American Air Museum

USAAF heritage site
media-12893.jpeg UPL 12893 The American Air Museum at IWM Duxford.

From IWM collections.

Object Number - UPL 12893 - The American Air Museum at IWM Duxford.


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Detailed History

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

Over 850 objects including equipment, uniforms, keepsakes, and photographs, illustrate the individual experiences of 85 people from over 100 years of Anglo-American history. From Private to President these people’s lives have shaped, or been shaped, by their experiences of war. 

The American Air Museum is also home to the largest collection of American military aircraft on public display outside the United States. 

The American Air Museum is at IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire, Duxfird was home to the 78th Fighter Group from 1943 to 1945. The airfield was purchased by IWM in 1976 to display its internationally significant collection of aircraft and vehicles, and IWM hosted the first exhibition dedicated to American forces in the UK in the 1990s.  

IWM launched the American Air Museum project in 1993 to provide a permanent home to its collection of American military aircraft. 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 Queen Elizabeth II.  

English Heritage's Record Description

Museum exhibition hall, built in 1995-1997 to the designs of Sir Norman Foster and Partners, with Ove Arup and Partners as consulting engineers and John Sisk and Son as main contractor. A contemporary war memorial sculpture entitled ‘Counting the Cost’ by Renato Niemis lines the ramped walkway leading to the main entrance.


  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Civilian
  • Nationality: British
  • Role/Job: Land Girl
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 861st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-792667
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 48th Fighter Group 492nd Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 31295484
  • Highest Rank: First Sergeant (1st Grade)
  • Role/Job: P-47 Thunderbolt - Armourer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group 401st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-761845
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 82nd Airborne Division
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Paratrooper


  • Aircraft Type: C-47 Skytrain
  • Unit: 316th Troop Carrier Group 37th Troop Carrier Squadron
Remains of B-25J Mitchell (serial number 43-4064, 8U) nicknamed "Li'l Critter from the Moon" of the  488th Bomb Squadron, 340th Bomb Group.
  • Aircraft Type: B-25 Mitchell
  • Nicknames: Milk Run, Lil Critter from the Moon
  • Unit: 340th Bomb Group 488th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Ice Research
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: San Miguel, Ambassador II, Chateau De Verneuil


ContributorLucy May

American Air Museum: Gallery (8 items)