The catalogue to more than 2000 poignant diaries, letters, photographs and memoirs belonging to servicemen in the 2nd Air Division, United States Army Air Force, who were posted in East Anglia during World War II, went online for the first time on Tuesday 15 November.
The online catalogue of their personal records and memoirs, prepared by the Norfolk Record Office, was officially launched in the Green Room at The Archive Centre by Derrick Murphy, the Leader of Norfolk County Council, and Matthew Martin, the Chairman of the 2nd Air Division Memorial Trust on Monday 14 November.
In 2010, Norfolk Record Office, in partnership with the County Council’s Library and Information Service, and the Norfolk-based 2nd Air Division Memorial Trust, benefited from two generous legacies from former veterans: Major Jordan Uttal, one-time head of statistical data and bombing accuracy analysis at 2nd Air Division Headquarters, and Evelyn Cohen, who served in the US Women’s Auxiliary Corps.
The legacies have enabled the Record Office to produce the detailed Evelyn Cohen and Jordan Uttal Memorial Catalogue, which unlocks the treasures contained in this fascinating archive. The published catalogue, which has more than 2,400 entries, will be available via http://nrocat.norfolk.gov.uk.
Derrick Murphy, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “The 2nd Air Division records held in the Norfolk Record Office form a highly significant archive, of clearly international importance, and they cement the strong relationship between Norfolk and the United States, which has continued to this day.
“In many respects, the 2nd Air Division archive is a commemorative collection and this makes it a deeply personal one. The cataloguing project is a yet another great example of collaboration between Norfolk and America; a collaboration which will continue with next year’s planned ‘American Trail’ events.”
Matthew Martin said: “We are truly delighted that this important archive project is complete. The story of the Memorial Library and of the 2nd Air Division archive is a fascinating one, and future historians and researchers will now have access to all the records from its inception to the present day.”