Rare colour photographs bring to life the key role air power played in the Second World War.

Following the success of The Second World War in Colour, a new book from IWM publishing War In The Air - The Second World War in Colour presents a further selection of original colour photographs from the IWM collection, focusing on Allied aircraft and airmen. Shot from the ground and from the air, these powerful images show how Allied victory in the Second World War owed much to air power.

Ian Carter, author of War in the Air and Senior Curator at IWM, says, “Colour photography was a rarity during the Second World War; film was scarcely available and images were expensive to print. Each photograph has been carefully optimised by IWM’s team of expert restorers to bring back colour accuracy and detail which over the years have faded from both paper and memory”.

War in the Air: The Second World War in Colour is available to purchase from the IWM online shop. Here are 10 highlights from the book.

1

‘Flying tin openers’: Hurricane Mk IIDs of 6 Squadron prepare for take-off from Gabes in Tunisia, April 1943.
© IWM TR 866

1

‘Flying tin openers’: Hurricane Mk IIDs of 6 Squadron prepare for take-off from Gabes in Tunisia, April 1943.

2

Sub-Lieutenant Harold Salisbury prepares for a sortie in Supermarine Seafire Mk Ib NX942 ‘AC-E’ of 736 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton, September 1943.
© IWM TR 1276

2

Sub-Lieutenant Harold Salisbury prepares for a sortie in Supermarine Seafire Mk Ib NX942 ‘AC-E’ of 736 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton, September 1943.

3

Avro Lancasters of 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, September 1942.
© IWM TR 197

3

Avro Lancasters of 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, September 1942.

4

Celebrations at Waddington to mark Lancaster R5868 (S-Sugar) reaching 100 missions while serving with 467 Squadron in May 1944.
© IWM TR 1795

4

Celebrations at Waddington to mark Lancaster R5868 (S-Sugar) reaching 100 missions while serving with 467 Squadron in May 1944.

5

Kittyhawk Mk IIIs of 112 Squadron preparing to take off at a desert airstrip in Tunisia, April 1943.
© IWM TR 975

5

Kittyhawk Mk IIIs of 112 Squadron preparing to take off at a desert airstrip in Tunisia, April 1943.

6

Martin B-26 Marauders of the 441st Squadron, 320th Bombardment Group, 1945.
© IWM FRE 14185

6

Martin B-26 Marauders of the 441st Squadron, 320th Bombardment Group, 1945.

7

Wellington GR Mk XIII JA412 ‘S’ of 221 Squadron over the Aegean, March 1945.
© IWM TR 2805

7

Wellington GR Mk XIII JA412 ‘S’ of 221 Squadron over the Aegean, March 1945.

8

Captain Edwin ‘Bill’ Fisher of the 377th Fighter Squadron, 362nd Fighter Group, atop his P-47D Thunderbolt Shirley Jane III at a landing ground in France, summer 1944.
© IWM FRE 7212

8

Captain Edwin ‘Bill’ Fisher of the 377th Fighter Squadron, 362nd Fighter Group, atop his P-47D Thunderbolt Shirley Jane III at a landing ground in France, summer 1944.

9

RAF pilots in training with the Embry-Riddle Company at Carlstrom Field near Arcadia in Florida, 1941.
© IWM TR 89

9

RAF pilots in training with the Embry-Riddle Company at Carlstrom Field near Arcadia in Florida, 1941.

10

Instructors and pupils of No. 20 Service Flying Training School pose with their North American Harvard Mk IIAs at Cranbourne, in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, 1943.
© IWM TR 1263

10

Instructors and pupils of No. 20 Service Flying Training School pose with their North American Harvard Mk IIAs at Cranbourne, in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, 1943.