In honor and memory of the members of the United States Third Air Division, who based on Britain Fell while on air operations in the cause of world freedom.
During the period between May 1942 and July 1945, while operating in East Anglia, the 8th USAAF suffered more than 47,000 casualties including more than 26,000 killed. At its greatest strength in 1944 there were more than 200,000 8th personnel stationed in England. With so many men suffering such great losses, many sought ways to remember their fallen brothers, friends, and crewmates. The people of East Anglia, who had become so close to these young men and had welcomed them into their homes, pubs and churches, also felt these losses.
Together, the veterans of the 8th USAAF and the locals of East Anglia commissioned and created memorials to remember the fallen. In 1944, nearly a year before the war’s end, the first memorial was dedicated at St. Andrew’s in Quidenham, Norfolk. The dedication of this chapel with its stained glass window depicting an American aircrew member looking up at Christ was broadcast live to the USA. It was to be the first of many more memorials to come to honour the men of the 8th who were killed.
People on this side of the Atlantic commemorated their American war dead with Rolls of Honour in nearly every local church. They placed statues and plaques in their town squares and market places, and they changed their village signs to include iconography of the American planes filling the skies above their villages. More recently, as the number of veterans and locals who remember the war dwindle, new monuments are being erected to remember all veterans of the 8th USAAF.