The permanent collection in the Roger A. Freeman Eighth Air Force Research Center is second to none in the world. Highlights of the artifact collection include over 80 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 12,000 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 500 works, many of which are original paintings and sculptures. Of these over 50 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 Equally unique are the more than 1,000 unpublished personal accounts written by Eighth Air Force veterans.