2 Replies Latest reply on May 3, 2018 1:28 PM by Rebecca Collier

    Is there a searchable register/database of US airmen based at the East of England airbases during World War 2?

    David Barker Newbie

      Hello,

       

      I am trying to figure out the identity of my paternal grandfather, whom I believe was an American GI serving in World War 2.

       

      The hypothesis I’m working to is that he was an airman with the USAAF in 1943, stationed at one of the East of England airbases. The reason I think this is because my grandmother lived at that time in a small town in Suffolk, where there were many US airbases nearby, and it's the most likely (although obviously not only) scenario in which a local girl from a rural community would have met an American (which is seems to be the case according to my dad’s DNA results).

       

      I am able to pinpoint the airbases that were closest to my grandmother's home in Saxmundham, Suffolk and the place where she moved to for work part way through the war - Chelmsford, Essex (I'm not sure whether she fell pregnant before or after the move).

       

      Given a list of potential surnames that I have found via DNA matching - including Lolley, Preachers, Thames, Thomas, Weeks, Fleming, Price, although there are others - I’d like to know if there is some kind of register/database that I can search against to see whether any airmen with those surnames were based at any of the airbases I have identified or those nearby.

       

      Following that, I would cross-reference their draft papers (I think the airforce was still part of the army at that time) to see whether they were from Alabama/Florida area (which seems to be the location of most of my dad’s DNA matches) and perhaps whether they had certain physical attributes that potentially match my dad and I. E.g. We're both over six-foot tall, we both have blue eyes, etc.

       

      Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

       

      David

        • Re: Is there a searchable register/database of US airmen based at the East of England airbases during World War 2?
          Rebecca Collier Tracker

          Dear Mr. Barker,

           

          Thank you for posting your request to History Hub!

          We are unaware of a database that indicates what airmen were assigned to which air base. However, there are ways to determine locations of Army or Army Air Corps units and to a lesser extent, the members of the unit.

           

          Station Lists, 1942 - 1953 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917- (Record Group 407) indicate where certain units were located at a particular time period in a specific Theater of War such as the European Theater during WWII. The lists are arranged by theater and thereunder chronologically (usually by month and year). The units are listed by type (infantry, engineer, etc.). There is a geographical area such as town or country.

           

          Once a unit is determined, then there are several types of records that need to be reviewed to determine the exact location of the unit at a specific time. Most of operational records relating to the U.S. Army Air Force units have been microfilmed. The National Archives has a copy of these reels. To determine what reel to request, please use the index to the Air Force History microfilm is available at www.airforcehistoryindex.org. Some of these reels may be classified.

           

          The station lists and the microfilmed operational records are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) and can be contacted via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

           

          Rosters and morning reports can help determine who was assigned to what unit. Unfortunately, rosters for Army & Army Air Force units serving in World War II from 1944-46 were destroyed in accordance with Army disposition authorities. Morning reports for Air Force units (from September 1947 to June 30, 1966) are in the custody of the National Archives in St. Louis, MO. Please contact them for access to these records. The address is the National Archives in St. Louis, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002 and the email address is stl.archives@nara.gov.

           

          We hope that this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • Re: Is there a searchable register/database of US airmen based at the East of England airbases during World War 2?
            Rebecca Collier Tracker

            Dear Mr. Barker,

             

            In addition, your parent would be designated as a "War Baby." Questions concerning a former member of the U.S. Armed Forces who may be the father of a child born during or around the time of World War II should be sent to the NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  Please mark the envelope and the letter "War Baby."

             

            Again, we hope that this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

            2 of 2 people found this helpful