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Don’t forget to look at our stories, for more information about some of the events, people and themes recorded in our archive 

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How to search 

Our archive search is simple but powerful, it is the best way start exploring the experiences of the US Army Air Forces during the Second World War. 

We have structured the American Air Museum’s archive into categories to make it easy to find. 

Every entry in our archive fits into one of six categories: people, aircraft, places, units, missions and media. For the information we know about, we have created a record and begun linking it to others. 


How to find a record

  1. Start your search with a broad search for a name or key word  
  2. Narrow your search results by selecting the category you want to explore, then using the filters supplied.  
  3. In your search results, click on a record to open it and see whether they match the information you are looking for 


  • Change how broad your search is. If your results don't seem relevant enough, use the filters to refine your search.  

Searching Aircraft 

  • Aircraft are most easily found by serial number.
  • In full, US aircraft serial numbers take the format XX-XXXXX.  The first two digits show the year the aircraft was ordered, though often the first digit is not displayed on the aircraft’s tail. 
  • If you are looking for information about an aircraft in a photo you have, we also recommend omitting the first digit you can see from your search  

Searching Missions  

  • The best way search for missions is by date. 
  • The US Army Air Forces did not generally give official titles or numbers to missions, we have used Roger Freeman’s numbering system from The Mighty Eighth War Diary to help describe combat missions flown by the Eighth Air Force. 

Searching Media 

  • The easiest way to find a specific media entry is to search for its identifying object number. This is automatically generated and listed in the record. For photographs and videos uploaded by contributors this will begin UPL. 
  • When uploading media, writing a descriptive caption helps other people find your contributions.

How to explore the archive using connections

You can find your way around the archive by exploring the connections which link records together. 

Every person in our archive, was associated with a place in Britain or Europe, they may have belonged to one or more units, served on an aircraft, took part in a mission, or had a photograph taken of them 

All the media associated to a record will appear at the top of the page. You can open the gallery to browse through them all.  

Clicking the object number will take you to the media record which often includes more detailed information on the people, aircraft and places depicted.  

You can also find associated people, places, aircraft, units and missions under the connections header on any record. Clicking one of the people, place, aircraft, unit or mission records under the accordions will take you to the record for them, so you can keep exploring further. 

Place and Unit records are often good places to start exploring, as these records often have lots of connections. 

What to do if you can't find a record

Our archive is unfinished, there are lots of gaps in the information available.

If you’ve followed our advice and still been unable to find information on the topic you’re looking for, there’s a good chance no one has contributed information about it yet.  

Register now to contribute information and help us tell these stories. 

We are aware that our records are incomplete in the following areas, and welcome any new information you can share about: 

  • African Americans who served with US forces in Britain and Europe 
  • Women who served with US forces or worked for American voluntary organisations in Britain and Europe 
  • Belgian, French, Dutch and other European people who were members of resistance forces or helped American fliers 
  • British people who worked with or met American troops in Britain. Particularly women who married American servicemen 
  • People who served in US Army Air Force ground support roles associated with any of the combat air forces in Britain and Europe. Particularly in engineering support, station complement squadrons, medical units, ordnance and supply roles, and chemical and quartermaster companies. 
  • American airmen who served in Ninth Air Force combat units in Britain and Europe from late 1943, who were not killed in action. 
  • American airmen who served in Britain before being transferred to other combat zones in Europe.  
  • People who served with the combat air forces in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations 
  • Animal mascots 

Archive collections 

The American Air Museum’s archive is made up of data, photographs, and documents about the US Army Air Forces in Britain during the Second World War which has come from a range of sources.  

Most of this information has been shared by our contributors, but we have also worked with organisations and individuals to share their information as well. 

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