Tag Archives: 2nd Air Division Memorial Library

The Magic of Flight in the Memorial Library

Folding HelpThis Wednesday the Memorial Library hosted the second of three Record Breaker Summer Reading Challenge events – The Magic of Flight. We learned about the first powered man-carrying flight by the Wright brothers Orville and Wilbur in 1903 that took place on a beach in North Carolina. We also learned about the aerodynamic forces that allow planes to fly and facts about Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. One of the most interesting questions asked was ‘Could you build a plane out of wool?’

We then introduced the kids to the runway!


This would be where they would test and compete with their amazing paper planes. There was a short training session to get the folds down first.

Planes on Table

Many of the kids came up with very creative planes.

Elephant Plane Butterfly Plane Bubble Plane

Blue Striped Plane Big Paper Plane

Then they flew them down the runway…

Practice Throw

And there were prizes for farthest distance flown, longest sustained flight and most creative plane. Thanks to the kids and parents who came, we at the Memorial Library had a great time and hope that you all did too!

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Filed under American Culture, Memorial Library, Public Events

WWII Film – CREW 713

We have had the son of an American airman contact us about a film he’s been making. Here are the details about this exciting film Alejandro Mena is directing in memory of his father and those who served during WW2:

CREW 713: THE MEN WHO FLEW “THE IRISHMAN’S SHANTY” is a WWII documentary film produced by Fiona Hall and directed by local Dallas filmmaker, Alejandro Mena.  Currently in production, the film is the story of Mena’s father’s B24 liberator bomber crew who flew bombing missions over Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany from their base in England in 1944.

Crew 713 Pic 3

CREW 713 was the first crew to complete a 30-mission combat tour with the bloody, violent and short-lived 492nd Bomb Group (H). The 492nd would go on to become the most devastated American heavy bomb group in WWII and was subsequently disbanded after only 89 days of combat service.  CREW 713 is Mena’s homage to his late father’s military service, a salute to the men who served in the 492nd and a glimpse into a brief window in time when the mighty 4-engine heavy bombers rained destruction down upon the Third Reich in their massive air armadas.  The producer’s goal is to educate and expand the knowledge about the Bomber Air War of WWII, specifically the contributions of the B24 Liberator bomber and the men who flew them.

Crew 713 Pic 2

The film provides a new twist on the WWII documentary genre.  CREW 713 will feature animation, re-enactments, archival footage, modern music, and interviews with 492nd veterans to tell the story of these venerable B24 liberator bomber boys.  Copies of the veteran interviews will be donated to The National Archives and to the WWII Museum in New Orleans, so that future scholars may study these men.

Crew713 Pic 1

Shanty Films LLC is still seeking sponsors to help fund the film. For more information and to contribute to their general production fund, please go to their website, www.crew713.com.

About the filmmakers:

Producer Fiona Hall served as the production manager on the 2011 Academy Award nominated film, THE ILLUSIONIST, produced by Pathe Films and directed by Sylvain Chomet.  Director Alejandro “Alex” Mena is a 20-year veteran of the Texas film and video production industry. Most recently, Mena served as director of operations for the 2014 Lone Star Film Festival & line producer on the independent film, The Last Possession.

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New 2nd Air Division E-book Collection

The 2nd Air Division Memorial Library has a new selection of e-books available! These titles are on loan through the digital library website at digitallibrary.norfolk.gov.uk.

You must also be a member of the library to borrow any of the e-books and you can join by going to Norfolk Library Joining Page.

Browse through titles such as Liberator and The Mighty Eighth in WWII

Cover of LiberatorCover of The Mighty Eighth in WWII

This new collection aims to make more of our books accessible to the public and we look forward to expanding our digital selection in the future.

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Filed under Books, Memorial Library, Online Resources

Commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day & WWII with Local Events & Exhibits

January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day; it is the day that marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp.

Between 1941-1945, the Nazis attempted to systematically kill all of Europe’s Jews in a process now known as the Holocaust. By the end of the Holocaust roughly six million members of the Jewish community had been killed in ghettos, mass shootings and concentration camps. In addition to Jews, Nazi theories of racial supremacy, saw the persecution of Gypsies, Slavic and black people.

Though the day functions as a time for everyone to remember the millions of people killed in the Holocaust and during Nazi Persecution and honor those that survived, it is also a day which recognizes that racial genocide is not a practice of the past. January 27th allows us to think about the topic of racism more widely and the ways in which it has been practiced in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. You can learn more about Holocaust Memorial Day from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust,  the charity which promotes and supports Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK.

Anne Frank Exhibit at the Forum: Jan. 20-Feb 6.

Anne Frank Exhibit at the Forum: Jan 20 – Feb 6.

The Forum is commemorating this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day with an exhibit on Anne Frank and her family. The exhibit, which opened on January 20th and will remain open until February 6th, provides an insight into the life of Anne Frank and her sister Margot, as captured in a collection of poignant photographs taken by their father, Otto Frank.  Supporting activities will also take place in the Millennium Library and a number of city venues. Please see the link for more information on local events: http://www.theforumnorwich.co.uk/events/anne-frank-and-family

As a living memorial dedicated to the relationship forged between the American servicemen and the people of East Anglia during WWII, the 2nd Air Division Memorial is also hosting a series of events—mainly with school children—to help highlight the ways in which histories interweave and the lasting implications of these connections in the millennial century.

Last week commenced our series of school visits from surrounding primary schools. These groups were given a tour of the Memorial library, introduced to the more localized history of WWII here in Norfolk and given the opportunity to act as historians as they were presented with a series of primary sources and wartime memorabilia from our collection.

Many of the young students were keen to share the oral histories gathered from grandparents and great-grandparents about their experiences during the war.

The memorabilia presented the opportunity for us to discuss the wider ideologies spurring the war, particularly its attack on the Jewish community.This was achieved most pointedly with a discussion of our collection of dog tags from American servicemen. Dog tags were worn by servicemen for identification purposes. In the lower right-hand corner a letter standing for the individual’s religion is etched on the tag: P for Protestant; C for Catholic or H for Hebrew. Many Jewish Americans served in WWII and many opted to hide the fact that they were Jewish by inscribing a P on their dog tag instead.

If you would like to learn more about America’s connection to the Holocaust, Jewish Americans or WWII more broadly, the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library has an extensive collection of books that can certainly cater to research pursuits or general interests. Below are some of our most relevant titles but please feel free to search the library catalog for more specific interests.

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Filed under American History, Books, Current Events, Local Interest, Memorial Library, Public Events, World War 2