Second Air Division’s history to be brought to life as archive goes digital today

Kenton Morris� crew photograph, 453rd Bomb Group based at Old Buckenham, March 1944.

Kenton Morris� crew photograph, 453rd Bomb Group based at Old Buckenham, March 1944.

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A unique collection that tells the story of American servicemen and women of an air division based across Suffolk and Norfolk during the Second World War has today been digitized for public access.

The Second Air Division, United State Army Air Force included the 453rd Bomb Group in Old Buckenham, the 445th Bomb Group in Tibenham, the 93rd Bomb Group in Hardwick and the 491st Bomb Group in Metfield.

Flying Officer Robert S. Alexander of the 359th Fighter Group based at East Wretham, nd [1943-1944]. ANL-160518-145038001

Flying Officer Robert S. Alexander of the 359th Fighter Group based at East Wretham, nd [1943-1944]. ANL-160518-145038001

During the Second World War, the Eighth Air Force deployed the largest air strike force ever committed to battle, and, when at full strength, the Second Air Division controlled 14 heavy bomber airfields in Norfolk and northeast Suffolk, and five fighter airfields.

It has been funded by a legacy from veteran First Lieutenant Bernard Newmark, a co-pilot with the 458th Bomb Group based at Horsham St Faith.

Harry Humphrey, Norfolk County Council’s Vice Chairman of the Communities Committee said: “This new resource will enable relatives overseas to access records of loved ones who served in World War II and we are extremely grateful to the legacy of veteran Bernard Newmark for the development of this very important website.”

“Exploring the history and experiences of servicemen and women based in our region helps us understand their significant contribution.”

To access the archive visit www.2ndair.org.uk/digitalarchive