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Researching units

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 (£/$). 

Details of many of the United States Army Air Force units which served in the UK during the Second World War are listed in the American Air Museum’s archive.  

Official histories 

Official publications covering many aspects of the history of the US Air Force and its predecessors are available to download from the Air Force Historical Support Division  

Other official histories relating to services and aspects of the Second World War have been transcribed at Hyperwar 

Official Air Force, Command, Division, Wing and Group histories from 1920- 1950 are outlined in Air Force Combat Units of World War II, Squadron histories can be found in Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II 

Histories of USAF units post 1947 can be found in Air Force Combat Wings: Lineage, Honors and Histories 

The Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) hold further information about unit histories, many active USAF units also list their lineage on their websites. 

Unofficial unit histories  

Many US Army Air Force units produced an unofficial unit history in the months after the Second World War ended. These often provide tongue-in-cheek record of war and include photo montages showing various aspects of base life. Our collection is available to download.  

Further unit histories can be found at Bangor Public Library 

USAAF historical organisations and associations 

Many units – especially the combat groups will have at least one website dedicated to them online, a quick internet search should reveal this. Airfield museums also exist across the UK to perpetuate the history of US air power in their area.  

Websites dedicated to units may carry detailed histories of the group and its squadrons, a roster of personnel, photographs, contacts, and copies of their association’s newsletter. These are brilliant sources for finding out further details. 

Airfield Research Group houses collections from many Eighth Air Force Bomb and Fighter Groups, along with an archive on the First Air Division Headquarters.

The American Library in Norwich is dedicated to preserving the history of the Second Air Division, many of their original documents are available online