

Aerial photography of many USAAF airfields has been made available on our website by Historic England  

Airfield Research Group hold a large archive pertaining to airfield architecture and infrastructure 

 

Crash sites  

In the UK, many military aircraft crash sites are documented in Historic Environment Records.  

Local newspapers may also have reported on incidents and crashes, many are available at libraries and archives, or can be accessed via Newspapers.com (£/$) 

In the UK, the remains of all aircraft which crashed while in military service, whether on land or at sea, are protected by the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986, interference is considered a criminal offence. 

Many European countries have similar legislation in place to protect military aircraft crash sites. If you believe you have located a crash site, report it to the local authorities or the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) 

 

Memorials  

Many former USAAF sites are commemorated with memorials, you can find details of memorials in the American Air Museum's archive.

IWM's War Memorial’s Register also contains over 1.6 million names and 50,000 images from war memorials across the UK.

 

Cemeteries 

The National Cemetery Administration provides information on US National cemeteries, and Veteran’s cemeteries  

Cemeteries for US armed force's personnel buried or commemorated outside of the US are administrated by American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC)