The ‘Friendly Invasion’ of Americans in 1942 forever changed the relationship between the UK and the USA. Echoes of the Yanks can still be seen across the landscape of East Anglia, their legacy still visible in the fields and towns of the region. Personal memories of that time and place are fading fast on both sides of the Atlantic, and the rush is on to preserve as much as we can of this important part of history.
It is important to appreciate and understand the greater story, not only of how the American G.I.s changed the people of East Anglia, but of how the people of East Anglia forever changed the men who served in the 8th US Army Air Forces while serving in the UK. The Second World War reshaped many parts of society in both nations and helped to foster changes in attitudes towards race, gender and cultural differences. The people of England, and especially East Anglia, played a great part in driving that change by opening their homes and their hearts to their new Yankee friends.
Since the end of the war, a special relationship has continued between both nations and it will continue as long as both countries remember the shared sacrifices and victories so many years ago.