Cambridgeshire

Duxford's American Air Museum £3m revamp unveiled

Aircraft on display Image copyright Andrew Tunnard
Image caption The American Air Museum redevelopment has taken many years and it has been closed for the last 12 months

A £3m transformation of an Imperial War Museum exhibition has been revealed ahead of its public reopening on Saturday.

The American Air Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, focuses on the role of US air power from 1918 to the present day.

Many of its 850 objects have never been seen before by members of the public.

The museum said the attraction tells the story of the British-American relationship in "human terms".

It includes personal accounts and the stories of people ranging from pilots to a female riveter who built aircraft, and an African-American engineer who built airfields.

Nearly 20 aircraft are on display, some suspended as if in flight.

Image copyright IWM
Image caption The American Air Museum was originally built on the former site of WWI US hangars at Duxford
Image copyright IWM
Image caption Ben-Hurr director Major William Wyler (left) and dramatist Terence Rattigan discuss a script in front of a B-17 Flying Fortress
Image copyright IWM
Image caption Former Land Girl Peggy Albertson was married for 60 years to her American airman husband Joe and went to the US with other GI brides after the war
Image copyright IWM
Image caption Mrs Albertson's wedding dress has been added to the display - she told how some brides did not recognise their husbands after the war because they were no longer in uniform
Image copyright IWM
Image caption Wartime flight engineer William Toombs said: "I would never have gone overseas to England, probably never would have had the chance, if it hadn't been for the war"
Image copyright IWM
Image caption The 4th Fighter Group banjo was signed by its members, their friends and girlfriends

A B25K Mitchell bomber used in WWII, a Huey helicopter operated in Vietnam and an F-111 from the Gulf War can also be seen.

The gradual redevelopment of the American Air Museum involved closing for a year.

It was originally built in the late 1990s on the old site of WWI US hangars and was designed as a memorial to the 30,000 US airmen and women killed while based in Britain during WWII.

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