80th anniversary of the 'Mighty Eighth' celebrated with East Anglian fly-past

The US Eighth Air Force celebrated its 80th anniversary with a flypast over the Imperial War Museum, Duxford

The US Eighth Air Force celebrated its 80th anniversary with a flypast over the Imperial War Museum, Duxford - Credit: US Air Forces

The 80th anniversary of the Eighth Air Force was marked with a trans-Atlantic fly-past on Tuesday (February 1).

Two B-1 Lancer planes left South Dakota and flew over the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley and RAF Lakenheath at midday.

They were joined by fighter planes from the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Forces in Europe.

US Air Force B-1Bs and F-15s, and RAF F-35s over the north Norfolk coastline

The B-1Bs, F-35s and F-15s over the north Norfolk coastline - Credit: US Air Force

Major General Andrew Gebara, Eighth Air Force commander, said: "Not only does this flight signify the longevity and reach of the United States’ bomber force, but it also pays tribute to our closest ally, the United Kingdom.

"Eighth Air Force has had a close relationship with the Royal Air Force since its beginning."

Two US military aeroplanes

Two B-1Bs departed Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and flew over parts of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk - Credit: US Air Force

The Eighth Air Force began life during World War Two in 1942.

RAF Duxford housed the 78th Fighter Group of the "Mighty Eighth" between 1943 and 1945.

It is now part of the US nuclear deterrence strategy and Global Strike Command.

The US Eighth Air Force began life in 1942, 80 years ago

The US Eighth Air Force began life in 1942, 80 years ago - Credit: US Air Force

The US Eighth Air Force's 80th anniversary fly-past

The US Eighth Air Force's 80th anniversary fly-past - Credit: US Air Force