Unseen rare photographs of Huntingdonshire’s American airbases during Second World War donated to archive

King George VI talks to an airman of the 301st Bomb Group during a visit to RAF Alconbury in 1942. T

King George VI talks to an airman of the 301st Bomb Group during a visit to RAF Alconbury in 1942. The aircraft is a B-17 Flying Fortress. Picture: THE ROGER FREEMAN COLLECTION - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of previously unseen and rare photographs which give a unique and fascinating insight into life during the Second World War at Huntingdonshire’s American airbases have been donated to an online archive.

Hollywood actor Clark Gable, served as an aerial gunner and photographer with the 351st Bomb Group.

Hollywood actor Clark Gable, served as an aerial gunner and photographer with the 351st Bomb Group. He is pictured filming a B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed Knock-Out Dropper (303rd Bomb Group) at RAF Molesworth. Picture: THE ROGER FREEMAN COLLECTION - Credit: Archant

Thousands of images have been uploaded to the Imperial War Museum’s American Air Museum website, including one showing King George VI at RAF Alconbury in 1942 and Hollywood actor Clarke Gable at Molesworth.

These amazing photographs are part of a donation of 5,000 images from the Roger Freeman Collection. Mr Freeman, who died in 2005, was a respected aviation historian.

English Heritage has also donated more than 700 aerial photographs taken between 1940 and 1947.

Mike Evans, head of archive at the English Heritage Archive told The Hunts Post: “The aerial photographs are a unique picture of the English landscape at a time when the pressures of war changed it out of all recognition.”


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In October last year, the Imperial War Museum at Duxford received a lottery grant to redevelop the museum and launch an interactive website aimed at creating a digital record of the part the American forces played in England during the conflict.

Jenny Cousins, project leader, American Air Museum, said: “We’d love to see people who worked in aircraft factories or building the airfields adding themselves to our database.

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“Everyone’s experience of war is important to us.”

INFORMATION: To see more images go to www.americanairmuseum.com.

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