Until 31 December 2024

IWM Duxford

Free event with general admission

During the Second World War, IWM Duxford's historic airfield was home to the United States Army Air Force's 78th Fighter Group, who escorted heavy bombers on their missions into Nazi Germany.

Pick up our free guide to explore stories, objects and places related to the Eighth Air Force, taking you deeper into the stories depicted in the hit Apple TV+ series Masters of the Air.

Copies of the Masters of the Air: The Americans at Duxford guide and site map can be found at the Visitor Centre and Visitor Information Point at the entrance of AirSpace.

Control Tower

Control tower archive image
©IWM HU 31908

Built in 1942 for the USAAF, the control tower was the central hub of flying operations and included briefing rooms, meteorological offices and airfield control.

 

Did you know?

The 78th flew 450 missions from Duxford. All of them were overseen by Flying Control, who maintained radio contact with aircraft taking off from and returning to the airfield.

Pilot's Briefing Room

78th Fighter Group briefing room
©IWM HU 031927

This area was used by the 78th Fighter Group to plan their missions. Nearly fifty pilots would gather here before a mission to receive details of the day’s target.

 

Did you know?

The 78th Fighter Group were initially equipped with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts before changing to North American P-51 Mustangs in December 1944.

Counting the Cost

Counting the Cost memorial
©IWM

This glass memorial lines the route to the entrance of the American Air Museum. The sculpture comprises 52 panels engraved with the outlines of aircraft. Each engraving represents an American aircraft flown from Britain that went missing in action during the Second World War.

 

Did you know? 

The 7,031 aircraft depicted are organised by unit. Each heavy bomber would have carried a crew of ten men and each fighter a single pilot.

American Air Museum

The American Air Museum stands as a memorial to the 30,000 members of the United States Army Air Forces who died while flying from Britain during the Second World War. Their names appear on the Roll of Honour, which draws information from our digital archive.

B-17G Flying Fortress

Visitors looking up at a B-17 Flying Fortress in the American Air Museum
© IWM

The USAAF planned its daylight strategic bombing campaign around the use of the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. To gain a more defensive armament, later versions of the B-17G carried as many as thirteen machine guns in addition to its 6,000 lbs bomb load.

 

Did you know?

The name came from a Seattle Times reporter who, on seeing the prototype, exclaimed, ‘Why, it’s a flying fortress!’

Huie Lamb's P-51 Mustang and 'Ike' Jacket

P-51 Mustang in the American Air Museum at IWM Duxford
©IWM

Huie Lamb was a fighter pilot with the 78th Fighter Group. He flew 61 combat missions from Duxford and was credited with destroying five German aircraft. In 2014, Huie returned to Duxford to unveil the P-51 ‘Etta Jeanne II’.

 

Did you know?

P-51 Mustangs, like the one Huie piloted, were nicknamed ‘Little Friends’ by the bomber crews they escorted.