Researching the 2nd Air Division: Airfield Fundamentals

B-24 LiberatorThere are so many books in our collection to do with World War 2 and the USAAF in England that it’s difficult to know where to start. You may be researching a person, an airfield, a bomber group, or a plane — and perhaps all you have is a name. Where do you begin?

Researching WW2 airfields on the web

There is a general overview of military airfields in Norfolk on the Norfolk Heritage website. It links to specific archive records and has a short bibliography.

The sort of modern aerial photograph you will find on Airfield Information Exchange. By Richard E Flagg.

The sort of modern aerial photograph you will find on Airfield Information Exchange. By Richard E Flagg.

For specific enquiries, you could try the Airfield Information Exchange. It is an especially good place to find photographs both historical and modern. Easily searchable if you get an account.

Otherwise, the very good UK Airfields website links directly into airfield-specific threads on the Airfield Information Exchange.

Eighth Air Force Historical Society. Very good guide to finding relevant information in government archives. Written histories of bomb groups and details of squadrons, stations, and commanders. 8th AF chronology, 1942-45. Stories. Links to related websites mostly broken.

History of War. Useful breakdown by bomb group of aircraft, timeline, commanders, main bases, and related books. Use the site search box to query the bomb group number or airfield.

The Wartime Memories Project. Stories, photographs, and documents submitted by veterans and their friends and family members. Allied and Axis forces. Ships, airfields, POWs, and surnames are all ways into the database.

English Heritage: PastScape. Maps, photographs, useful detailed information on site, published and archival sources, and related heritage sites.

Control tower at Attlebridge Airfield, 1945. From our collection. © John Michael.

Control tower at Attlebridge Airfield, 1945. From our collection. © John Michael.

Norfolk Heritage. Search for an airfield by name to bring up a database record. Short written descriptions, facts, records of excavation with links to photographs (some aerial). Bibliographies. Parish-related links.

Control Towers. Archive photos and facts about airfields in Great Britain, including a page dedicated to the 8th USAAF. There is also an index by airfield name and a useful overview of different control tower designs.

Recommended reading from our collection

Bowman, Martin. Sentimental Journey: Reminiscences of War. (Quidenham: Erskine Press, 2005). 247p. 940.544.

Bowman, Martin. Fields of Little America. (Wensum Books, 1977). 115p. 940.544.

Bowyer, Michael J. F. Action Stations Revisited. Volume 1: Eastern England. (Crecy, 2010).

Fairhead, Huby. Norfolk & Suffolk Airfields and Airstrips, vols 1-7. (Bungay, Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, 1992).

Freeman, Roger. Airfields of the Eighth Then and Now. (London: Battle of Britain, 1978). 240p. 940.544.

McKenzie, Roderick. Ghost Fields of Norfolk. (Guist Bottom: Larks Press, 2004). History, plans, and photographed remains of 32 Norfolk airfields: pin-ups, aerials, and building ruins. Some text. No index.

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Filed under Books, Local Interest, Online Resources, World War 2

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