Roger A. Freeman Eighth Air Force Research Center
The Roger A. Freeman Eighth Air Force Research Center is dedicated to promoting research on Eighth Air Force history and to expanding its priceless collection of over nine thousand books significant to the history of the Eighth Air Force as well as original manuscripts, photographs, artifacts, works of art, oral history interviews and personal accounts.
Highlights of the artifact collection include over eighty hand-painted leather flight jackets as well as the Medals of Honor awarded to William R. Lawley, Jr. and Forrest L. Vosler. The artifact collection, with approximately eight thousand three-dimensional items, allows the researcher to actually see objects used by members of the Eighth Air Force during World War II.
The Research Center has a large art collection of over five hundred works, many of which are original paintings and sculpture. Of these over fifty were done by Eighth Air Force veterans providing visual proof of the importance that each veteran places on his or her military service. These works give visual expression to each veteran’s commitment to preserving our cultural heritage.
The oral history collection begun by Major General Lewis E. Lyle, the founder of this museum, continues to expand and has been described as the premier collection of oral histories of Eighth Air Force veterans. The museum is a partner archive with the Veterans’ History Project at the Library of Congress. Equally unique are the more than one thousand unpublished personal accounts written by Eighth Air Force veterans.
Since a complete roster of World War II Eighth Air Force veterans has never existed, the Research Center is compiling its own list known as the Veterans’ Database. This ongoing project documents a basic service history of participating individuals. Veterans and family members are encouraged to provide the information needed to expand this database. There are now several ways to submit your information for the database:
- Fill out Online Registration Form and then click on submit.
- By phoning or writing the research center for a form and then mailing back the completed form
- By filling out a form in the research center.
NOTE: Please submit a database form with as much information as you are able to recall. You are not required to enter information in every space in order to be a part of the database. However, we do require that you provide the veteran’s name and 8th Air Force Group &/or Squadron.
Researchers may contact the Research Center staff to learn if specific material is included in the collection. Requests to see material from the Special Collections or Artifact Collection will require completing the necessary paperwork. Please complete and submit the Access to Collections form and remember to bring a picture ID and your museum membership card on the day of your visit. The research center is open Monday – Friday from 9-12 and 1-4. Since administrative holidays are observed, please check with us before making research plans.
The Research Center’s collections have been formed through the generous donations by our patrons. Individuals wishing to donate material for the Research Center are asked to contact the Research Center Director. Our highest priority in collecting is given to the following:
- Material related to Eighth Air Force operations since 1942
- Material related to the European Theatre of Operations during World War II
- Material related to the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations during World War II
- Material related to other service branches relevant to the history of American Air Power
- Material related to foreign militaries relevant to US Air Force operations since 1942
- Material related to civilian activities relevant to our nation’s conflicts since 1942