IWM Duxford

Free with General Admission

If you want to understand the broader context of Masters of the Air, there is no better place to start than the American Air Museum at IWM Duxford.
- Kirk Saduski, executive producer of Masters of the Air
Visitors in the American Air Museum

The American Air Museum explores Anglo-American collaboration in conflict and its impact on people’s lives since the First World War. Meet the men and women whose lives were shaped by American aviation throughout a century of war.

Visit the American Air Museum's own dedicated website. Entry to the American Air Museum is included in general admission to IWM Duxford.

Real people, real stories

Explore the American Air Museum's archive to uncover the real stories and real history of the people, places and events portrayed in Masters of the Air.

IWM Stories

© IWM [FRE 2774] – Captain Harold E. Stump and 2nd Lieutenant George J. Hays of the 78th Fighter Group  with a P-47 Thunderbolt nicknamed "Bad Medicine", 15 October 1943. Stump was among those killed on 10 June 1944.
IWM Duxford

The Arrival of the 78th Fighter Group at Duxford

The 78th Fighter Group was activated in January 1942 amidst the rapid expansion of the US military that occurred in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

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IWM Duxford

U-2 and the Cuban Missile Crisis

The U-2 entered service in 1956. The aircraft had a flight ceiling of 70,000 ft, initially believed to be beyond the reach of Soviet fighters, missiles and radar. The U-2 overflights across the Soviet Union were incredibly dangerous missions. Every flight was at risk of being perceived as an unauthorised invasion of another country’s airspace. So why did the US government risk so much on these U-2 missions? Curator Carl Warner tells us more in this video. 

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Second World War

B-17 Flying Fortress

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress dropped more bombs than any other US aircraft in the Second World War. A lot of these aircraft flew out of bases in England, as part of the USAAF’s daylight strategic bombing campaign. In this video, we take a close look at the B-17, take a look inside the fuselage and cockpit, and hear from two veteran B-17 crew.