Local English communities have come together under a project to preserve the story of 8th Air Force and its presence throughout eastern England during World War II. The initiative, dubbed “The Eighth in the East,” has just received a development grant of some $22,800 (£14,500) to launch its activities. “Inspired by a team of archaeologists, archivists, and museum curators, the project is aimed at helping local people of all ages who live close to one of the 67 war-time airfields to take ownership of this rich legacy by recording oral histories, mapping each air base, and putting together events which will engage everyone with a three-year period that changed the course of history,” reads a release from project planners. “It’s almost shameful,” said BBC’s Nick Patrick “that, were it not for a handful of dedicated volunteers and museum professionals, this history has almost been allowed to die.” (For more on the Mighty Eighth during World War II, read The Real Twelve O’Clock High and The Cost of Schweinfurt from Air Force Magazine’s archives.)
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.